This really is a good question, many times we think we are stressed out because we have too many demands on us when actually we are suffering from burnout.
I always thought the two were pretty much the same thing until I realized once when I thought I was stressed out that it was really burnout. The way I figured it out was that when I am stressed I can still move forward by pulling myself up by the “boot straps” realizing that whatever is causing the stress is just temporary and once I get through it, things will be better. When you are suffering from stress you can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
It is quite different when you are suffering from burnout, there is no light, the tunnel is very dark and mostly you really don’t care. Picking yourself up is extremely difficult and may require some help from others. If it is your job that is causing your burnout it will eventually flow over into your personal life, and if it is your personal life it will creep into your work life. It can be a terrible cycle.
Below is an excellent educational link with information about preventing burnout. I hope you take the time to read it through as it has a lot of good information that may help you or someone you know from struggling with burnout. The sooner you deal with burnout the quicker you can began to bounce back and take a hold of your life.
The Helpguide (link below) states that you need to deal with burnout by using the “Three “R” Approach”
(1) Recognize – Watch for the warning signs of burnout.
(2) Reverse – Undo the damage by managing stress and seeing support.
(3) Resilience – Build your resilience to stress by taking care of your physical and emotional health
Three great points to remember and there are many more burnout prevention tips on this site just follow the link below.