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What is a burn-out?

Burn-out is described as “a feeling of intense fatigue, loss of control and inability to achieve concrete results at work” by the World Health Organisation

In Europe, it is estimated that one out of every two cases of work absences is due to chronic stress, which is a determining factor in burn-out. While it is still difficult to explain this phenomenon from a biological point of view, the large of workers who experience burn-out are subject to a high workload combined with other sources of stress, such as a lack of autonomy, little recognition, and poor social support or inadequate communication.

According to the experts, no one is safe from having a burn-out.

A person under chronic stress puts his/her body on constant alert. They produce too many stress hormones, mainly adrenaline, and cortisol. In the long term, this extended exposure to stress can lead to health problems.

Signs of burn-out

Burn-out slowly creeps into the worker’s life. The worker’s energy to do his/her job increases, but he/she does not get satisfaction. Frustrations build up and physical symptoms (fatigue, back pain, insomnia, migraine) and psychological symptoms (anxiety, difficulty concentrating, lack of motivation, lack of self-confidence, and self-esteem) may appear. A feeling of failure, excessive detachment, eating disorders, or addictions (drugs, alcohol, medication) may follow.
To correct such a situation, the worker often chooses to invest even more in his work, to the point of exhaustion. This can lead to depression which exacerbates the burn-out.

How to avoid burn-out?

Some advice on how to avoid it:

  • surround yourself well, find support
  • allow yourself to say no
  • be more indulgent towards yourself
  • take time for rest and leisure.
  • practice relaxation, sophrology or yoga techniques.
  • practice physical activity

In case of doubt, it is necessary to establish a diagnosis with a doctor, who will most often recommend stopping work for a while, as rest is essential.

However, this is not enough to solve the problem and avoid relapses. It is also necessary to make real changes to regain a sense of control over your life. To do this, consulting a trained psychologist be a great help. A naturopath can also be very helpful in rethinking your lifestyle and habits.


This information is not a substitute for medical advice. You must seek the advice of your doctor or another qualified health professional with any questions you may have regarding your health condition.

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