Burnout Syndrome - 8 Signs And What To Do About It

More and more people feel stressed, exhausted and burned out. Is this normality in today's world or is it already known as a burnout syndrome?

Burnout syndrome, burnout signs

According to a recent study by pronova BKK on "Occupational Health Management", 87% of Germans feel stressed from work. One in two even complains of insomnia, listlessness, inner tension or back pain. These can all be burnout signs. This is also known as burnout syndrome.

The main reason for the feeling of being "burnt out" was the fact that more than a third of the respondents stated that they were under constant pressure. Other 30% called emotional stress or also overtime and bad working environment. The startling: burnout symptoms are not just indicative of people who have been at work for a long time.

In particular, even millenials, that is Generation Y, often complain of burnout signs. In fact, it is precisely the entry-level and 30-year-olds who have a hard time these days: Temporary work contracts, great competition, constant accessibility, long working hours and the associated lack of free time for friends and themselves make this generation at risk for the burnout syndrome.

What exactly is a burnout syndrome?

According to the American social psychologist Christina Maslach, who has contributed significantly to the study of burnout syndrome, the following are the points that characterize a burnout:


  • Emotional fatigue: the person feels overwhelmed by the demands of the profession; she feels empty and discouraged.
  • Depersonalization (alienation): The person has a detached and cynical attitude at work. The people you meet at work become objects.
  • Limited ability: The person has the feeling that he can no longer achieve any success and can no longer bear any responsibility. She also doubts the meaning of the work.

The Maslach model has been further developed and added to the criteria physical and psychological symptoms, so that it can be derived from several signs of burnout.

The 8 main burnout signs

  1. Permanent fatigue: A definite sign of burnout is the feeling of constant fatigue and lack of energy. Even if the number of hours of bedtime is actually sufficient.
  2. Health complaints: Constantly being ill, an unstable immune system or even depressive moods also count towards unmistakable burnout symptoms.
  3. Negativity: Being irritated, cynical, bad-tempered and pessimistic is one of them.
  4. Dissatisfaction: Dissatisfied with oneself and above all with its own performance.
  5. Loss of motivation: Where once was the urge to drive and motivation for upcoming tasks, suddenly stands a listlessness and a "completion of tasks".
  6. Cognitive difficulties: Mentally "not being up to the mark" anymore, forgetting important things or making mistakes that would otherwise never happen.
  7. Decline in performance: When your own performance suddenly breaks down, although otherwise it was always at a high level.
  8. Neglecting oneself: no longer listening to oneself and one's needs, living unhealthily and no longer cultivating oneself and one's soul.

What can one do against the burnout syndrome?

  1. When burnout signs first try to restore the work-life balance. So do not work overtime, give enough free time for yourself and friends.
  2. Sleep well and, above all, sleep well. This means going to bed early, mobile phone off and the room temperature rather cool than warmer.
  3. Doing things that charge your own energies. This can be sports, wellness and relaxation, time with a book or even good conversations with friends and togetherness with the partner.
  4. Often go offline. Omit the phone, leave the laptop at home and just enjoy the time without constant accessibility.
  5. Anyone who already has burnout symptoms and accordingly can no longer think clearly and in a straight line should try to restructure themselves. For example, make lists, prioritize and organize better again.
  6. With severe burnout syndrome and the feeling that you do not have enough strength to get out of the burnout trap, seek the help of an expert like a business coach or psychologist.


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