(Image from lifehack.org)
How do you deal with BURNOUT? What is BURNOUT anyway? Here’s my definition:
BURN + OUT. Burnout is when our BURNing excitement and drive to do things suddenly wear OUT. You no longer feel like doing the things that used to excite you. You feel exhausted and fatigued. Google says burnout is usually caused by overwork and stress, and is manifested physically and mentally. It’s a struggle to bring that spark back whenever we experience burnout. I myself have experienced it recently, that’s why I took a pretty long break from blogging. (My Vietnam entry was published two months after my trip because of extreme stress in other areas of my life.) During that period, I didn’t want to do anything, not even go out for dinner with my friends.
Whatever our reason for burnout is, one thing’s for sure — we have to get past it. The world won’t stop revolving and that project deadline won’t move just because you’re burned-out.
So, how do I deal with burnout? Again I’m no expert when it comes to these things but these have worked for me:
1. Allow yourself to be unproductive (but not for too long). When you’re burned-out, you just want to lie down and do nothing. Allow yourself to do just that because that’s exactly what you need. So don’t punish yourself too much for staying in bed all day watching Downton Abbey reruns and munching on your favorite snacks. But give yourself a deadline for this. No one wants to bitch about burnout and stay unproductive forever.
This show was my best friend during my burnout period. I just stayed in my room and watched every single episode of seasons 1 and 2 over and over again and I loved it! Thank you, Mindy Kaling! Season 3 has already started airing.
2. Shop or get pampered. Call me maarte, but sometimes a new hairdo or a trip to the spa or mall is just what it takes for me to push myself and bounce back into the game. It gives me a sense of renewal to start doing things again. So after a whole Saturday of being unproductive, why not book yourself a salon appointment the following day?
3. Seek help and inspiration. This may come in so many forms — prayers (of course!), help from a book, from music, from a gym instructor, from a mentor, or from friends and family. Martine De Luna‘s workshop, Blissful Blogging 2.0: How to Get Rid of Blogging Burnout, was very timely. I signed up right away because I didn’t want to get stuck in that rut for too long, and I did not want to have another abandoned blog!!! With the help of that workshop and of items 1 and 2, here I am, blogging again and about to make exciting changes on the blog soon!
The workshop was held last September 13 at the lovely Slate Creative Studio. Martine discussed bloggers’ common reasons for burnout and even shared what she has experienced in her blogging journey. I enjoyed the session because it was very intimate — we had time to go through each of our blogs and share how we were doing at that moment.
Make It Blissful chief bloggy belle and blooming preggy mama Martine De Luna gave each one of us RXes or prescriptions to avoid burnout in the future. She even treated us to one-on-one Skype sessions with her to discuss the way forward. Prior to the workshop, I was actually already blogging again thanks to the reminders and articles she’s been posting on our Facebook group. Sometimes you just have to surround yourself with the right people. Thank you, Martine, for the usual help and motivation.
We all have our own ways of dealing with burnout and the items above are what have worked for me. Now I’d like to ask — what’s burnout like for you and how do you deal with it? Hope you can share in the comment section below. I’m sure your inputs would be of help to me the next time burnout strikes.
Have a great day!