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Mind over matter
Are you at risk of burnout?

What you can do when your job begins to affect your health and happiness

You have a demanding job and carry a great deal of responsibility on your shoulders. Even after a vacation, you dread going back to work. Could it be a job burnout?

Like many people, you may have just tried to ignore the issue all together and deny there's a problem. A closer look at job burnout and why you may have it can help you face the problem and take action before it affects your health.

What is job burnout?

Burnout is a state of physical, emotional and mental exhaustion caused by long-term exposure to demanding work situations. Burnout is the cumulative result of stress.

Who's at risk of job burnout?

You may be more likely to have job burnout if:

You are unable to maintain a reasonable balance between work and your personal life You try to be everything to everyone Your job is monotonous and boring for you You feel you have little or no control over your work or life You work in a helping profession, such as health care, counseling, teaching or law enforcement

Ask yourself these questions:

Do you find yourself being more cynical, critical and sarcastic at work? Have you lost the ability to experience joy? Do you drag yourself into work and have trouble getting started once you arrive? Have you become more irritable and less patient with co-workers, customers or clients? Do you feel that you face insurmountable barriers at work? Do you feel that you lack the energy to be consistently productive? Do you no longer feel satisfaction from your achievements? Are you tired of your co-workers asking if you're OK? Do you feel disillusioned about your job? Are you self-medicating - using food, drugs or alcohol - to feel better or to simply not feel? Have your sleep habits or appetite changed? Are you troubled by unexplained headaches, neck pain or lower back pain?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be experiencing job burnout. But because some of these symptoms also can indicate certain health conditions, such as depression, be sure to consult with your health care provider about your symptoms.

Is it time to take action against job burnout?If you feel you may have job burnout symptoms, don't ignore them. Job burnout can have significant consequences including:

Excessive stress Fatigue Insomnia Unhealthy weight changes Depression Anxiety Alcohol or substance abuse A negative spillover into your relationships or home life

You can work your way out of a job burnout, first be admitting that it exists; and second,by talking to a counselor about it. Don't let a demanding job affect your health.

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