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Written by Steven Bussey
on July 26, 2022

Freelancing Burnout: Causes, Symptoms, Ways to Avoid

Being a freelancer can be a great way to have flexibility and control over your work life. However, it can also be easy to burn out from working too much or from not having enough work. In this article, we will discuss the causes and symptoms of freelancing burnout, as well as some ways to avoid it.

Read more to find out: 

  1. What is freelancing burnout?
  2. Causes of freelancing burnout
  3. Symptoms of freelancing burnout
  4. Ways to avoid freelancing burnout

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What is freelancing burnout?

There are a lot of us out there who freelance, and while it can be a great way to make a living, it can also be very stressful. One of the things that can happen as a result of this stress is something called freelancing burnout.

Freelancing burnout is, essentially, when the stress of freelancing becomes too much and starts to negatively impact your work. This can manifest in a number of ways, including feeling constantly exhausted, losing motivation, and becoming more irritable. If left unchecked, it can eventually lead to you being unable to work at all.

So what causes freelancing burnout? Well, there can be a number of factors. Maybe you're taking on too many projects and not giving yourself enough time to relax. Or maybe you're not being paid enough for the work you're doing. Whatever the case may be, it's important to identify the causes so that you can find ways to avoid them.

There are a few symptoms to look out for that may indicate that you're starting to experience freelancing burnout. These include feeling fatigued all the time, struggling to concentrate, and generally not enjoying your work anymore.

Causes of freelancing burnout

There are many possible causes of freelancing burnout. One cause may be working too much and not taking enough time for yourself. When you work constantly, you can quickly become overwhelmed and stressed out. This can lead to burnout.

Another possible cause of freelancing burnout is unrealistic expectations. If you're constantly setting yourself up for disappointment by expecting too much, you may eventually become burned out. It's important to set realistic goals and expectations in order to avoid this type of burnout.

The final cause of freelancing burnout that we'll discuss is a lack of control. When you're a freelancer, you often have to deal with last-minute changes, unexpected deadlines, and other stressful situations. This can lead to a feeling of being out of control, which can eventually lead to burnout.

These are just a few of the possible causes of freelancing burnout. If you're experiencing any of these symptoms, it's important to take steps to avoid burnout before it becomes a serious problem.

Symptoms of freelancing burnout

If you are a freelancer, you might be susceptible to burnout. Here are some symptoms to look out for:

  1. You are always tired
    If you find yourself exhausted all the time, even after a good night's sleep, it could be a sign of burnout.

  2. You are not enjoying your work
    When you used to love what you did, but now find yourself dreading each new project, it's a definite sign that something is wrong.

  3. You are losing motivation
    If you can't seem to muster up the energy to care about your work anymore, it's a red flag that you may be heading for burnout.

  4. You are isolating yourself
    When you start to feel like you can't relate to anyone else, or that nobody understands what you're going through, it may be another symptom of burnout.

  5. You are getting sick more often
    If you find that you're getting sick more often than usual, it could be your body's way of telling you that you need a break.

Ways to avoid freelancing burnout

If you're a freelancer, chances are you've experienced burnout at some point. It's common for freelancers to work long hours and take on too much work in order to make ends meet. However, burnout can lead to poor work quality, missed deadlines, and a decline in your overall health.

  1. Here are some ways to avoid freelancing burnout
    Set realistic goals and expectations. Don't try to take on more work than you can handle. Set realistic deadlines and goals for yourself, and don't overcommit.

  2. Take breaks
    Working non-stop will only lead to burnout. Make sure to take breaks throughout the day, even if it's just for a few minutes. Get up and walk around, or take a quick nap.

  3. Find a support group
    There are many online and offline groups for freelancers. These groups can provide moral support and advice when you're feeling burned out.

  4. Connect with other freelancers
    Building relationships with other freelancers is a great way to avoid burnout. You can commiserate with others who understand the ups and downs of freelancing life.


There are a number of things that can cause freelancing burnout, but the most common ones are working too much, not taking enough breaks, and not having a clear work/life balance. The good news is that there are a few things you can do to avoid it. First, make sure you take regular breaks throughout the day and take some time off every week to recharge. Second, try to create a healthy work/life balance by setting boundaries between your work and personal life. Finally, make sure you have realistic expectations for yourself and your clients. If you can keep these things in mind, you’ll be well on your way to avoiding freelancing burnout.

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