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July 1, 2021

Work equals stress for most U.S. workers. According to the American Institute of Stress, 80 percent of workers feel stress on the job, and 25 percent of workers view their jobs as the number one stressor in their lives.

Because stress developed in early humans as a natural physical response to trigger our fight-or-flight instinct in dangerous situations, it’s an inevitable part of life. However, too much stress can lead to burnout—which can, in turn, lead to a number of physical and mental ailments, including:

Who burns out?

Burnout can happen to anyone. If you have a heavy workload, and long hours cause you to struggle with your work-life balance; if you feel you have little to no control over your work situation; if your workplace dynamics are dysfunctional (e.g., you’re bullied or micromanaged); if you have little social support and feel isolated at work and home, your risk of burnout is high.

What are the signs of burnout?

Not everyone manifests burnout the same way. And right now, with the added challenges of disrupted offices and remote work, it can be even harder to recognize the symptoms in yourself or a co-worker.

So, how can you tell when you—or someone you know—have transitioned from stress to full-on burnout? Watch for these signs:

Can burnout be reversed?

One of the signs above may not mean burnout. But if you see—or feel in yourself—several or all of these behaviors, it’s time to consider your options, which may include:

It’s not easy to admit that you’ve reached the point of burnout, but it is reversible. For the sake of your physical and mental health—and for those who care about you—take that first step now and consult your doctor or a mental health professional to rebuild a healthier, happier and more fulfilling life.

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