5 signs mid-year burnout could be making you sick

You’re constantly stressed

We all know what it’s like to work long hours, catch ourselves thinking about work all the time or in need of a break. If you are doing these things all the time, there is certainly a problem. You may be able to keep it up for a while, but if your job is pushing you to the limits all the time, you need to reconsider your lifestyle.

A Bloomberg study revealed that South Africa is the second most stressed-out country in the world, while another global study by Ipsos and Reuters also revealed more than half of South Africans do not take their annual leave.

This is all the more reason to listen to your body and avoid burnout by planning breaks and slowing down the pace a bit. One great way to deal with stress is by exercising regularly, and making time for down-time, whether it is a weekend away or just relaxing with the family.

Resolution Health members can use their Zurreal benefits to join a wide variety of gyms throughout the country for 20% less, or opt to join Zurreal Platinum and earn up to R9 200 in cash back rewards simply for exercising regularly.

You just don’t care anymore

A key sign that you could be suffering from burnout is the onset of depression and general lowered mood. As many as 1 in 4 South African workers have been diagnosed with depression, leading to them being as much as 5 times less productive at work.

Depression affects cognitive functioning such as decision making, concentration, memory and problem solving abilities. It's important to recognise the signs and symptoms that could mean you are suffering from depression and get the treatment you need. 

These include:

  •  Poor concentration
  •  Easily distracted
  •  Poor memory/forgetfulness
  •  Indecisiveness
  •  Slower thinking speed
  •  Problem solving difficulties
  •  Struggling to find the right words to express your thoughts
  •  Negative or distorted thinking patterns

You’re struggling to sleep

Insomnia, depression and stress are all closely related. If you are struggling to fall asleep at night and find yourself lying awake in bed until the wee hours of the morning, you could be on the verge of burnout. 

If you have a lot on your mind it may be worthwhile to speak to a friend, family member or even seek professional help. Try to avoid becoming reliant on over-the-counter or even prescription medication for sleep as this will not solve the problem.

All Zurreal members have access to advice from a life coach to help them better deal with the day-to-day stresses of life. Visit the Zurreal portal here to find out more.

You’re sick all the time

When your body is depleted, you are more prone to coming down with every nasty bug that is doing the rounds. Because chronic stress depletes and weakens one’s body, burnout victims are more vulnerable to infections, colds, flus, and other immune system disorders. The worse the burnout is, the more vulnerable you’re likely to be and the longer it’s likely to take you to recover from simple infections, like a common cold.

You feel drained

In the early stages of burnout, you may find yourself lacking energy and feeling tired often. You may go to bed early, but still wake up tired. You may move more slowly and find you need extra time to get ready and get out the door. 

At its worst, the fatigue becomes a physical and psychological state of exhaustion. You feel drained. Everything takes a concerted effort. You have no energy, so you do as little as possible to make it through the day. You find it difficult to get out of bed and may even call in sick on the days you feel like you simply can’t get out of bed. This type of extreme fatigue also often results in a sense of dread for what lies ahead of you on any given day.

When you reach this stage your body is completely depleted and you are completely burnt out. This makes it super important to go and see your doctor at the first signs of burnout as the longer you wait, the harder your road to recovery will be.