19 November 2018

Recognising & Recovering From Burnout


Let's just take a minute to think; to openly and honestly reflect and just pat ourselves on the back for every goal or task we have managed to achieve this year to date - whether it's been that major career move you've been longing for, charitable acts you may have fulfilled or something as simple as taking back control and learning to take some time-out. 

There is no denying it, twenty-eighteen has been a turbulent year for most of us - we've been passed from pillar to post and although I may be clutching at straws when I say this, I'm noticing that actually... quite a few of us as creatives have been going through and trying to recover from what one would best describe as an existential crisis of sorts. 

To bring you up to speed - an existential crisis is a moment at which an individual questions if their life has meaning, purpose or value. I can't tell you how many times I have re-read that definition and had a light-bulb moment because actually that's what I've been doing with my blog, like many others... but why? Well, we crashed our car July, I got sick in August, I up-sticks and left my job in September and I dealt with depression through October and November - it's been hard. Not only have I questioned my blog, but I have questioned myself, my career goals, my interests and most importantly life itself. I think I've been so out of sync with myself for such a long time, I don't think I ever realized how burned out I was, until I was forced to. 

Recovering from burnout has been slow, I'd even say grueling - more grueling than what caused it in-fact, but regaining balance was inevitable, because we all have dips and we all need time. Quitting my day-job and taking time-out has given me the flexibility I needed to recharge my batteries and have a proper think about what I want. Twenty-nineteen doesn't seem as terrifying anymore - I'd say it's already looking like a positive year of change and development. That's why I'm devising a plan and learning to embrace life in all its simplicity. I'm finally taking charge, regaining focus, getting structure and most importantly... being creative. 

If you're feeling burned out or recognize anything about yourself in this post, here are a few strategies to aid you, on your recovery.

1. Recognize There Is A Problem
I know it sounds obvious and blunt, but it took the entirety of a year for me to realize that something was seriously wrong. In some situations the problem might just present itself, in others... it will take time and introspection to actually discover the root of it all. It's important that you recognize there is a problem, so you can begin to recover.

2. Take Time-Out
Trying to power through your predicament will only make things worse. While quitting may certainly be an option, it isn't the only one - permitting your circumstances allow it. Talk to someone, find support and use your annual leave to recharge your batteries and allow yourself to decompress.

3. Go Back To Basics
When you're feeling burned out, even the simplest of tasks can become monumental efforts - I mean; getting out of bed can be hard at the best of times, but it's about to get a whole lot harder. I recommend that you go back to basics - focus on getting a good night's sleep, eating well and getting out of the house each day (even if it's going to the park with your dog, grabbing breakfast in a cafe or joining a class).

4. Reassess Your Personal Values & Goals
Burnout offers a hidden silver lining if you will - it can be a positive force of change, permitting you let it. It gives you a chance to reassess your personal values and goals, a chance to rediscover yourself and a chance to make changes, you may not have thought to otherwise. Take this time to think about what it is you want from life, what are your aspirations? what will give meaning back to your day?

5. Just Be Patient
Undoing burnout takes time, much like anything else - it can mean change (not great if you're Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory). Even if you are feeling okay in the short-term, don't be fooled into thinking that you are ready to jump straight back into the deep end. Be prepared to end up in an entirely different situation as to where you started. 
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8 comments

  1. This is one of the most helpful posts I’ve read this year. I’ve had an exceptionally difficult year and when I think about it the signs of me burning out had been about two years in the making! Thanks for sharing

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    1. Thank you so much Elle! I really appreciate it. I'm sorry to hear that this year hasn't been great for you, but I hope that things are beginning to pick-up and that you are starting to recover fully from your burnout x

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  2. An insightful and thoughtful blog post. So many of us get told to “just keep going”, when in reality we need to step away and take a break.

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    1. Thank you Susan, I'm really pleased you think so. I agree, I dread to think what it would be like if you kept struggling on - burnout is tiring enough! x

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  3. Hi, Rebecca!
    This post is so realistic as it tackles something close to home that we can all experience but it's tough to acknowledge and accept let alone do anything about it. I'm so pleased that you are slowly regaining a sense of normality and rebuilding your life on stronger foundations that are better suited to your individual needs.
    Hanna x | missbeautysaver

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    1. Thank you Hanna, I really appreciate this! Burnout is definitely something everyone can relate to, whether they are in high school or in their 50's working a 9-5 job - it's hard. It's taken a while for me to get back into the swing of things, but I'm thankful that I'm able to build stronger foundations, some people may not be as fortunate! x

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  4. It's definitely so difficult to acknowledge when you need to take time to yourself, to refocus and to regain some normality. I'm sorry to hear you've had a tough few months. I hope that you are feeling much better now. I think it's great you've written about this as you can help so many people with your words! xx

    Jessie | allthingsbeautiful-x

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    1. It really is isn't it? It's such a shame. Thank you Jessie-Ann; I've been on a total high this week - writing this post definitely helped my situation. I hope that I can help someone else through this, I didn't expect such a response if I'm honest! x

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