Stress is a natural part of work life, but in excess, it could lead to burnout or professional exhaustion: a physical, mental and emotional fatigue that has already been recognized by the Mental Health Organization as a disease.

In general, burnout occurs when there is uncontrolled stress, excessive work demands or dissatisfaction with the job done. Experts estimate that approximately 10% of workers suffer from this disorder and between 2% and 5% suffer from it severely. Symptoms include exhaustion, general demotivation, insomnia, and may include physical ailments such as nausea, headaches, body aches and allergies. At its highest levels, burnout can lead to more serious illnesses such as depression or anxiety. 

How do you know if you are suffering from it? Warning signs may include feeling tired, unenthusiastic or indifferent in the workplace, feeling that the relationships you had at the office, with colleagues, bosses or even clients have deteriorated or permanently thinking that you are not being efficient enough. In general, burnout is usually a systemic problem of the workplace and should be worked from the institution. Individually, as with any other type of illness, burnout requires therapeutic intervention. But, in addition, there are some tips you can follow to avoid falling into it and improve your emotional stability:

Take breaks during the day: Getting away from the screen and the noise of the office for a few minutes can be beneficial. Taking a few steps, taking a couple of minute to have coffee or even doing some stretching exercises can be very helpful to disconnect and relax.

Forge interpersonal relationships: Having a friendly or mutually supportive relationship with a colleague or superior can be beneficial in relieving stress. Having someone you can talk to about the difficulties you are going through will make a difference in your outlook of the problems in the work environment.

Give work a new meaning: Working for a paycheck is not enough. If we fill our daily work with diverse motivations, it will be easier to escape from a routine that ends up overwhelming us and making us feel “dead-end”.

Use free time efficiently: Enjoying what we do outside the office will help us feel better throughout the day. Sharing with family and friends, exercising, meditating, playing an instrument or acquiring a new skill are ways to improve our mental and emotional health in and out of the office. 

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