5 Stages of Burnout
Feb 21, 2022

The 5 Stages of Burnout

By Arisha

What to look out for during the 5 Stages of Burnout and Avoid running Out of Your Office Screaming


We all know what the 5 stages of burnout look like, and at this point I am betting we have all seen it up close too. 


But if you haven’t you are one of the lucky ones, and you should definitely pay attention to the 5 stages of burnout, just in case! 


During the 5 Stages of Burnout, You’re in the Centre of the Storm 


I remember seeing people dropping like flies. 


It was so strange to see really high-ups not knowing how to cope with the stress and pressure of their roles and the company standards. 


But when you are going through it, you do not recognize the signs, it becomes the norm really quickly. 


That is why self awareness and mindset are so important to notice when you are on a downward spiral,  so you’re able to get yourself out of it. 


What Leads to Burnout


Burnout is often caused by keeping your head in the sand for way too long. 


Not noticing what is going on with you, and simply focusing on your ever growing workload


This can also be known as Ostrich Syndrome. You think you are doing the most you possibly can do. work is flying at you from every direction so you think the best thing that you can do is to keep your head down, and march on, because that is what it seems like everyone else is doing. 


However, this is actually when you need to take a breath, and notice the places where your work patterns are not serving the greater good i.e your health. 


More often the reason why you are given more is because you can do it, but that doesn’t mean that you should. It sometimes is about knowing when to delegate and how to do it appropriately. 


Keeping your head in the sand and hoping everything will naturally get better is not going to work. There are 5 stages of burnout that you need to be on the lookout for to avoid at all costs, because, in all honesty, your health is all you have. 

5 stages of burnout

The 5 Stages of Burnout


1. Work Becomes the Most Important Thing in Your Life


The first of the 5 stages of burnout  is your emotional state when it comes to work. What I mean by that is that your work is very important to you and becomes the only thing of importance in your life. 


There are lines that are easily crossed and then there are ones that should never be crossed, especially if you want a healthy work life balance. I mean what are we all working for anyway?


One is that your work becomes  more important than your loved ones. This is a really big sign that you are losing focus on what should be important for your overall happiness and what is good for one part of your life. 


2. You Feel Like You’re the Only One Who Can Do the Work 


The next is that you feel like you are the only one that will be able to do all of the work, as you are the one with all of the knowledge. 


I have to tell you the best leaders are ones who are able to teach others their knowledge in a way that supports the growth of the company. 


Yes, I know that sometimes it’s not possible to hire new staff members, but it is important for you to acknowledge that your workload is not even and that you are capable of sharing in a manner that works. 


But delegating is key to alleviating this one human show, and also will allow you to produce better work, as a less stressed employee. 


3. You’re No Longer Happy With Your Work 


You don’t see the joy in your work anymore, you simply think of the mission and get it done. We all have skills and talents and we all deserve to love the work we do. 


If you have never found a role that makes you so happy from the moment you wake up, then we need to have a very different conversation. 


However, if you loved your job at some point, but haven’t been in love with it for a while, because you have been spinning so many plates, then it’s time to take a break and realise what is making you not love your job so much, and when you lost the love for it.

5 Stages of Burnout

Working in a job just because you can is not the purpose of your life. You have to get into the mindset of knowing why you do what you do, and know that it brings you joy and purpose in your life. 

I say that  as those are my values. All of the parts of our life should match your inner values. (DM me if you need to know how to work out your own values.) So if one day you wake up and realise that your current job isn’t that any more, you  need to discover ways of finding that thing that does tick some of your values off.

5 Stages of Burnout

4. You Struggle to Focus

You actually take a week or more break and when you come back, you cannot seem to get back into the swing of things like you were before. 


This is a huge sign that your brain experiences some form of trauma. 


It doesn’t have to be a huge breakdown, but your body knows when you were pushing the limits, and simply stops you from going back. 


Sometimes in the worst case scenarios this can come up as panic attacks, body aches, migraines, and so many other things. 


No matter how much you try, you will never get back to that same way again, so what you need to start to do is prioritise the things that matter the most to you at work. 


You are capable of achieving quality output, but if your body knows that you were overwhelmed before it will put up blocks so you cannot go back to doing as much as you did previously, these blocks need attention too. 


Begin by noticing your mood swings, your emotions when you accept more work, and your energy level when you get home. These moments all contain signs of whether you have had a good day or a not so good day. 


You need to understand that you cannot go back to the way things were and create a new plan of action. 

5 stages of burnout

5. You Have to Force Yourself to Keep Going

Finally, the last stage of the 5 stages of burnout is when you are in the eye of the storm. You cannot see a way out, and you force it. 

Through keeping yourself more busy when you should be relaxing on the weekends, you drink and/or use another bad substance every night, you never sleep because you don’t actually know how to switch off, and you physically need something else to stop you from thinking about work. 

This is probably the worst place to be because you know you have an issue, however you seem to think the solution is outside of you. 

And more often than not, people turn to doing more and drinking. 

You don’t allow yourself to stop, mainly because you don’t yet know how to., But also, you know if you do you may not be able to get back up to optimal speed again, and so you continue. 

This is neither healthy or saine. 

I noticed with my clients that they genuinely have no time. 

They know they work really long hours, but then try to make it up to their loved ones by planning extra things for them to do, and spend time with them. 

But in reality, this is not helping them at all. 

What they need is a way to fully detach. 

You have to have breaks we all do, that is where self care comes in. 

This is where morning and night time routines come into play. Another positive habit that makes you feel happy and like  you are connected to something, like reading, sewing, golf and so on can also help with fully detaching from your work. 

The morning routine should be for you to get your self care in every single day. You can do things like going for a run, meditating, and journaling. 

And during your night time routine, that can also help you get your self care in through journaling, yoga, and skin care, to name a few examples. It’s up to you if you want to wind down, but these habits allow you space to look after yourself. 

If you need further support on how to navigate the 5 stages of burnout, please comment below. 


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