What is Burnout Syndrome and how can you prevent it?


Burnout syndrome can be defined as a syndrome resulting from chronic stress resulting from work that has not been successfully managed, as explained on the World Health Organization (WHO) website.

The WHO also describes it as an occupational phenomenon that, despite not being classified as a medical condition, can cause energy exhaustion, negative work-related feelings and a reduction in professional efficiency.

Why does it appear?

One of the keys to preventing Burnout Syndrome is to know what are the main causes of its appearance.

In this sense, we could highlight the lack of transparency and clarity of work expectations, the lack of reconciliation between personal and professional life and the absence of control.

That is why employees, self-employed, entrepreneurs and freelancers who take on a large number of tasks, are always facing the public or in contact with customers or perform a very monotonous work, are more susceptible to burnout.

However, burnout syndrome does not appear from one day to the next, but develops over time.

This was explained by WHO representatives at its 72nd World Health Assembly, where they pointed out that “burnout does not appear suddenly, but generally develops over a period of between five and eight years of continuous wear and tear and chronic stress in the work context and tends to affect more people who are highly committed to their work”.

Many freelancers have experienced periods of enormous workloads during which they have worked seven days a week and only stopped to eat and sleep.

The professionals who are part of the World Health Organization also made it clear that the symptoms “lead to feelings of guilt that lead the person to become even more involved in the job, which causes more burnout and perpetuates a vicious circle”.

Knowing how to prevent and treat burnout is of utmost importance because, if its symptoms are ignored, it can lead to anxiety, stress, difficulty sleeping, weight loss, headaches, stomach problems and even depression.

What can we do to prevent it?

Many freelancers have experienced periods of enormous workloads during which they have worked seven days a week and only stopped to eat and sleep.

Of course, this is a habit that cannot be prolonged over time because it affects health and can lead to the onset of Burnout Syndrome, with the terrible consequences it has for the body.

Although being a freelancer and working from home means that it is often difficult to set limits, it is essential to follow certain guidelines and habits in order to enjoy both work and personal life.

Tips to prevent burnout

Some of the keys to prevent and / or combat burnout syndrome are to try relaxing disciplines such as yoga and attend training courses that help you to recycle yourself and find new motivations.

Set limits

This is undoubtedly the first guideline and, in our opinion, one of the most important.

Although good opportunities should not be passed up, it is also essential to know how to say no to toxic clients, i.e. those that involve making great efforts for low rewards, not only financially, but also personally and professionally.

Attending yoga classes

Relaxing and combating stress is not easy but, fortunately, there are activities that can be of great help to get rid of nerves and anxiety. Among them we find yoga, tai chi or meditation, for example.

In fact, there are already many companies that, aware of the importance of improving the situation of their workers, have begun to promote activities such as yoga or pilates to reduce the stress of their employees.

Learning something new

Sometimes the Burnout Syndrome is installed in the lives of people who feel stagnant in their work and are invaded by the monotony of work.

If you are part of that group you can encourage you to attend training courses that help you learn something new, recycle yourself and open new horizons.

Digital marketing, big data, social networks, corporate communication… There are countless sectors that surely you do not know and that you will find attractive and motivating.

Focus on a specific task

Whether you have decided to work from home or you are employed by a company, chances are that you perform several tasks at the same time at some point during the day.

This is normal, as we often get to work on something and, in the meantime, we receive emails that we answer and calls that we take.

Although sometimes we have no choice but to pay attention to the phone and mail, it is essential that, when it is time to perform a particular task, you concentrate as much as possible on it and forget everything else.

This way, you will be able to finish it sooner than you expected and go home at the end of the day with the satisfaction of having accomplished one more goal.

Look for the positive side

Negativity often creeps mercilessly into the lives of those who begin to suffer the first symptoms of burnout.

But pessimistic thoughts never lead to good things, so it is best to fight to keep them away.

To achieve this you can prepare a list where you write down all the good aspects of your business that will help you realize that it has more benefits than you thought.

It is also important that you surround yourself with optimistic and positive people who are always ready to make you smile and spread their joy.


Sometimes people who work from home feel bad about taking a few minutes to rest during working hours, but there is nothing wrong with that, quite the contrary.

If you feel that tiredness and overwhelm do not let you perform your work as well as you would like, take a short break and spend ten minutes to take a short walk, drink a tea or prepare a natural juice, for example.

These are simple actions that will take little time and will help you clear your head and return to work with a smile on your face and more energy.

Learn to delegate

Surrounding yourself with a good team will be of vital importance if you have a high workload, as you will be able to delegate tasks, meet deadlines and reduce your stress levels.

Get eight hours of sleep a day

Starting the morning with energy and vitality is essential to be able to face all the day-to-day tasks.

But, to achieve this, coffee is not enough; it is necessary to sleep seven or eight hours a day and enjoy a restful sleep to prevent fatigue from taking hold of you.

To achieve this, you can resort to relaxing plants such as lime blossom, lemon balm or passionflower, always go to bed at the same time and read a few chapters of a good book before going to sleep.



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