How I Am Surviving a Burnout and What It Taught Me So Far
Burnout is real!
I know it after years of fighting and refusing to believe in its existence.
I was a solder in the army of my creative bits that drove a stake of pain through my middle each time I was thrown under a wagon of stress. I called it a creative predicament. I thought I had to wait till it goes away and then keep fighting, pushing, and literally making myself to move forward.
It did not work.
It was not effective either, but I am not someone who gives up easily. My forehead is much stronger than it looks. I can drill a hole with it through a thick pack of ice if I need to, this is how strong it is.
But burnout is real and its power is feeding on disbelief and denial. As long as you think it is nothing but a myth, it grows like a dough on yeast. And the deeper you go into denying its existence the harder it will be to help yourself out of it.
I learnt it the hard way
I am stubborn as hell.
It is not a bad thing but it can be a pain in ass sometimes.
I have been working from home for many years now and working from home can turn your life into a repetitive nightmare. Especially if you are like me, doing a hundred of same tasks every day, just as writing, translating, writing again, studying, writing, and translating again, where neither of the things that only look like the same actions are in fact so.
In other words, past few years of that repetitive reality were challenging and hard.
However, I had a dream to finally become a published writer (I am going to soon), to launch this blog, to establish my freelance work and finish all the online courses that I have been planning to finish for a few years now.
But suddenly, things slowed down and my efficiency severely collapsed, leaving me sad, depressed and anxious because I had a load of work, a bunch of growing fears of losing clients, and a shot of new ideas for my online projects that I had no time, no moral strength to implement.
Yet, the more hours I put in work, the more depressed and discouraged I became.
That was the first sign. I was getting right in the zone of being burnt-out. But it was not till I started experiencing troubles with sleep, nausea, headaches, and dark thoughts of how useless it all was and how unworthy I myself was that I realized what was really happening to me.
I was dried of life energy from inside out. I was burnt-out.
What I have learnt from being burnt-out?
Well, actually, I have learnt a lot.
Obsessive thought based on perfectionized ideas is the straight road to… Hell? Well, almost. To a burnout.
Inability to soberly evaluate your possibilities. I, for example, am crazy when it comes to taking new projects. I like to be involved in great ideas and well, I see greatness almost in anything.
It is like digging a grave, the more projects you take, the deeper the pit you are in gets.
And of course, stress!
When you have so many things to accomplish daily, stress is inevitable. As a freelancer, I have to take care of so many things starting from finding clients online, connecting to them, building trust with them, delivering the best quality work to them, taking responsibility for the results, and so much more.
It is impossible to avoid stress on this line of work.
So, yes, stress is another road to a burnout that I walked barefoot.
But, I have a great news, burnout is not the end of your career though it can be a long pause on it.
The best thing you can do is to change some gears in your head that had been diverting your attention from things that really matter.
And it is you – you and your mental health is what really matters.
Because, see, your work cannot be done unless you do it and you cannot do it unless you are in a healthy state of mind and with a good refill of your energy well.
Here are some things, I am doing to help myself to return from the cold, dead land of the burnout that hopefully, can help you as well.
I created two big and one small windows in my planner that help me to regulate how much work I can do.
Two big windows are for the tasks that take more than hour to finish which means I can plan only two big things for the day. It might seem impossible if you are loaded with work, but trust me, it works.
This way you will significantly lower the amount of stress and get the rate of your productivity higher. As result, it will boost your confidence and serve as a great remedy for your burnout.
The small window in my planner is for one thing that takes less than hour to finish. For example, I use this window for my French class because it usually takes less than hour to finish my French homework.
The rest of the day, I spend on walking outside, meeting friends, reading, and doing all those simple things that normal people usually do but which I had no time of doing before.
Or I am doing nothing.
You will not believe it, but doing nothing turned out the most challenging thing for me to do. But I loved the effect it had on my mental state and on my inner peace.
The main goal of this practice is to relieve yourself of all the thoughts, worries, and activities.
YOU HAVE TO DO NOTHING.
I try to do this for a few hours every day, and I honestly see it as a simple magic because it has cured something far deeper than I can explain.
So, if you are feeling that your productivity fell down, and your life energy lowered, try this.
It is going to be challenging but it absolutely worth it.
And remember, taking care of your mind and your mental needs is not a waste of time. I know, you might start thinking like that at some point because workoholism is just as serious as alcoholism and it can mess up with your understanding of what really matters and make you feel like everything that is not work is just a waste of time.
But it is so not true.
Being successful is a great thing and it takes a lot of work to get there but as paradoxical as it is, success is only possible when you enjoy what you are doing. And when you are burnt-out, joy is the last thing you feel when it comes to work.
I am still in the process of recovering from my burnout and I believe that the change is only possible if I keep working on my understanding of what belief lead me to this burnout so I can change them and spare myself another round of burnout in future.
I will keep updates on my progress and new thoughts on burnout, so stay tuned.
Thank you for stopping by today, I appreciate it a lot.
See you soon.