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Are you just a little worn out, or are you experiencing burnout?

Westlake Legal Group man-stressed-at-work Are you just a little worn out, or are you experiencing burnout? Work office mental health Medical Features health and wellness Health expert advice burnout
© Yakobchuk Olena / stock.adobe.com

By Joseph Tasosa, M.D.

Workplace stresses aren’t only the norm in the Washington Metro area. In May, the World Health Organization added burnout as a “syndrome” to its International Classification of Diseases, calling it an “occupational phenomenon.”

So, if you’re feeling run down by, disconnected from and increasingly less productive at work, you’re far from alone.

As a psychiatrist who focuses on addiction, I see many patients struggling emotionally at work and/or at home. Unfortunately, some choose maladaptive coping strategies, such as self-medicating with substances or engaging in unhealthy patterns of behavior—whether or not they realize burnout is a significant factor in their unhappiness. But by recognizing when burnout is at play, it is possible to address it.

What is burnout?

First, we need to define what burnout is. The way I explain it is it’s like a bad haircut or an ill-fitting suit: It’s tough to describe, but you know it when you see it. When it comes to experiencing burnout at work, I recommend keeping an eye out for some of the following symptoms: You become dissatisfied with your station in life; you question yourself or your purpose, asking if this is really what you signed up for; you dread going to work, and when you’re there, you find yourself watching the clock and waiting for the weekend; and you lose the initial drive that got you into your current position or field.

While we all have a few bad days, if you feel any or all those symptoms for a prolonged period, it’s probably time to take a step back and investigate what’s making you feel frazzled.

What causes burnout?

Oftentimes, it’s the workplace itself that’s the culprit—a toxic office, an unsupportive team, an ineffective manager, hazy job expectations, no control over your work, lack of social support (at work and at home). Perhaps you’ve shared ideas with your department, but they’ve always been shot down. Maybe you’ve raised the alarm about a tough coworker or client, but nothing was done. Much of the workplace stress my patients tell me about comes down to not feeling supported or listened to. On top of that, many people work in cubicles, which often aren’t what I consider healing environments.

Sometimes it’s the struggle with work-life balance—or lack thereof. Sure, our hours may be 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., but it can be tough to fit it all in 40 hours each week, so we might stay late to finish up. Tack on a commute to and from work, and you’re adding on even more time. This can lead to us missing out on commitments with family and friends, or we end up feeling too tired to make plans once we finally do get home.

And with advances in technology, we can feel like we’re on call 24/7, expected to return emails immediately and take conference calls at all hours. For many people, it’s a struggle to truly unplug.

Some professionals, especially those in “helping” fields like health care and social work, are more prone to burnout, perhaps because they are continually exposed to the more challenging sides of the people they are working to serve.

Ignoring signs of impending or current burnout will only make it worse. Left untreated, burnout can have dangerous side effects. Some of my patients experience problems with sleep and/or go through their days feeling constantly tired. Others wind up battling anxiety, depression or mood swings. Burnout can also lead to increased risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. And as I mentioned earlier, some people will try to self-medicate, which carries the risk of substance abuse.

And don’t forget about the effects on your work and personal life—you won’t be at your best, meaning your work and relationships will likely suffer.

What can you do?

You can get a handle on this fried feeling. First, figure out your options at work. Try discussing your concerns with your manager, who may be able to help come up with achievable goals or find middle ground on a tough situation.

Then, consider asking for help, whether it’s support from colleagues, friends, family or professionals. Some employers offer employee assistance programs, which often provide short-term counseling, outside referrals and other services confidentially to employees who are going through a tough time personally or professionally.

Working with a counselor or therapist can help you get a handle on your stress, too. When I have patients who seem burned out at work, I first make sure to rule out medical reasons, including such simple conditions as vitamin deficiencies. If their feelings of burnout are not rooted in a medical cause, I recommend talk therapy to explore why they’re in the position they’re in and to gain insight into why they might be struggling: Do they hate their boss? Did they choose the wrong career? Are their relationship issues spilling over into work? Sometimes another perspective can be helpful. Effective therapy then provides a toolkit to address these stressors in a healthful manner.

Considering that we spend half of our waking lives at work, I counsel my patients that if they can’t make enough change for themselves in their current position, they should look for a job they can at least tolerate, if not enjoy. Sometimes it’s best to leave a toxic job or environment and start fresh.

Outside of work, try taking up a stress-reducing activity, like yoga or meditation. Practicing mindfulness, which involves being aware of the present moment while accepting and acknowledging your current thoughts and feelings, can be calming, too. Regular physical activity, even if it’s simply going for a brisk walk, can help you let off some steam and take your mind off of work. Finally, make sure you’re getting enough quality sleep. “The balm of hurt minds,” as Shakespeare wrote.

While burnout at work can feel insurmountable, keeping some healing tools in your arsenal can get your work—and home—life back on track.

For more resources on handling stress in the workplace, visit the website of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  

Joseph Tasosa, M.D., is board-certified in psychiatry and addiction psychiatry with Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group. He sees patients at the Kaiser Permanente Falls Church Medical Center.

Want to live your healthiest life? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Are you just a little worn out, or are you experiencing burnout?

Westlake Legal Group man-stressed-at-work Are you just a little worn out, or are you experiencing burnout? Work office mental health Medical Features health and wellness Health expert advice burnout
© Yakobchuk Olena / stock.adobe.com

By Joseph Tasosa, M.D.

Workplace stresses aren’t only the norm in the Washington Metro area. In May, the World Health Organization added burnout as a “syndrome” to its International Classification of Diseases, calling it an “occupational phenomenon.”

So, if you’re feeling run down by, disconnected from and increasingly less productive at work, you’re far from alone.

As a psychiatrist who focuses on addiction, I see many patients struggling emotionally at work and/or at home. Unfortunately, some choose maladaptive coping strategies, such as self-medicating with substances or engaging in unhealthy patterns of behavior—whether or not they realize burnout is a significant factor in their unhappiness. But by recognizing when burnout is at play, it is possible to address it.

What is burnout?

First, we need to define what burnout is. The way I explain it is it’s like a bad haircut or an ill-fitting suit: It’s tough to describe, but you know it when you see it. When it comes to experiencing burnout at work, I recommend keeping an eye out for some of the following symptoms: You become dissatisfied with your station in life; you question yourself or your purpose, asking if this is really what you signed up for; you dread going to work, and when you’re there, you find yourself watching the clock and waiting for the weekend; and you lose the initial drive that got you into your current position or field.

While we all have a few bad days, if you feel any or all those symptoms for a prolonged period, it’s probably time to take a step back and investigate what’s making you feel frazzled.

What causes burnout?

Oftentimes, it’s the workplace itself that’s the culprit—a toxic office, an unsupportive team, an ineffective manager, hazy job expectations, no control over your work, lack of social support (at work and at home). Perhaps you’ve shared ideas with your department, but they’ve always been shot down. Maybe you’ve raised the alarm about a tough coworker or client, but nothing was done. Much of the workplace stress my patients tell me about comes down to not feeling supported or listened to. On top of that, many people work in cubicles, which often aren’t what I consider healing environments.

Sometimes it’s the struggle with work-life balance—or lack thereof. Sure, our hours may be 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., but it can be tough to fit it all in 40 hours each week, so we might stay late to finish up. Tack on a commute to and from work, and you’re adding on even more time. This can lead to us missing out on commitments with family and friends, or we end up feeling too tired to make plans once we finally do get home.

And with advances in technology, we can feel like we’re on call 24/7, expected to return emails immediately and take conference calls at all hours. For many people, it’s a struggle to truly unplug.

Some professionals, especially those in “helping” fields like health care and social work, are more prone to burnout, perhaps because they are continually exposed to the more challenging sides of the people they are working to serve.

Ignoring signs of impending or current burnout will only make it worse. Left untreated, burnout can have dangerous side effects. Some of my patients experience problems with sleep and/or go through their days feeling constantly tired. Others wind up battling anxiety, depression or mood swings. Burnout can also lead to increased risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. And as I mentioned earlier, some people will try to self-medicate, which carries the risk of substance abuse.

And don’t forget about the effects on your work and personal life—you won’t be at your best, meaning your work and relationships will likely suffer.

What can you do?

You can get a handle on this fried feeling. First, figure out your options at work. Try discussing your concerns with your manager, who may be able to help come up with achievable goals or find middle ground on a tough situation.

Then, consider asking for help, whether it’s support from colleagues, friends, family or professionals. Some employers offer employee assistance programs, which often provide short-term counseling, outside referrals and other services confidentially to employees who are going through a tough time personally or professionally.

Working with a counselor or therapist can help you get a handle on your stress, too. When I have patients who seem burned out at work, I first make sure to rule out medical reasons, including such simple conditions as vitamin deficiencies. If their feelings of burnout are not rooted in a medical cause, I recommend talk therapy to explore why they’re in the position they’re in and to gain insight into why they might be struggling: Do they hate their boss? Did they choose the wrong career? Are their relationship issues spilling over into work? Sometimes another perspective can be helpful. Effective therapy then provides a toolkit to address these stressors in a healthful manner.

Considering that we spend half of our waking lives at work, I counsel my patients that if they can’t make enough change for themselves in their current position, they should look for a job they can at least tolerate, if not enjoy. Sometimes it’s best to leave a toxic job or environment and start fresh.

Outside of work, try taking up a stress-reducing activity, like yoga or meditation. Practicing mindfulness, which involves being aware of the present moment while accepting and acknowledging your current thoughts and feelings, can be calming, too. Regular physical activity, even if it’s simply going for a brisk walk, can help you let off some steam and take your mind off of work. Finally, make sure you’re getting enough quality sleep. “The balm of hurt minds,” as Shakespeare wrote.

While burnout at work can feel insurmountable, keeping some healing tools in your arsenal can get your work—and home—life back on track.

For more resources on handling stress in the workplace, visit the website of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  

Joseph Tasosa, M.D., is board-certified in psychiatry and addiction psychiatry with Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group. He sees patients at the Kaiser Permanente Falls Church Medical Center.

Want to live your healthiest life? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

7 desks that add some fun to your workload

Whether you’re paying bills, journaling or are looking for a homework-friendly space, these detailed desks are sure to take away some of the stress lingering in your office. Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

DOJ accuses Kellyanne Conway of repeatedly violating Hatch Act — and recommends she be removed from federal service

Westlake Legal Group kc-2 DOJ accuses Kellyanne Conway of repeatedly violating Hatch Act — and recommends she be removed from federal service violate Trump The Blog Special Counsel Politics office kellyanne conway Hatch Act advisor

Suspense mounts: Will Trump tweet angrily about Robert Mueller when he sees this, before someone has the chance to explain to him that the “Office of Special Counsel” isn’t Mueller’s office?

Says OSC, “Ms. Conway’s violations, if left unpunished, would send a message to all federal employees that they need not abide by the Hatch Act’s restrictions.” That’s, ah, not going to chasten Trump. It might do the opposite. He’d love to see his deputies use their federal soapboxes to campaign overtly against Democrats. If refusing to punish Kellyanne encourages Mike Pompeo to stick an anti-Biden riff into his next diplomatic briefing, so much the better for POTUS. Remember, all Trump ethics are situational, and are always aimed at his own benefit. OSC undermined its own recommendation by suggesting how he might benefit from ignoring them.

Indeed, they did reprimand Kellyanne last year for twice suggesting during “official” appearances that voters in Alabama should support Roy Moore over Doug Jones. Ed wrote about it at the time. A few weeks ago she criticized Biden during another “official” interview, leading to today’s second reprimand. In fact, Conway’s been crossing ethical lines in some of her official media appearances since practically day one of the administration. Three weeks after Trump was sworn in, standing in the White House briefing room for an interview with Fox, she encouraged viewers to “go buy Ivanka’s stuff” after Trump’s clothing line was dropped by Nordstrom. That earned her a reprimand from a different federal ethics agency. Didn’t matter.

The White House has already issued a statement on OSC’s recommendation that’s — what else? — defiant:

The last time the Supreme Court ruled on the constitutionality of the Hatch Act was 1973, upholding it in the face of a First Amendment challenge. (All Republican appointees were in the majority.) The key to OSC’s opinion, as I understand it, is the fact that Conway was speaking “in her official capacity” when she plugged Moore over Jones and derided Biden. She has the same First Amendment rights as everyone else when she’s off duty but when she’s doing an interview on White House grounds or otherwise seemingly speaking as a White House official she needs to draw a line at campaigning against candidates. It’s not unlike how U.S. soldiers enjoy more freedom to engage in political activities when they’re out of uniform than when they’re in uniform. In both cases, a public servant that purports to represent the entire country is asked to maintain a greater appearance of neutrality while “on duty.”

She was reminded recently of last year’s OSC reprimand by reporters after she criticized Biden and replied (as the OSC notes in today’s announcement), “Blah, blah, blah. If you’re trying to silence me through the Hatch Act, it’s not going to work. Let me know when the jail sentence starts.” That’s the sound of an official who knows she’s free to act with impunity so long as she stays on the right side of her boss, whatever the law might say. It’s also the diametric opposite of what George Conway would say, I suspect. In fact, George just so happens to have a new op-ed in WaPo today calling for Trump’s impeachment, which will now have to compete for column inches with news that his better half is formally accused of having broken an ethics law and has nothing but Trumpy disdain for the prospect of facing consequences for it. This is the first time he’s effectively gagged from sh*t-talking a Trump official who’s been accused of petty corruption. The two of them should do a point/counterpoint op-ed pairing for WaPo. George: “Repeatedly flouting ethics laws will erode the rule of law.” Kellyanne: “Ethics are for cucks.”

I’m tempted to ask whether Bill Barr will prosecute her for this but we all know the answer. Exit question: Will Kellyanne quit? She’s got to be tired of this circus after three years. Here’s her excuse.

Update: George just retweeted this message from December, lamenting the foolish loyalty of another Trump crony who got into legal trouble because they didn’t have the good sense to walk away.

The post DOJ accuses Kellyanne Conway of repeatedly violating Hatch Act — and recommends she be removed from federal service appeared first on Hot Air.

Westlake Legal Group kc-2-300x153 DOJ accuses Kellyanne Conway of repeatedly violating Hatch Act — and recommends she be removed from federal service violate Trump The Blog Special Counsel Politics office kellyanne conway Hatch Act advisor   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Can’t make it up: HR exec documents workplace drama in new book

WASHINGTON — Awkward water-cooler conversations, interesting personalities and occasional romances are all pretty standard when it comes to the workplace — after all, a hit TV show got nine seasons worth of material out of the day-to-day nine-to-five. But over-the-top office drama? It happens more often than one might think. And it’s something with which Denise Messineo is very familiar. The…

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Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com