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standingup“All work and no play makes Jill a dull girl” — we’ve all heard this saying. What it doesn’t tell you is that with all work and no play, Jill is going to have more problems than just being dull.

Overworking can lead to health problems, relationship failings and depression. Simply put, too much work leads to a condition called burnout. Burnout is when constant stressors eventually lead to emotional, mental and physical exhaustion. When unmanaged, burnout can and will begin to harm relationships, cause illness and worsen your overall quality of life.

How can you avoid this trap of the employment industry that many workers seem to fall into? In this article, you will find ways to catch burnout before it becomes detrimental and strategies to help you reverse it.

Here are some signs that you are working too hard and that burnout may be on its way:


One of the most tell-tale signs of burnout is feeling constantly tired or just not having the energy to do your daily activities. This can also mean emotional or mental exhaustion. If you have the feeling of being drained every single day, you may be feeling burnout.


Even if you have exhaustion and feel extremely tired when you go to bed, sometimes you might have a hard time falling asleep and staying asleep. This is a result of overwork and might also be because you can’t stop thinking and stressing about work.


Getting frustrated easily and giving up quickly is a sign that you are overworking yourself. You may also begin to get angry at small things and feel irritable on a regular basis. These feelings often lead to overall pessimism and being overwhelmed with negative thoughts.


Burnout often hurts relationships. If you find yourself not wanting to be around friends and family or avoiding social interaction, you’re displaying a serious sign of overworking. You may begin to feel detached or feel as though anybody you speak to is slowing you down. If left unhandled, this type of behavior can ruin relationships and cause even more problems.

Poor Performance

If you are starting to burn out, you may begin to notice that your work is subpar. This is mostly because overworking causes you to lose productivity and fail to finish projects. You may find yourself buried in a growing to-do list and feel like you cannot get ahead of the work.

How to Recover

If you are experiencing any of these signs and symptoms of burnout, you must take action immediately before it gets any worse. Here are some ways you can reverse and prevent burnout:

Take a Vacation

The most obvious way to avoid burnout is to take a vacation! Even if you can only afford to take a long weekend away, this is important to do. A vacation is a great time to step away from the stressors of work, spend time with family and friends and rejuvenate your mind and body before returning to work.

According to one study, women who take a regular vacation have a 50 percent lower risk of heart attack. Of course, that’s not the only benefit. If you can’t afford to actually go somewhere, just take a few days off and spend them at home relaxing. You deserve it.

Make Your Health a Priority

Often, burnout can lead to health problems and illness. Make sure you are drinking a lot of water, getting enough sleep and eating healthy to keep your body in shape. Staying healthy will help your mind combat the stresses of work and avoid burnout.


Work often follows us home, which is a huge cause of burnout. Set aside time each day to turn off the cellphone, tablet and computer and focus on spending time with those around you. Nobody will mind if you answer their email in an hour instead of the minute after you receive it. (And if they do, they’re probably suffering from burnout too.)

Pick up a Hobby

Find a hobby or interest that you enjoy and can do outside of work. This will give you something to focus on when you aren’t at work so that you won’t constantly think about what’s waiting for you at the office. Extra bonus if this hobby is something you can do with friends!

Now that you know how to spot burnout and how to combat it, make sure you are paying attention to yourself and not allowing work to consume you. Work may be important, but your health and happiness should be the first priority.

Guest post by Savannah Hemmings.

Paula Davis-Laack is a self proclaimed “lawyer turned stress & resilience expert” who ponders the difference in how burnout impacts men and women.  You can read her observations at HuffPost. For more information resiliency check out the co-founder of this site Eileen McDargh!