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Throwing in the Towel: Are You Experiencing Burn-Out?

What is Burn-Out?

Burn-out is when you find that you are emotionally and psychologically drained from doing a task or job. Usually burn-out occurs after doing this task or job for an extended period of time . It is more than having an isolated "bad day". If you are glad when Friday rolls around, you may simply need a restful weekend. If, on Friday, you are already dreading going back to work on Monday; you may be experiencing burn-out.

People in service and caring professions do seem to be more likely to burn out. These professions may include the health professions as well as teachers and daycare providers. These are jobs that often require a person to be involved emotionally and psychologically with the people they serve or care for. Also there is a greater likelihood that you may take work home with you emotionally if not physically. After-hours, daycare providers may find themselves wondering how they are going to handle an anticipated conflict with a new family. The preschool teacher may be worrying how they will handle an on-going behavioral problem in the classroom.

Are You at Risk?

You may be at risk if you can identify with many of these statements:

How Can Burn-Out Effect You?

Here are some of the more common feelings others have reported:

How Can I Prevent or Cope With Burn-Out?

There are some very specific things you can do before you reach the point of throwing in the towel:

There may come a time when you just cannot continue. The feeling that you cannot face another day is overwhelming. This is when it may be best to take a break and try to gain a fresh perspective. You could discover that a short vacation is just what the doctor ordered. Or perhaps, it is time to choose a new career path.

© 2004 Joni Levine