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Surviving as a Counselor

Surviving as a Counselor - Surviving as a Counselor...

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Surviving as a Counselor Successful performance as a counselor also requires that a person become able to prevent burn out. In the past few years, it was understood that many workers, including volunteers, were susceptible to burn out. But, what is burn out, and most importantly, how do you prevent it? What is burnout? Burnout is a state of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed and unable to meet constant demands. As the stress continues, you begin to lose the interest or motivation that led you to take on a certain role in the first place. Burnout reduces your productivity and saps your energy, leaving you feeling increasingly helpless, hopeless, cynical, and resentful. Eventually, you may feel like you have nothing more to give. Most of us have days when we feel bored, overloaded, or unappreciated; when the dozen balls we keep in the air aren’t noticed, let alone rewarded; when dragging ourselves out of bed requires the determination of Hercules. If you feel like this most of the time, however, you may be flirting with burnout. You may be on the road to burnout if: Every day is a bad day. Caring about your work or home life seems like a total waste of energy. You’re exhaus ted all the time. The majority of your day is spent on tasks you find either mind-numbingly dull or overwhelming. You feel like nothing you do makes a difference or is appreciated. The negative effects of burnout spill over into every area of life including your home and social life. Burnout can also cause long-term changes to your body that make you vulnerable to illnesses like colds and flu. Because of its many consequences, it’s important to deal with burnout right away. Dealing with Burnout: The "Three R" Approach Recognize Watch for the warning signs of burnout Reverse Undo the damage by managing stress and seeking support Resilience Build your resilience to stress by taking care of your physical and emotional health
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