Why Do I Feel So Burned Out?

Do you feel burned out lately? If so, the anxiety and stress this causes can feel debilitating. Just going through your daily schedule (or getting out of bed at all) can sometimes seem next to impossible. 

The terms ‘burnout’ or ‘burnt out’ are often used to describe a state of exhaustion caused by ongoing, relentless unhealthy stress. Although burnout typically takes place at work, it can happen in other life areas too. Here are some specific types of burnout commonly experienced:

  • Pandemic burnout
  • Nursing burnout
  • Holiday burnout
  • Work burnout or occupational burnout 
  • Teacher burnout
  • Mom burnout or parental burnout
  • Relationship burnout
  • Employee burnout or job burnout
  • Emotional burnout 
  • Empathy burnout (compassion fatigue)
  • Millennial burnout
  • College burnout

One of the first questions individuals struggling with burnout often ask is, “Why do I feel so burned out?” While there isn’t a ‘cookie-cutter’ answer, burnout tends to stem from several potential factors. Sometimes, it’s one predominant stressor causing you to feel like you don’t have the energy to go on anymore. Other times, multiple stressors combine to create the perfect burnout storm. 

As you set out on your burnout recovery journey, it can be a struggle to know where to start. An essential first step is to investigate what could be causing your burnout. Here are some of the more common burnout causes you might be experiencing. Can you relate to any of them?

Your Social Support is Lacking

As Americans, we often take pride in our individualism. But the reality is we all need to give and receive support from others to be physically, mentally and spiritually healthy. 

Without a vital caring group of people in our lives, we feel a crushing weight of pressure to succeed or survive because we don’t have others to help us carry life’s burdens. Burnout can happen at work, home or school if we feel lacking in social support.

Resentment Because of a Lack of Purpose

Feelings of resentment because you feel like the pursuit of your true self is regularly undermined are often at the center of why individuals become burned out. After all, if someone is passionate and purposeful in their work, they can sometimes work ridiculously long hours while experiencing few burnout symptoms.

So, there’s often more to it than you have too much on your plate. It’s also related to how you feel about what’s on your plate. 

Maybe you regularly feel unappreciated at work, bullied, underpaid or directionless. When you feel like you consistently lose touch with your authentic self instead of falling more in line with it, you may begin to experience ongoing resentment. The result can be debilitating fatigue as you attempt to carry out your daily responsibilities.

As you look at all the specific types of burnout listed above, you’ll be able to think of possible reasons for each scenario as to why someone might become resentful and therefore burned out.

For example, the single mom or dad may feel alone (social isolation) and therefore resent not having the time, monetary and emotional resources to raise their child as they’d like. Or, maybe they resent not having adequate sleep or alone time. 

These cynical feelings lead to ongoing negative thoughts, which only further fuel burnout. Left unchecked, it’s a struggle where you descend ever further into the mire of exhaustion and helplessness. 

You’re Experiencing Depression 

The line between burnout and depression is often blurred. So much so that some mental health professionals wonder if it is a type of depression.

Either way, the similarities between burnout and depression are a reason for caution. You may think you’re just burned out when, in fact, you’re struggling with a form of depression.

Because of these similarities, it’s wise to see a mental health professional if you experience burnout that concerns you or others. If depression is at work, you could resent your life even if it was as close to perfect as possible. Depression makes it difficult to see the good in any life situation. Especially if you feel burned out about everything in your life, something like major depression could be at work. 

Are You Feeling Burned Out Lately? Consider Counseling

The prolonged anxiety and stress that accompany burnout can take a toll on your life. However, burnout sufferers can often find relief through the evidence-based solutions a counselor provides. The OC Relationship Center well understands that this year has been an incredibly challenging one for many people. If you’d like to learn more about finding a burnout counselor, please get in touch.

We provide individual therapy, relationship counseling and marriage therapy. With counseling in Mission Viejo, CA and counseling in Newport Beach, CA, we look forward to serving you. Virtual counseling (teletherapy) is also available during the pandemic and in the future.

Our trained and compassionate counselors are here to help. Please call (949) 393-8662, text (949) 393-8662 for an appointment, or schedule online.

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