9 Signs You’re On The Road To Burnout With No Work-Life Balance

signs you have no work-life balance tips, sign you're on the road to burnout, burnout and work-life balance advice

Entering the workforce after college can feel like a total shock. Say bye-bye to the days of sleeping in, late nights with friends, and doing whatever you want, when you want! A 9-5 is a major adjustment, especially in your 20s. As you continue in your professional journey, it’s hard to tell if what you’re experiencing is the “daily grind” or burnout and a total lack of work-life balance.

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Well wonder no more, check out these nine signs to tell if you’ve lost control of your work-life balance and are on the road to burnout:

1. Pain.

Never ending headaches? Shoulder and neck pain that just won’t go away? Maybe that’s your body’s way of saying “Hey! Something’s off!” It’s probably time to step up your self-care routine. Creating an at home spa night can be cheap and easy. Draw yourself a bath, get your essential oils out, and let the stress melt away!

2. Exhaustion.

Not the, “Oh I didn’t sleep last night,” type of exhaustion. I’m talking the constant perpetual state of exhaustion. The “fog” that won’t seem to lift. Persistent fatigue is likely your brain saying it’s on overload! When we feel exhausted all the time, it’s our brains way of saying “hey, I can’t keep concentrating or making decisions at this level! Give me a break!”

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3. Thin Patience

Short temper? Holding onto resentments? Take note if you’re getting short with others as it could be a sign that your work-life balance is off kilter.

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4. Team No-Fun

Seriously, when was the last time you had some fun and truly enjoyed yourself? Take a moment to really reflect on that, because when we’re overworked it’s easy to lose track of time; and that fun outing with friends that feels like just last weekend? Well it actually may have happened six months ago!

5. Struggling Relationships

When was the last time you were really present for any of your relationships? If you find your friends/family often complain about never seeing you, that’s a sign you may need to reprioritize your time. Furthermore, physically showing up for them is only half the battle. Take note if your mind is always drifting to work while your loved ones talk to you, that’s a major red flag.

6. Messy Spaces.

A messy external world can actually overload the brain and lead to burnout! If your home and workspace are in a constant disarray, you may be adding to the problem!

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7. Phone-Hand.

If your phone is constantly glued to your hand, you may be experiencing “phone-hand” where the two become one ?. Listen, I get it, it’s harder than ever to actually leave work at work. But, just because you get an e-mail at 8 or 10 pm does not mean you need to respond to that email. Take some time to unplug.

8. Priorities?

If you’re asking yourself “what the heck are those!?” then you probably need to re-evaluate. Unclear priorities can make it hard to tell when it’s time to say “no.” Which often leads to over scheduling and trying to do all the things. Your priorities should align with your work-life balance, which should shape where you invest your time.

9. Seeking Perfection

Perfectionism comes at a cost, often times leading to anxiety, depression, and zero work-life balance. Forget failure as a bad thing, instead think of it as failing forward. Each mistake is a step towards growth. Perfection isn’t about having it all, it’s about finding contentedness.

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Getting your work-life balance under control is essential if you want to avoid burnout levels. If any of the above situations are coming up in your life, look at it as a warning. Take some time to adjust your schedule and priorities to support your passions and purpose.

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  • I love this because self care is so important and so is having work-life balance. Although it can be hard when we are conditioned to always be on the clock, we have to make sure we are setting standards so people know that we aren’t working 24/7. Putting my phone away after hours was difficult, but now it’s like second nature to me. It’s great to take a break and rest as needed. Great post, girl!

    • Totally agree! I know a lot of millennials go on overdrive trying to prove the “lazy” stereotype wrong and a lot never unplug! It’s good that you do it! It was hard for me at first too, but I couldn’t imagine going back to always being “on”

  • Sarah Jean

    It’s only after some serious back and neck pain that I had to take a look at my work/life balance. While I can’t do anything about my hours since I work in Congress, I decided to do things like take more works throughout the day and not stay later than necessary.

  • Love this post, Rachel! It’s really taking me some time to get in a good routine with working from home now, but it’s so important to create a schedule and stick to it. And like you said, just because you get an e-mail at 7pm doesn’t mean you have to respond right then.

  • Lisa Roe

    It seems that most people work a majority of the time in any given day. There is so much burn out and overload, I really think that society as a whole needs to take a step back and take a break from work to focus on self-care which in turn will mean we are better at taking care of others and relationships.

    • I couldnt agree more! I think it says a lot about our society when an email from a CEO goes viral because he compliments his employee for taking a mental health day – that should be the norm!

  • thesophiadiaries

    100% great and true indicators for sure! I think these are true especially as a college student xD

  • Ugh I really need to get rid of my “phone hand”. Also the clutter in our apartment is out of control because we’ve both been so busy, so I’m actually excited to get ish done this weekend!

  • These are all really good signs. Exhaustion and headaches are my two biggest tells. Side note, if you’re super stressed, you might not be drinking enough, so your headache could be as much from dehydration as tension.

  • Melissa Chapman

    I can see you have a lot of trouble in your situation now but keep plugging away, things will get better. I have a family and work most of my waking hours so join the club but embrace what you are doing.

  • That brain fog though. Too real! Working on scheduling more days off to make up for it.

  • I’m currently experiencing burnout and it’s a struggle to get myself out of the mindset I’m in! I’m trying to find the good in every situation to keep myself from completely losing it. I’ve decided that I will do as much as I can in my 8 hours then completely check out until the next day.

  • So so important. I def don’t want to ever burnout because I love what I do so I need to keep these tips in mind.

  • Shannon @ Lady’s Little Loves

    Gosh, I can so relate to seeking perfection. I WISH I could let certain things go. I just struggle with it! Great read 🙂

  • Denay DeGuzman

    Work-life balance is such a struggle for so many of us. It’s important for us to slow down, take a breather and analyze our current situation. Finding ways to make things work smoother and better is essential. We all need to take the time to take care of ourselves and have enough time left to nurture others as well.

  • Sometimes you don’t even realize you’re doing any of these until you really think about it, so it’s really great that you pointed all those warning signs out!! Having that balance is so so so important to stay sane!

  • Danielle Randall

    These are some really good tips. I just joined the workforce after college and it was a truly an adjustment. I had to get control because I was having anxiety.


  • Marissa Pedersen

    I had to look at my own this summer because I was struggling! It’s no fun to be exhausted all the time.

  • Patricia Conte

    Uh-oh! I see several of these in my life! It’s hard, but at least I’m recognizing this and working (even if slowly) to resolve these things! Thanks so much for sharing!

  • I have definitely been there. As a millennial, I have pretty much felt or experienced every single thing on your list. It varies day to day, of course. I relate so much to 4 and 8 on your list. Great post!

  • Audrey Knizek

    Ever since getting my full time job I’ve found it so hard to keep up with friends! A lot of my friends aren’t working full time yet so it makes it tough when they want to get together and I can only stay out until 9 or so.

  • hahahahaha! “You may be experiencing phone hand”! Love that! And all of these are soooo true! I’ve been there fo show!

  • Love this post! I am SO bad about wanting perfect material and sometimes it is just too much to constantly keep up with!

  • Oh man, I’ve been burnt out for faaaaar too long. At this point I’m looking forward to my maternity leave so I can have a break from work, even though I know a newborn wont be a walk in the park either haha!

  • Anna Hubbard

    These are all so true! I eventually had to quit my part time because I was so exhausted and pretty moody!

  • Kristen Jones

    YAS. Seriously felt all of this right before I quit my job. My body ached, I was tired all of the time, and my relationship with my hubby was struggling because I was too mentally drained to invest in our relationship.

  • Haha ‘phone-hand’ is totally me!

  • Brittany Daoud

    I definitely recognize some of these signs in myself when I get super stressed and forget to take care of myself. Love that you posted the signs, I haven’t read anything like this before, so thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Ahh great tips! I definitely need to pay even more attention to these now that I’m working an actual 9 to 5!

  • These were big wakeup calls for me when I worked my last professional job. You are spot on!

  • Thanks for this post. i’m still working right now at 2:52 am, you never know how much you’ve shut yourself away from all that matters in life when you get too ambitious and fail to balance life. Sometimes, we fail to realise the money we are pursuing is mean’t to give use comfort and not torture.

  • I wouldn’t say I am at this point right now but I can see why these signs can be a quick signal of burn out. I am pretty good about self care at this point in my life but I am trying to be better about disconnecting from my phone on a regular basis.

  • This has honestly been me and uni for the past month, it’s been so stressful that I’ve been so exhausted. It definitely feels like a “fog that won’t lift” like you’ve mentioned! It’s not going to be over anytime soon, but I really do need to take some time for a little self-care. A relaxing bath sounds so good! Thanks for the post!

  • Exhaustion always does it for me…I get SO POOPED and feel my body just start to shut down. It’s the worst!

  • Yes these are so good. Thin patience is always a sign you’re headed for no good!

  • Taylor Smith

    The email thing is something I really struggle with. I need to keep a 9-5 email schedule and only respond during those hours so I can have some peace!

    • Haha for sure! I just don’t have it on my phone! I will check it after 5 sometimes (because of west coast clients or brands) but it really alleviates anxiety when its not on my phone!

  • Kaitlyn Fickle Killebrew

    These are great points! I really need to work on self care more

  • soooo…. i’m so guilty of all of this. i love how you coined “phone hand” lol
    self care and mental health days are incredibly important. i can understand how people are apprehensive to take one because they don’t want to seem “weak”.

    • HAHA thank you! I was like “I hope people don’t this is weird!” – And that’s exactly it! there were a few studies done where millennials are even afraid to take their PTO because they’ll be vacation shamed!

  • Trecee Hutchinson

    I think a lot of young professionals struggle with work life balance, myself included. Our society is set up to praise those of us who overwork ourselves, but its so essential to take a step back occasionally.

    Great post!


    • For sure! It’s a real old school mentality that it’s a division of time instead of a division of passions! I know a lot of Gen X bosses who still care more about behinds in seats rather than quality of work and efficiency which is a shame! I’m excited to see how things change as millennials and gen z continue in the workforce and management roles!

  • Vicki

    I know once I’m short on patience, I need to RELAX! Thanks for the info!

  • Logan Elizabeth Abbott

    These are the exact things that I look for when I’m starting to burnout, and it’s so so true! I always find that I get so much more irritated with the people around me, especially at work, when I’m about to burnout, and that’s when I know I need to cancel all my plans and give myself some me time to recover.

  • Thin patience and team no fun are always early warning signs for me but I’m usually so bad at paying attention to them lol oops

  • Allison Ellzey

    This was literally me this week. No patience, all of the headaches. I seriously need to work on this!

  • This is so spot on. I was totally experiencing all of this at one of my first jobs. Self-care is so important and if nothing else, that job made me learn how to take care of myself.

    • Exactly!! I am super grateful for the job I got fired from and everything that unfolded afterward for many reasons, but one major one is that it taught me boundaries around my work and a lot about self care and stressful times!

  • Sydney Power

    This is so wonderful post. These are great points and must share! Glad that I found this.

  • hahahahaha, 7/10 of these are me right now, but I think the biggest things are because I’m not taking care of myself outside of work. I haven’t been as focused or drive on my life “after work” and it’s definitely wearing me down. Time to get back into a routine so I can feel better and leave work at work!

    • Oh no!! But you’re also in an adjustment period with the new job! So give yourself some time! Excited to see the home updates and talk GOT!! We are a little past the firey “looting” scene and at beyond the wall and surrounded!!

  • Yessss, these are all such important warning signs! Especially the phone glued to your hand, if you feel like you constantly have to be on your phone – it’s definitely a sign that you’re on your way to burn out!

  • It really is! Hope you keep getting some more!

  • I hope you do and that it helps her! <3

  • Great post! This past month was crazy and I was definitely feeling some burnout.

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