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Authors Chris Watkins
Published 2011
License CC-BY-SA-4.0
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Burnout is a real risk for aid and development workers, including volunteers.

Observation in the field will tell you that it's extremely rare for a Westerner to spend more than 8 years in a developing country context without becoming bitter. If you want to avoid burning out, spend less than 8 years in the field before you return home (or somewhere like home). Don't even think about moving back for some years after that - even though you may still work in the same area and even pay visits (not too extended).

Your mental health is precious - don't expose yourself unnecessarily to risks of posttraumatic stress disorderW (PTSD).

See "Ten Principles to Help Aid Workers Thrive" from Satori Worldwide and "Isn't it time for a morale boost?" on

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