Dealing With Burnout, Which Doesn’t Always Stem From Overwork

The New York Times:

IT’S the end of the year, and lots of us are feeling a little overwhelmed. Tired, unfocused and ready to take a nice break with our families (or away from our families in some cases).

We may be feeling garden-variety stress. Or more ominously, we may be burned out.

Although most of us tend to use those phrases interchangeably, researchers say stress is to burnout as feeling a little blue is to clinical depression — a much more serious and long-term problem that doesn’t get the attention it should, but can affect all aspects of our lives and workplace.

Burnout is not just when you need a vacation to recharge. It’s when you feel overwhelming exhaustion, frustration, cynicism and a sense of ineffectiveness and failure. Initially it referred to those employed in the human services — health care, social work, therapy and police work — but has since expanded to all sorts of workers, said Christina Maslach, professor emerita of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley.

Read the whole story: The New York Times

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