10 Most common signs of expat burnout 


April 2023 

Life as an expat comes with many new and rewarding experiences. This can make it very easy to shrug off the idea that you might be struggling with burnout. If left unaddressed, your burnout symptoms may have a serious impact on your health.

It can be hard to pinpoint burnout as the cause of your distress when experiencing both mental and physical symptoms. This is why we have put together a guide on the 10 most common signs of expat burnout, helping you to stay healthy when facing high stress as an expat. 

The World Health Organization have defined cynicism at work as one of the key characteristics of burnout. While it's normal to have positive and negative feelings when it comes to work-related stress, if your negative feelings persist and you find yourself extremely cynical at work, it might be time to accept that you’re suffering from burnout. 
Fatigue can affect so many areas of your life. If you feel like you’re constantly running on an empty battery and can never get enough rest, it’s very likely that you are struggling with another recognised symptom of burnout.
Have your productivity levels taken a dive? Or is the quality of work you are producing not at its usual standard? Reduced professional efficacy is the third symptom recognised by the World Health Organisation to define burnout. 
Studies have closely tied unhealthy sleep patterns with burnout. If you’re having difficulty getting a good night's rest, this could be the cause. Without enough quality sleep, you are also putting yourself at a higher risk of serious illnesses, such as heart disease and high blood pressure. 
Your work-related stress can take a physical toll on your body. This can come in the form of constant aches and pains. Persistent tension headaches are also very commonly tied to burnout.
Constantly feeling overwhelmed with a lack of good quality sleep can have a knock-on effect on your immune system. Studies show that chronic stress can affect your body’s ability to fight off infection, leaving you more vulnerable to common colds and even more serious infections. 
Are you feeling more irritable than usual? Dealing with constant stress can make it easy for even the smallest thing to get under your skin. If you are losing your cool a little too easily, these strong reactions could be a sign of burnout. 
Are you having trouble concentrating on your work? A common mental and emotional symptom of burnout is having an overall low mood and struggling to focus on work. It is normal to have good and bad days but if this is a regular occurrence, then it's more likely a symptom of burnout. 
It is no surprise in such a connected world that expats are struggling with constantly feeling switched on. A recent study found that a whopping 98% of expats felt their burnout was driven by being unable to switch off from work.  
When your stress-related work starts to impact your personal life, you will find yourself less interested in things you used to love. You might even be choosing to isolate yourself from your family and friends.  
Protect yourself and your family’s well-being when becoming an expat. With Allianz Partners, our international health insurance can help support you and your loved ones when transitioning overseas. Get your quote online today.