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Work burnout symptoms

Are you suffering from work burnout?

Learn more about the signs and symptoms of work burnout and whether it’s time to get help from the holistic therapists at Delamere

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What are work burnout symptoms?

Work burnout is one of the most common psychological symptoms of the modern age. First identified in the 1970s by two independent researchers, burnout is characterised by emotional exhaustion, feelings of cynicism leading to a loss of interest in work and reduced professional performance. Whether it’s due to unrealistic expectations or unfavourable workplace dynamics, work burnout symptoms tend to manifest following prolonged exposure to stress at work (1).

After fifty years of research, it is widely accepted that exhaustion is a major component of work burnout. However, it has not yet been determined whether symptoms are emotional, physical or cognitive or a combination of all three (2). At Delamere, we take a holistic approach to treating work burnout symptoms which considers all aspects of a person’s well-being. Stress from work can manifest in a variety of ways, leading to depression, anxiety, alcohol addiction, drug addiction and other addictions. We are here to help everyone spot the symptoms of work burnout and get the support they need.

If you need help with work burnout, contact our team today and learn more about the different programmes we offer here at Delamere.

If you think you’re suffering from work burnout or know someone who is, contact our team today and learn more about the different programmes we offer here at Delamere. Book a consultation

Signs and symptoms of work burnout

For many years, work burnout symptoms have been associated with the type of professions that are people-focussed, such as human resources, education and health care. Whether helping clients, patients or students, people in this type of role often need to develop intense interpersonal relationships that can bring extra strain to their everyday lives. These workers are also more likely to be overstretched and under-resourced further adding to work burnout symptoms (3).

Physical work burnout symptoms

Regularly being exposed to work stress can cause a variety of physical symptoms. Our bodies simply tell us when we’ve taken on too much. You may start to feel more tired and drained all of the time, get coughs and colds more often or generally feel rundown, experience frequent aches and pains or notice a change in sleep habits. If you spot these physical work burnout symptoms in yourself, or someone you care about, it’s time to get help:

Feeling exhausted
Frequent headaches
Muscular aches and pains
Irregular heartbeat
High blood pressure
Sleep problems
Diarrhoea or constipation
Skin conditions e.g. eczema

Psychological work burnout symptoms

Early research into work burnout symptoms suggested that people who are suffering may act or look depressed. Someone who is suffering from work burnout may show a loss of interest or pleasure in their work, low mood, fatigue or loss of energy, impaired concentration, feelings of worthlessness, decreased or increased appetite and sleep problems – all of which are similar to symptoms of depression. Other psychological work burnout symptoms include:

Mood swings
Feeling overwhelmed
Problems with concentration and decision-making

Behavioural work burnout symptoms

Work burnout doesn’t just happen overnight, it can take weeks and months for work-related stress to build up into troublesome symptoms. As chronic stress changes the structure of the brain, it can affect the way we behave. You may stop caring about work or other things in your life, start arguing with colleagues or make excuses not to turn up for work. These behavioural work burnout symptoms may indicate you have a problem and need to seek help:

Taking extra sick days
Being aggressive
Poor work ethic
Low performance
Strained relationships
Increased frustration
Disinterest and isolation

Work from home burnout symptoms

Additional stresses from the pandemic have led to an increased number of people suffering with work burnout symptoms. Reduced resources have placed extra pressure on individuals and enforced remote working has been associated with an increase in mental health problems, alcohol addiction and drug addiction. While not having to waste time commuting has been a major coup for some, for others this has meant a lack of boundaries, making it easier to extend the working day and let stress creep into life outside of work. Common work from home burnout symptoms include:

Lack of productivity and focus
Forgetfulness and mistake making
Feeling lazy and unmotivated
Difficulty switching off

Treatment for work burnout symptoms

Relaxation techniques and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) have both shown to have a positive effect on work burnout symptoms (2). CBT is commonly used to treat anxiety and depression which are known symptoms of work burnout. It involves talking with a therapist about what is troubling you, identifying patterns in your thinking and developing stress-coping strategies. Therapy often takes place over a period of several weeks and may continue during a phased return to work.

If you aren’t ready to receive specialist help yet for your work burnout symptoms, there are some things you can do at home to try to reduce your stress levels. Getting into the habit of writing a daily journal is a good way to track your emotions. You may also benefit from talking to friends and colleagues as well as practising good self-care, such as eating well and exercising regularly.

The Delamere approach to treating work burnout symptoms

People who are suffering from work-related stress often need to be completely removed from their environment to escape the pressures of their job. Delamere’s purpose-built retreat is surrounded by woodland and is the ideal place to shut yourself off from the world and get the intensive therapy you need.

Our holistic therapists are experts in treating anxiety, depression and all manner of addictions that may be exacerbated by work stress. We offer a complete range of evidence-based, psychotherapies that are designed specifically to help people suffering with work burnout symptoms. This includes one-to-one Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), group therapy sessions, grounding techniques, mediation, breathwork and a range of somatic healing experiences.

We develop residential rehab programmes tailored to your individual needs that treat the physical, psychological and behavioural symptoms of work burnout in a caring and non-judgemental way.


Settle into your new environment
and remove yourself from
any distractions

A day at Delamere


Spend time with our therapists to discover what led you to this behaviour in the first place

Delamere Treatment Model


Set healthy boundaries,
exciting new goals and prepare for
life after Delamere


Our core elements of treatment

We believe that work burnout symptoms – whether they’re caused by overworking or being under resourced – have to start somewhere. Rather than adhering to the conventional step-based programmes, we look at underlying factors that drive your behaviour. Only by recognising how you arrived at this point can you begin to positively shape your future.


Stopping the cycle of addiction or burnout safely and comfortably


Healing whatever pain is causing the behaviour


Instilling tools to help facilitate change and encourage continued growth

Why choose Delamere?

Holistic approach to recovery

Discreet location

Luxury ensuite accommodation

Personalised programmes

Flexible stays

24-hour care & support

On-site gym & health studio

Business & family lounges

Free collection service

This page has been reviewed by Dr Catherine Carney, Delamere’s psychiatrist
This page has been reviewed by Mike Delaney, Clinical Director at Delamere

Outcomes focused

Everything we do here is about outcomes. Focusing on getting you back to yourself again in the short term, but then growing beyond that when you leave Delamere. Helping you create the foundations for long-term recovery and growth.

Individual care

There’s no one-size-fits-all here. We listen, learn and tailor our programmes to meet your personal needs, whatever they may be. Your journey to recovery is yours, so we design our programmes with you in mind.


Creative therapies

Nature and creativity often bring out the best in people, especially after a difficult period in their life. We offer equine and art therapy, fire ceremonies, nature walks and more to help you relax, reflect and see the world in a new way.

“We all need to get away from time to time from problems we have. Whether that’s addiction problems, work-life balance issues or excessive pressure on you. This is the perfect facility for that purpose.”

Sir Cary Cooper

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Feeling burnt out?

Let us help you resolve your work burnout symptoms.

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Know someone who needs help with work burnout symptoms?

If a friend, family member or work colleague is showing signs of work burnout, it’s important they get help.

Our admissions team is on hand 24/7 to help answer any questions about our therapeutic programmes and make sure your loved one gets the support they need.

Call the team today on 0330 111 2015 to discuss the different options available


  1. Koutsimani, P., Montgomery, A., & Georganta, K. (2019). The Relationship Between Burnout, Depression, and Anxiety: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Frontiers in psychology, 10, 284. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00284.
  2. Evangelia Demerouti, Arnold B. Bakker, Maria C.W. Peeters & Kimberley Breevaart (2021) New directions in burnout research, European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 30:5, 686-691, DOI: 10.1080/1359432X.2021.1979962.
  3. Maslach, C., & Leiter, M. P. (2016). Understanding the burnout experience: recent research and its implications for psychiatry. World psychiatry : official journal of the World Psychiatric Association (WPA), 15(2), 103–111. https://doi.org/10.1002/wps.203.