Have you ever had a moment where you take a shower and end up just breaking down in a big mess of snot and tears and you have no idea why? If so, keep reading, this is probably for you. If you have been one of the blessed ones to never experience something like this, tell me…what’s that like? Thankfully, these episodes happen less and less for me and the reason is, I have gotten really good at recognizing when I need to take a friggin’ break. Here are 10 signs that I have noticed are a pretty good indicator that I am burnt out and majorly in need of a break. (The sobbing uncontrollably in the shower one is just a bonus tip.)
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You are scrolling social more than ever
When the mind is exhausted and needs something to distract itself, there is no easier way to do it than scrolling social media. The constant drag of the finer along with the flickers and flashes of memes, pictures, and videos tends to give us a little half-ass burst of serotonin and dopamine.
I say half-assed because these bursts can often lead to addiction which means we keep picking up our phones more and more. We seek to find comments and likes on our social media posts only to find ourselves no longer getting that social media “high” when the notifications drop.
That means while we might get a quick pick-me-up from social media when we turn to it more, just like any addiction, it can actually become more of a crutch and a means of escaping the real world.
If you find yourself mindlessly scrolling in a zombie-like state, this is a good indicator that it’s time to chuck the phone on your bed and run or delete your social apps altogether for a few days. Go for a walk, make a coffee date with yourself or take a nap. All three of these things are likely to help you far more than one more hour of scrolling will.
You find yourself being more easily angered
I have always loved Wayne Dyer’s analogy about squeezing an orange. If you squeeze an orange, orange juice will come out. The reason being (should be obvious) an orange can only produce whatever juice is inside.
This is a good reminder to us that whatever comes out of us is a good indicator of what we are carrying around inside. This means if you find yourself having quicker outbursts of anger, you probably have a lot of built-up tension you are carting around with you every day.
How to release this varies from person to person. Me personally, I know that if I can get to the gym 1 hour a day I am a lot less likely to have a total mental breakdown alter. Other healthy ideas include:
- Going outside
- Watching something funny
- Connecting with a friend
- Journaling Get my 75 FREE Journal Prompts
You are questioning all of your life choices
If you happen to find yourself staring blanking at a wall and questioning your entire existence there is a good chance that you are pretty burnt out. This can happen from too much work, too much social interaction, and too little time getting quiet with our own thoughts.
When we have allowed ourselves to exist in a state of constant chaos and movement, it can be difficult to know if we are even on the right track anymore.
Not sure if you’re in the right job? Questioning your relationships? Feeling like you’ve done everything wrong? Think maybe you need to redecorate your whole house?
It’s cool, maybe some of these things are legit worries, but there’s also a good chance that you are just plain burnt out and in need of a good “unwind time.”
You are always tired
Have you ever had those weeks where you feel like your brain isn’t working and you could 100% crawl back into bed over and over and over again … or just never leave? If so, this could be a good sign that you are facing burnout. If this is something that is normal for you, might I suggest looking into different medical possibilities?
For myself personally, I know that understanding my diet (after a lot of pain-in-my-ass figuring it out) I realized that how I eat really plays a major role in my energy levels. The FoODMAP diet is what finally did the trick for me. I also know a lot of times this chronic tiredness could be a sign of an underlying mental health issue or physical condition.
My hope is that you know when you need to take care of yourself with either a nap, a break from work, or throwing up a white flag and admitting you need help from someone who could help you put an end to this madness.
The things you used to love don’t interest you
Sometimes we outgrow things (and people) in our lives and sometimes losing interest in things could be a sign that we need to just shut down a bit.
Personally, I have also found these things in my life to be aligned with major life changes like:
- The loss of a loved one
- Job changes
- Lifestyle changes (like a new baby or getting married
- A pandemic — Here’s a little bit about the changes that I experienced
- Coming of age (the teen years and our 40s tend to bring the biggest changes)
If you are feeling burnt out on your routine or aren’t having fun with the same crowd, maybe the first thing to do would be to re-evaluate. You just might love my Consciousness Connection training that helps you sort through what you do because you believe you should versus what we do because we actually want to.
You’ve been surrounding yourself with people lately
So, it isn’t exactly the most scientific thing in the world, but, when I first heard about Human Design, I started to get a better idea of why I get so drained after spending time around people. In Human Design there are different open areas on an individual’s unique body graph. These open areas often mean that this is where a particular person might take on the energies of the people around them. This could be their thoughts, emotions, or even pieces of their identity.
Maybe you don’t believe in that stuff, which is cool. I’m not sure that I even do. What I do know is it got me considering the fact that maybe I tend to get a little more scatterbrained and directionless after spending considerable amounts of time with other people.
Since I have always fancied myself an introverted-extrovert due to the fact that I love being around people and socializing, while also needing time to recoup and get grounded in my alone time it makes sense that I might be taking in too much “people-ness.”
Pay attention to this in yourself. Do you get more drained after spending a lot of time with others? Even at work? If so, back-to-back socializing might be partially to blame for your feelings of burnout.
Your body is talking to you
Our bodies are amazing and it is bananas how much they are tied to our mental and emotional health. I know a woman who literally got hauled away from work in an ambulance because everyone was convinced that she was having a heart attack. In reality, she was just under extreme amounts of stress. AKA She needed to take a friggin’ break!
If you feel like this might be the case for you, there are a number of books that can help you get started identifying whether or now you might have some body issues that are tied to unresolved mental traumas or stress.
You haven’t laughed in a while
They say on average, adults laugh 20 times per day while children are laughing around 300 times per day. For the most part, I’d like to think that I laugh way more than 20 times per day, but let me tell you, on those days when I don’t, I can feel it.
Also, I don’t think tiny chuckles should count. I think we need to aim for those deep down belly laugh kind of laughs.
So if you are feeling like you haven’t really had a good laugh in a while, that might be a sign that you’ve been overworked or stimulated in the wrong areas. This could be a good sign to consider putting in a movie that always makes you crack up, or a go-to TV show that you know will give you some giggles.
I know we can’t all have a belly-laugh friend on hand but if you happen to have one of those on your phone, maybe it’s time to hit them up and schedule some serious one-on-one time to catch up with them so both of you can over-fill your laugh count for the day.
You’ve had back to back schedules
Maybe you don’t need to look for subtle clues, you just know that your schedule has been jam-packed and super busy lately. If you have been reading this article the whole time while you’re going, “Uhhh I friggin’ know I need a break. I haven’t had one in like 8,000 light-years.” Well then, go! Go take a break.
Ok, I know, easier said than done. But, might I suggest that if your jam-packed schedule seems to keep continuing to be jam-packed, maybe it’s time to evaluate what can start getting scratched off that list of things to do?
There is a reason that one of the steps I take people through in my Unstoppable Purpose program is schedule simplification — because you cannot allow for good things to come into your life if you quite literally don’t have the time or space for them to enter in!
If you feel like you need a little guidance to clear your space, simplify your schedule, and gain clarity on how to start living your life instead of hustling through it, I highly recommend you take a peek at my 30-day simplification program.