The 5 Stages of Burnout and Why They Matter


Signs of job burnout

Are you at the end of your rope? Can you no longer cope with the copious quantity of emotions you feel every day? If so, you’re far from alone. Two out of three people report that work contributes significantly to their stress levels. One in four people have actually called in for a ‘mental health day’ or a sick day as a result of stress from work. If this sounds familiar you might be exhibiting other signs of emotional exhaustion.

The 5 Stages of Burnout

Job stress and burnout are some of the most difficult health issues to face, because the more you try to manage them in an active and productive way, the more you fall behind at work, adding to the problem. This is why recognizing burnout is half the battle. That way, you can catch it before it gets too far.

  1. Enthusiasm
    You can’t have burnout unless you were on fire first. This stage involves intense optimism and the highest expectations for success.
  2. Stagnation
    This is the ‘stuck in a rut’ stage. You’ve been working tirelessly. It’s all you actually have time for. Now, though, you see diminishing returns for all of your efforts.
  3. Frustration
    All of your hard work is at best underappreciated and at worst unnoticed. You begin to doubt yourself and get angry. Your self-doubt affects your confidence.
  4. Apathy
    You stop caring. This is not the ‘shrug it off’ type of not caring, it’s the ‘what does it matter anyway?’ dejected and resigned type. You become glum and hollow toward everything once so optimistic and exciting.
  5. Intervention
    The helplessness of apathy leads to seeking out burnout recovery strategies. If you cannot help yourself, and the situation truly is hopeless at the moment, why not seek assistance?

The signs of emotional exhaustion
can be insidious at first, hard to really put your finger on, but writing is on the wall. Once you can identify burnout symptoms, you can begin to understand burnout psychology. As soon as you do that, you are well on your way toward having a healthier and more emotionally stable life.

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