Recently I attended an event “Keep The Fire Burning: A Symposium For Professional Caregivers” organized by Institute of Mental Health (IMH). It was also a joint celebration of the 2nd Social Workers’ Day and IMH’s 80th Anniversary. The event involved group discussions and presentations by IMH’s Psychologist and Medical Social Worker (MSW). Overall it was a fruitful day, especially the presentation “Keeping The Temperature In Check: Balancing Your Multi-Faceted Professional Role In Mental Health” by Senior MSW Mr. Terence Yow.
Throughout the presentation, I have a strange feeling that it was prepared with me in mind. Let’s see what are the signs that indicate that you are feeling burnt out.
1) Frequently stressed and exhausted.
[Let’s see, more white hairs, dozing off during meetings, etc. Ticked.]
2) Dreading to go to work.
[Used to reach my office at 8.30 am sharp, then 8.45 am, 9 am, 9.15 am ... you get the picture. Ticked.]
3) Thinking about career change.
[Have been updating my resume on a monthly basis. Ticked.]
4) Neglecting other parts of life i.e. family, friends, hobbies …
[I’ve closed my online poetry forum recently. And when was the last time I have coffee with my friends? 2007? Ticked.]
5) No time to catch your breath at work.
[Catch a breath at work? More like catching a cold. Ticked.]
6) Losing sight why you chose this job/career.
[Under the heading "Occupation" I have started to declare myself as an "Applications Processing Machine". Beep beep. Ticked.]
7) No time to develop interests and hobbies.
[Unless you consider writing social reports as a hobby. Ticked]
8) Often feeling exhausted.
[Please refer to the 1st point. Ticked.]
9) Spending more and more time at work.
[Let’s see, although officially my working hours are from Monday to Friday, 8.30 am to 6 pm. I usually leave office at 7 – 8 pm and spend most of the Saturdays back in the office working. Never trust that HR guy during the interview. Ticked.]
10) Often bringing work home.
[Ha Ha, better than bringing woman home right? Just kidding dear, er dear? Darling? Honey? Ticked]
Okay, it is official. I am burnt out. Time to register myself as a missing person.