3 reasons why burnout is not a badge of honour

Let's face it, feeling burned out is a common experience these days. We push ourselves to the limit, juggle work, family, and personal commitments, and somewhere along the way, we hit a wall. But burnout is more than just feeling tired. It's a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by prolonged or excessive stress. Chronic stress can lead to a cascade of issues, including anxiety, depression, and even low self-esteem. And while it might seem trendy to wear your burnout like a badge of honour, it's actually a sign that something needs to change.


Here are three signs you might be suffering from burnout, and why ignoring them could have a serious impact on your well-being:

1. Your 'me time' feels more like 'numb time'

Remember the days when self-care meant a relaxing bath or a good book? Now, when you finally carve out some "me time", does it involve activities that numb the stress rather than truly address it? We've all been there, reaching for that extra glass of wine (hey, it's affordable self-care, right?) to switch off from the relentless demands of the day.

But, while these coping mechanisms might offer temporary relief, they can become crutches in the long run, ultimately harming our mental health. Consider this: is your "me time" focused on activities that promote relaxation and rejuvenation, or is it simply a way to numb out and avoid your problems?

2. You're snapping at the people you love most

This one can be a real downer. Feeling burned out often leads to increased irritability, especially with those closest to us. We might find ourselves being short-tempered, unforgiving of small mistakes, and lacking in empathy. It's not uncommon to withdraw entirely, opting for solitary evenings to avoid lashing out at loved ones. While this might feel like a way to protect them, it also highlights a deeper issue that needs attention.

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can be a powerful tool in helping you manage stress and develop healthier coping mechanisms, ultimately improving your relationships with loved ones.

3. Your brain feels like mush

Ever feel like your vocabulary has shrunk to the size of a pea? That's burnout for you. You might struggle to remember basic words, find planning and organising a monumental task (remember when you used to excel at that?), and even experience sleep that leaves you feeling unrested. This mental fog is a clear sign that your body and mind are crying out for a break.

Burnout isn't just about feeling tired – it's a full-blown attack on your mental and emotional well-being. The worst part? We've normalised it. Society often glorifies the 'hustle' mentality, pushing us to the point of exhaustion and then praising us for it. It's time to break free from this cycle.

What can you do?

Take charge and invest in your recovery! Here are some resources to get you started:

  • Check out my five top tips for burnout recovery: This blog post dives deeper into practical strategies to help you combat burnout and reclaim your energy.
  • Sign up for my monthly newsletter: Stay updated on mental health tips, tricks, and strategies to keep you feeling your best.
  • Book a free consultation with me: Let's chat! In our free consultation, we can discuss your specific situation and explore how therapy can help you overcome burnout and build resilience.

Remember, burnout doesn't have to define you. With the right support and a commitment to self-care, you can reclaim your energy, improve your relationships, and live a more fulfilling life.

Don't wait until your inner fire is extinguished. Take the first step towards recovery today. Book your free consultation and let's work together to reignite your spark! CBT therapy can be a powerful tool in helping you overcome burnout and develop healthier coping mechanisms. So, if you're struggling with any of the signs mentioned above, don't hesitate to reach out for help.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Counselling Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

Share this article with a friend
Bristol BS8 & BS2
Written by Tom Holland-Pearse
Bristol BS8 & BS2

Tom Holland-Pearse: Qualified therapist (9+ yrs) in NHS & private practice. Empowers individuals to navigate life's challenges & build emotional well-being.

Show comments

Find a therapist dealing with Burnout

All therapists are verified professionals

All therapists are verified professionals