Okay folks, I know that I have been missing around these parts. I had a few other things I wanted to talk about first, but I decided that this post needed to be made in light of my own personal experience of burnout as of recently. Sit back with some coffee and let’s have story time!
Back in April, I decided to take on a 2nd job (third if you counted this gig). It was okay for the most part at first, even if it was stressful. Then one day in May, someone quit at one of my jobs. She was a midnight worker and I get asked if I can do midnights. I said okay, and was told that it was going to be just for the week. I decided that going to midnights permanently would be better for my mental state. It was to a degree. However, getting only a couple of hours of sleep when I got home made me spiral into a caffeine-guzzling, sleep-deprived mess. In fact, I was only functional with caffeine of some kind.
Skip to a few months later, and I have a panic attack seemingly out of nowhere (but it was stress-related). I ended up in the hospital for a few hours. It was at that point where something had to give. But what exactly? I decided that something did have to give, and my creative passion ended up being it. I had way too much on my plate to think about and literally the last thing I wanted to do was sit down and write. In fact, I took sleep over everything else. I couldn’t even focus on gaming. Certainly there had to be another way…
Thing is, back then I knew I was burning out big time, but couldn’t figure out how the hell to get out of that hole. Something still had to give. I slept on it, talked to a few people, and decided that if I ended up quitting one of my jobs, I will have more time to actually think. To be able to write again. To focus on what will be my endgame in the long run. So I did just that.
And while that was one less thing to worry about, I had to actually find ways to fix the rest of it. Slowly, but surely, I’m feeling everything calm down a bit. It only took 4 months, but better than never.
Here’s the deal: burnout is a thing. Burnout is something that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy because it does things to you that will make you feel like you’re spiraling out of control. It feels like you have a plate of food that’s formed into a mountain and overflowing off the plate into another mountain. Soon you’ll have Mount Food all over and a huge-ass mess to clean up afterward. So let’s talk about the signs that you may be heading for the Great Burnout.
You may be burning out if…
- You seem extra on-edge. Things that didn’t bother you at all suddenly does. Or people who you loved now can’t get too close to you without you yelling at them.
- Your health seems to be deteriorating. Stress in itself shortens your life span. Your blood pressure goes up and you tend to feel like you can’t breathe. If you have other health issues, they appear amplified. Your pain level is now a 10 when it was a steady 4 most days.
- You dread the days. Especially if you know you have to work on that day, you dread having to wake up and go through the day knowing that you really don’t want to be there.
- You turn to less healthy habits. Is that one glass of wine turning into an entire bottle a night? Yeah, might wanna fix that.
Burnout is the hardest thing in the world to deal with, and it can hamper your wants and needs to move forward on your creative passion endeavors. I know that it definitely didn’t help my cause. When you’re feeling the burn, there are things you can do to make it not burn as much.
Here are a few ways to combat burnout.
- Vent to someone, preferably an impartial someone. Sometimes just having an ear to yammer off helps. You can go to a therapist, or go the free route and chat with some friends. I say “impartial” for a reason; we all know that one friend who wants to tell you what you should do, but almost end up judging you in the end. You don’t need judgement in this rough time.
- Find healthy habits. Before you down that last bottle of wine in your cellar, try putting on some music and doing a little jig. Or grabbing a coloring book. Or go for a walk. Anything that could take your mind off of things and won’t kill your body in the process.
- Remember that something’s gotta give. We are not superheroes; try not to think you are and think you can take on the world. If you can give something up for the time being until things calm down, do it. If you feel that walking away from say, blogging, for a bit will help (and it might if it’s part of your job), then do it.
- Also remember that burnout only lasts as long as you allow it. It sucks to burn out, but just remember that it can be fixed. DO NOT overload your plate again. Take baby steps into a normal life…or as normal as it may be for you.
As for me, I’m okay. It was a rough few months, and with a few changes to my life, I’m feeling better. I’m glad that I did take a step back from blogging, because I was able to not just get this post up, but overhauled my design as well! Do you like it? Awesome! Stay safe you guys.