What is Burnout?

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What is Burnout?
A majority of people today are living very intense and demanding lives. In order to make ends meet there is need to work more than one job, work for longer hours, deal transport and other such challenges while managing personal affairs. All this is physically and mentally draining which is why we have a size-able part of the population being diagnosed with burnout at some point. This brings forth the question, what is burnout?

Burnout is a psychological condition that is brought about by excessive long term physical and mental exhaustion. It is often reported among those working in very demanding professions or those who work strenuous multiple jobs. The police, doctors, teachers and cab drivers are some of the professionals who are at a higher risk of it. Burnout is characterized by several symptoms that include irritability, fatigue, changes in sleep patterns, loss of creativity, lack of motivation, withdrawal among others. Persons suffering burnout are normally very frustrated and it is very easy for them to behave in a manner likely to get them dismissed from their job or jobs.

Burnout normally begins when an individual feels compelled to prove their worth. This feeling drives them to works excessively hard beyond what would be considered normal capacity. In the process they neglect their needs and at this point they are well on their way to burning out. Their efforts to achieve more eventually lead to frustration and they begin to resent their work as well as others who are around them. From here it is normally a free fall that ends up in full burnout syndrome. Some people will turn to drug abuse when they begin to encounter the symptoms of burnout and this creates an even bigger problem.

Preventing burnout is the best way to deal with the condition. Treatment is normally a long process which can easily be reversed once the individual returns to the environment that initially caused the burnout. Time management is one of the most important aspects of burnout prevention. There should be time in your schedule for everything and especially rest and sleep. Respect the time allocated for these two activities as that is the time during which the body and mind rejuvenate. Leisure is also important as it helps in mental relaxation when engaging in enjoyable activities. Those who do not have much control over their schedules should inform their superiors when they need rest and sleep.

At the end of the day a burned out individual will cost more in terms of lost time and resources as compared to a constantly working moderate worker. Majority of burnout patients are driven into the condition by overly demanding bosses or spouses who are constantly pushing them to achieve more. Those who are not able to handle the pressure of some careers should consider a career change rather than risk their health while trying to prove that they are up to the challenge. In some countries, burnout is treated as a medical condition though in most places it is still considered a personal matter to be handled and resolved by the individual and those around them.

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