Friday, March 08, 2013

Feeling the warm glow of burn out

Work has been very busy for almost half a year now. I have been working a lot. I get up early, I stay focused at work, and I do things on the mamadag. But I can feel a small burn starting behind my eyes. This week I found myself getting sidetracked a lot. Much more than usual. I'd be doing a task, then I'd completely forget what I was doing. I felt this morning that I was waking up feeling still tired despite getting a full night's sleep.

Now that I am well into the work life, I recognize these signs immediately for what they are: burnout. It's the start. The first time it happens you don't even notice until you're completely burnt out. It's too late then. It takes me personally AGES to regain my energy and enthusiasm. It's an unpleasant experience. After the first couple times I realized it was counterproductive. I evidently have very set limits to how much I can pour into something, and those limits, while flexible and changing with the rest of life's circumstances, cannot be expanded. No self-help book or clever tricks work. It's my opinion that we all have only so much energy to care and do and when you exhaust the reserve it's like any resource, it takes a long time to replenish it. For me the recovery always feels very slow. I've come to the conclusion that it's better to slow things down and try to avoid burnout earlier rather than go through the cycle and lose twice as much productive time recuperating.

So this mamadag, I'm hanging tight. I didn't read any work mails (I'll probably check quickly now just so I don't have a heart attack Monday). I don't have any calls (YEAH!). I'm going to take it easy. I am going to make sure I get to the gym next week. Time to pull back a little and give the brain a break.

No comments: