Often the terms stress and burnout are used interchangeably, but few people can tell them apart. You feel exhausted and demotivated because of work, health, financial problems or an unstable relationship. How do you find out if you are stressed or burned out?
Stress and Burnout – The Difference
Stress is a state of mental disturbance that one suffers due to events in daily life. It can be caused by something as simple as work pressure at the office. However, stress is not always due to negative events. Sometimes you may be stressed because you have a big responsibility, such as organizing a party for a friend. A bride may also report being stressed because of the impending change in her life and her upcoming wedding. In simpler terms, stress is defined as a feeling that occurs when a person is outside their comfort zone.
Burnout, on the other hand, means severe stress that leads to clinical depression. If left untreated, it can lead to mental instability and health disorders. Burnout can be accurately attributed to major negative events that cannot be managed. It is caused by unfair challenges and unfair treatment in life, whether at work, home, school or college.
Symptoms of Burnout
Some signs of burnout are very similar to those of stress, with one major difference. With stress, the mental excitement subsides as soon as the issue is resolved. However, if these symptoms persist and increase over a long period of time, it could be an indication of burnout.
Here are some characteristics that indicate someone is suffering from burnout:
Demotivation for Work
You may no longer feel motivated to get up and go to work or meet up at parties. You may even dread getting together with family or friends. They feel that everyone around them exudes negative energy and constantly fear that someone in public will offend them or that they will be terminated.
If a person who has normally slept 8 hours sleeps late or feels tired even after a reasonable amount of rest, it is a clear sign that something is weighing on them. It is also likely that someone is unable to sleep due to anxiety and is showing symptoms of insomnia.
Headaches and Migraines
Persistent stress is difficult to cope with and often leads to health problems. One may experience severe headaches or feel ill indefinitely without a clear medical cause.
People who suffer from burnout isolate themselves from family and friends. They are afraid to discuss their problems with others because they think there is no solution to their issues. They begin to think negatively. They fear that people will either feel sorry for them or push them away because they think they are no longer entertaining.
If someone feels stressed for a long period of time and descends deep into depression, they should seek immediate family or medical help. If left unattended for a long time, such people could lose their minds or become suicidal. If someone around you is showing these signs, it means it’s not the usual stress wearing off. Take action. Take care of the person, spend time with them, and try to gain their trust.