top of page
image (18).webp

What is burnout and how to prevent it?

It is normal for stress to be present in some work processes: complete a project, a presentation, the launch of a campaign, etc. In fact, a little stress helps us to be alert to unusual situations and to act quickly. However, when there is too much stress and this is coupled with a bad work environment, the burnout syndrome appears.

The burnout syndrome refers to the suffering of chronic work stress and generalized exhaustion caused by certain situations in the workplace. We'll provide you with all the information to be able to identify, prevent and treat it.

Professional burnout

Burnout can be defined as a state of physical, mental and emotional exhaustion that directly affects the employee and, consequently, their performance. This syndrome is linked to the workplace and is caused by different factors; In addition, it can have very serious consequences on the physical and mental state of the person.

Burnout syndrome occurs as the result of overwhelming demands, chronic stress, and dissatisfaction.

In 2019, burnout was recognized as a disease by the WHO (World Health Organization), so it will be included in the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems.

In short, this disease lives up to its name: professional (caused by work) burnout (physical, mental and emotional). It should be noted that “being burnedout” from work can develop due to a hostile work environment or unhealthy employee behaviors.

Possible causes

There are many causes associated with this syndrome, but, in most cases, those affected are people who have chosen their profession in a vocational way (health professionals, teachers, etc.). However, anyone can be a victim of burnout syndrome; and the main trigger is working conditions.

empleada trabajando de noche

Among the main causes, the most frequent are:

  • High levels of stress.

  • Excessive workload.

  • Little autonomy or control over the projects to be carried out.

  • Bad interpersonal relationships with the work team.

  • Lack of training or onboarding.

  • Suffer from chronic stress

  • Bad organization on the part of the employee or the company.

It is important to avoid confusing burnout with stress. Stress is not always negative, on the other hand, burnout is a disease, so it is always negative. All this according to Iván Fernández Suárez, consultant on Occupational Risk Prevention for Fraternidad-Muprespa.

Symptoms of Burnout Syndrome - How to Identify It

Now, how do I know if I have developed burnout syndrome? Ideally, this disease is diagnosed by a health professional, it can be a doctor or a psychologist. However, it is also possible to identify some factors and be able to take action on the matter.

Note that you do not necessarily have to comply with all the symptoms listed below; but, if you feel identified, it is best to go to a professional.

Mental exhaustion

Mental exhaustion is one of the first symptoms to appear, it is the first sign. This exhaustion manifests itself in the form of stress and anxiety, even depression and / or insomnia.

In addition to the above, burnout also causes you to lose energy almost immediately, not to mention the distress that is triggered by hearing a work-related topic.

Physical exhaustion

Feeling physically exhausted is almost a by-product of mental exhaustion. Some signs of physical exhaustion are : fatigue, weight gain or loss, muscle aches, migraines, gastrointestinal problems or alterations in the menstrual cycle.

It is important that you bear in mind that some symptoms of work burnout also coincide with symptoms of other pathologies, so if you have any, don't hesitate to go to a doctor before making a diagnosis on your own.