Signs you’re burnt out, in need of a break

(FILE) Illustration of a person slumped with their head on top of an open textbook
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Sometimes, when you give it your all, you can give a little too much. Spending all your time on the grind can wear you thin and make you far less productive than if you took a couple of breaks. It can be difficult to realize when you’ve become burnt out because it happens incrementally. To help you figure out when to give yourself a break, here are some signs of burnout.

Inability to focus on anything

A critical sign that you’re burnt out is that you can’t focus on anything. This isn’t just in schoolwork or class, though. If you find yourself unable to sit through a Youtube video, a video game or whatever it is you normally do to unwind, then you’ve really fried your brain. Not being able to focus on more intensive things such as a paper or class is an early sign, but when you’ve reached the point where you can’t focus on anything, then you are in dire need of a break.

Lack of energy

Another key symptom of being burnt out is having a lack of energy. This lack of energy can express itself in a myriad of ways, but most commonly, you’ll be unable to start or complete a task. You may get the reading or essay eventually done, but it’ll take a lot of starting and stopping as you keep feeling mentally exhausted. This lack of mental energy is a good sign you’re burnt out and need a real break.

Feeling mentally drained

Along with the lack of mental energy comes the feeling of being mentally drained. It makes it hard to think and create. Even if you’re not necessarily struggling to get readings or assignments done, you might still be mentally drained. It can feel as if all your creativity and ingenuity have run dry. All of this is because you have, in a metaphorical way, run dry. You’re burnt out, and you need a break.

Thinking you can push through

An odd symptom of burnout is denial. You might feel like this is just a rough patch, that if you just work harder, then you can get through it, and things will go back to normal. But this is the exact opposite of what you should do. Working harder will just cause you to burn out even more and make it harder to ever recover. If things aren’t working out and you feel like you’re at the end of your rope, take a step back. Take a break, and come back with a fresh pair of eyes. It should help mitigate the burnout that is giving you trouble in the first place.

If you recognize yourself in this list, just take a break and try to relax a little. Life will still be there when you eventually get back to it.

Contact Zachariah Nash at [email protected] .