The 5 Stages Of Burnout: Which Stage Are You On?

stages of burnout

Have you experienced burnout? It is a point in your life when you can’t feel anything but exhaustion. You need to know the stages of burnout to ensure that you’ll be able to take action before the fatigue can take a toll on you physically, mentally, and emotionally.

The 5 Stages Of Burnout

In figuring out how to address burnout, you must first know the stage you’re on. Below are the 5 stages of burnout you need to be aware of.

Stage 1: The Honeymoon Phase

First on our list is the Honeymoon Phase, where you are bursting with enthusiasm and energy. It is applicable to almost everything from your first day of school to your first day of work. This motivation makes you always want to do your best.

You need to watch out for this stage because it sometimes masks itself as a feeling of fulfillment. There will also be times when you might complete your daily tasks quickly and accept more work to satisfy your craving for efficiency.

This craving will start turning into neglecting one’s emotional, mental, and physical health. You need to do activities like meditating, walking, and taking breaks to stop this from hopping onto the next stage of burnout.

Stage 2: The Onset of Stress

excess workload could lead to stress

The next burnout phase is where you will experience an overwhelming feeling because of the workload you accepted beyond your capability. The feeling of enthusiasm you felt before now turns to anxiety and irritability.

You must do your best to reduce your stress levels as early as now. There are methods you can start doing, like meditation and yoga. It may seem cheesy, but connecting with yourself helps relieve the onset of stress.

Another recommended activity you need to attend is therapy. Seek help from a mental health professional to ensure that you know what your stressors are. They will also help you strategize a plan to address the causes of your stress.

Stage 3: Chronic Stress

You might develop chronic stress when exposed to stressors for an extended period. If you do not do anything to address it, it may lead to burnout. Some of the infamous symptoms include fatigue, difficulty sleeping, and irritability. 

In addition, you may also feel helpless and lack control when you’re chronically stressed. It can lead to severe mental and physical health issues. You may notice changes in your physical well-being and overall behavior, with the latter possibly developing into unhealthy habits like alcoholism. 

Worry not because there are things you can do to prevent this from worsening. You must look into causes that stress you out and avoid them as much as possible. Consult a medical practitioner, and do not self-diagnose yourself.

Stage 4: The Burnout

woman experiencing burnout

This is one of the stages of burnout when you completely lose all the excitement and motivation you had at the beginning. You will experience some struggles in doing your daily tasks because you don’t want to do anything at this point but zone out.

Watch out for moments when you will cope with the situation through vices. There will also be times when you just want to binge eat and cut ties with all your loved ones and just isolate yourself. You need to be hyper-aware of these moments.

To ensure you don’t let things worsen, file a sick or vacation leave immediately. Take a break from the environment and workload that gives you stress and an overwhelming feeling. 

Stage 5: The Habitual Burnout

You might develop habitual burnout when you do not seek medical help to address what causes your stress. Individuals should not be blamed when this happens because they sometimes lack the money to address their mental health issues.

How will you know when you’re already in this stage of burnout? It’s like regular burnout, but it feels heavier this time, and there is no motivation to break free from it. It’s like being trapped inside a cage, and it is immensely overwhelming.

This phase is when you need help from doctors and mental health professionals. They will check the effects of this burnout and find ways to cure them. You may have to attend weekly therapy sessions at this point to prevent relapses.

How to Prevent Burnout From Affecting You

You first need to acknowledge that burnout is real, that it’s happening to you, and realize its long-term effects on people’s lives. Here are the steps that you can take to prevent burnout from affecting you.

Sleeping Enough Daily

Getting at least six hours of sleep every night is essential to help you recharge from all the day’s work. Quality sleep will help you reduce stress and increase energy levels, allowing for more productivity throughout the day. 

You need to avoid drinking anything aside from water and milk before bed. Also, you must follow a consistent sleep schedule to teach your body when to rest. Not looking at electronic devices before bed will tell your body that it is ready to rest. 

A quiet and cozy place will help you get all the sleep you need to face another day. You must prioritize sleep because you need to recharge to be able to handle the next day’s workload.


exercise to relieve stress

Regular workouts and fun exercises are excellent ways to tell your brain that things are working well. Sweating is proven to help ease anxiety because your body will release serotonin and make your mind happy.

Some fun activities you can do are walking and hiking. Aside from the exercise, you will find a community that will help you feel better by just being there. The sense of belongingness will relieve the overwhelming feeling you experience.


It is a relaxing way to let you take a step back from your daily stressed and overwhelmed workload. Your only thought right now is to connect with yourself spiritually. Do this every morning to boost your mood daily.

You can make this a habit to empty your mind of negative thoughts. It will let you start anew and only fill your mind with good things. There is no need to spend an hour meditating because you only need at least five minutes to reach your zen state.

Talking to a Professional

mental health therapy

This step is, by far, the number one thing to bear in mind when you experience burnout or any other mental health-related issues. Seek help from a professional because they know how to navigate your thoughts and make a strategy to counter them.

Also, these s know the different stages of burnout and can assess yours. You just need to talk about your thoughts and be honest with them because the sessions are confidential, so you’re safe to tell them anything.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does Burnout Last?

Burnouts usually last differently for each person. Some experience it for a few days, but others will be overwhelmed for months. Every person copes with burnout in various ways, but the main one should be to consult professional help.

Can You Fully Recover From Burnout?

Yes! You can fully recover from burnout, but it’s not overnight. You need to take steps like taking a break from work to therapy to ensure that you will be recharged after all this.

Do You Experience Burnout Too?

Burnout is an overwhelming experience, and many factors cause it that you might not be aware of. Before you fall into either one of the five stages of burnout, remember to take breaks from time to time. 

Set boundaries for yourself and know when your current situation is overstepping that boundary. Learn to pull away and just breathe. Burnout is not uncommon, but you can very well take the right steps to avoid it!


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