Burnout is a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion caused by prolonged and excessive stress. It often results from being overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet constant demands.

What is Burnout?

Burnout is a specific type of work-related stress; a state of physical or emotional exhaustion that also involves a sense of reduced accomplishment and loss of personal identity. While often associated with work, burnout can also occur in other areas of life, such as caregiving.

Do I have burnout?

You may be experiencing burnout if you are noticing any of the below symptoms

Signs and Symptoms of Burnout

Physical Symptoms:

  • Chronic fatigue and tiredness
  • Insomnia or disrupted sleep
  • Frequent illnesses due to a weakened immune system
  • Headaches or muscle pain

Emotional Symptoms:

  • Feeling trapped or helpless
  • Decreased satisfaction and sense of accomplishment
  • Loss of motivation and enthusiasm
  • Increased feelings of cynicism and detachment

Behavioural Symptoms:

  • Withdrawing from responsibilities and isolating from others
  • Procrastination and taking longer to get things done
  • Using food, drugs, or alcohol to cope
  • Taking out frustrations on others

Causes of Burnout

Burnout can be caused by various factors, often related to work, but also including personal life stressors. Common causes include:

  • Excessive workload and long hours
  • Lack of control or autonomy over work
  • Lack of support from supervisors or colleagues
  • Poor work-life balance
  • Unrealistic expectations and constant pressure

Consequences of Burnout

If left unaddressed, burnout can lead to severe consequences for an individual’s health and well-being, including:

  • Mental health issues like depression and anxiety
  • Physical health problems like heart disease and digestive issues
  • Decreased performance and productivity
  • Strained relationships and social isolation
  • Managing and Preventing Burnout


  • Prioritise sleep, exercise, and a healthy diet
  • Engage in activities that bring joy and relaxation
  • Practice mindfulness and stress-reduction techniques, such as meditation or yoga

Work-Life Balance:

  • Set boundaries between work and personal life
  • Take regular breaks and vacations
  • Delegate tasks and seek support when needed

Professional Help:

  • Seek counselling or therapy to address stress and develop coping strategies
  • Talk to supervisors or HR about workload and support options

Social Support:

  • Stay connected with friends and family
  • Join support groups or networks related to your profession or interests

Online counselling for burnout:

Studies show that recognising the signs of burnout early and taking proactive steps to manage stress can help prevent burnout and promote overall well-being. Our qualified psychologists, therapists and counsellors here at Counselling Psychology Online provide bespoke therapy online for those experiencing burnout. To arrange an assessment session with one of our online psychologists or therapists, contact us here. Answers to the most frequently asked questions about our therapies, fees and online therapy can be found on our FAQ page.