Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Signs of burnout.

Are you always tired after a day's work at the office?
Do you dread going into the office especially on Mondays?
Do you always feel drained and exhausted even after a supposedly good night's sleep?
Do you think the majority of your day is spent on tasks you find either mind-numbingly dull or overwhelming?
Do you doubt yourself so much that you just want to quit your job?

If your answers to the above questions are yes, watch out! These are signs of burn out. Burnout is defined as a state of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion that is caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed and unable to meet constant demands. If the stress continues, you may begin to lose the interest or motivation to perform your duties and responsibilities. 

Burnout lessens your efficiency and drains your energy, leaving you feeling increasingly helpless, hopeless, cynical, and possibly resentful. You may eventually feel like you have nothing more to give. Everyday can become a bad day.

These negative effects of burnout will not only affect your job but can also spill over into every area of life – including your home and social life. It can also cause long-term changes to your body that make you susceptible to illnesses like colds and flu. Because of its many consequences, it’s imperative to deal with burnout right away.

There are certain jobs that are prone to burn out such as high-pressured business positions and the helping professions. My job as a call center agent can also be prone to burnout. Everyday, we are bombarded by problems from customers from the other end of the line. These customers may also be irate and offensive, some can be racist. Although agents like me may eventually learn not to take these customers personally, it can affect anybody’s self-esteem and may cause somebody to doubt himself.

If you recognize the warning signs of an impending burnout in yourself, then slow down. This is your first step to recovery. You must take steps to put balance back into your life. Slowing down or taking a break can be an effective strategy. You must give yourself time to rest, reflect and heal. It is also the time to think about your hopes, goals and dreams. The support of your loved ones is also very important. Knowing that your family understands you can relieve some of your burdens.

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