11 Signs You’re Heading for Professional Burnout

We blame summer for fall slapping us in the face.

That recharge over the lazy, hazy, and less work-heavy days of the past few months has certainly added an extra sting to the new season.

It seems that in every profession, the last quarter of the year marks the busiest time for everyone. Not to mention, the return of football Sundays and the NHL, charity event season, and your commitment to that hockey team or book club that was on hold (which you secretly loved) over the summer months. Let’s not forget about the mounting pressure from our parents, siblings, and in-laws as to where you’re spend the holidays.

Which is why we’ve seen more than a few young professionals these days heading for burnout.

Here are 11 signs you need to settle down asap:

1. Your friends and family tell you you’re being quiet
There’s no fooling those nearest and dearest to you. Your perpetually over-thinking brain, always running through the constant do-to list in your mind, isn’t doing much for your personality and your ability to connect with people in the moment. And to be honest, you’ve had so little sleep that you’re probably unable to form words in the first place.

2. You literally do work in your sleep
Hey, if you can multi-task and sleep while you work, you may as well try (it’s better than wasting time on nightmares). You may have a problem though if you wake up with a new idea on the mind every few hours in a nightly routine, then quickly whip out of bed to make a note of it on one of your three different communication devices that lay charging within arm’s reach.

3.You don’t remember the last time you left work when it was still light outside
And it doesn’t even get dark that late yet, either. By the same token, you don’t remember what it’s like not to eat food court “meals” at your desk four nights a week (because Fridays you only drink dinner).

4. You get anxiety each time you open up your work email
Because each time you do, it seems it’s yet another person who wants something from you – and now (damn it).

5. You hit the bar with coworkers post-work more than ever to shake it off
You may not leave the office until night falls, but that doesn’t mean you’re heading home to hit the sheets (laptop in hand). Nope, that stressful day calls for a pint or glass of red with the co-workers…or even alone. Of course, this means only getting to bed later.

6. You often sleep through your alarm and wake up in a mad scramble
And – just to go on a limb here – your inability to wake up could be a result of all those late nights and over-use of that brain of yours (even when you sleep). As much as you’d love to have a peaceful morning, complete with a shower that lasts more than 1.5 minutes, a homebrewed coffee, and maybe even breakfast, you laugh out loud at the thought because you know it’ll never happen.

7. Your gym membership is a joke
You haven’t gone since that time in spring when you swore you’d get into your 20-year-old self shape for bathing suit season. And if you didn’t have time to go then, you definitely don’t have time to go now. But the walk to and from the office is exercise enough, right?

8. You’ve become a star (no pun intended) customer at your local Starbucks
That’s because those sweet shots of double espresso have become like crack to you these days. Whether in the morning, on your lunch break, your afternoon snack, or later in the evening, coffee is your lifeline.

9. You have no idea what your dinner guests have been talking about all meal because you’ve been glued to your cell phone
As much as you hate to be rude, there’s simply no way you could turn it off. Sure, it’s 8pm, but everyone else on your team has made themselves available and the constant texts, emails, and phone calls just won’t stop. And surely your fellow diners know that the workday doesn’t end at 5 (right?).  

10. You just look ‘off’
Maybe it’s your red, over-used eyes; perhaps it’s the puffiness in your face from last night’s nightcap and subsequent lack of sleep; maybe it’s the weight you gained from neglecting that gym membership, but it could also be that vacant look in your eyes caused by your overly stimulated mind. Either way, your reflection has seen better days.

11. You don’t remember the last time you actually lived in the moment
In fact, you aren’t even sure you’d know how to if you tried anymore. And yes, you admit that’s pretty sad – but who has time to dwell?



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