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Author Topic: Experiencing burn out; Send help.  (Read 618 times)
Memory
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« on: October 10, 2023 @835.27 »

The title says it all. I think that I'm experiencing burn out for the first time in my life. I've noticed over these past few weeks that I've forgotten how to relax. Even on days where I have absolutely nothing that I have to do, I feel future obligations like schoolwork & assignments breathing down my neck. I'm not sure how to combat this. Normally i just do everything that I possibly can as early as possible, but even when everything is done and there really is nothing that I can do, it still doesn't make me feel better. I'm having trouble living in the present & not the (hypothetical) future. Have you experienced this before? What should I do?

For this week at least, I'm doing as little as possible. I only work a single day this week & I'm actually skipping school tomorrow, in the name of doing as little as possible. I'm not sure what else to do though... I think if I do nothing then I'll fall into apathy, so I'm trying to just do things I like. You know, like reading, working on my site, etc.

I'm very open to any advice that you guys may have. I feel off, wrong, & want to set myself right again.
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xandra
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« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2023 @857.09 »

i find that when i'm burnt out doing things i actually enjoy that recharge my soul is best. i always put this on myself to "do nothing" to prevent burnout, but then i'm subconsciously beating myself up for doing nothing when things need to get done around me. so i try to be very intentional about things that "fill my cup," so to speak. i watch comforting movies, take a calming bath with all the fixings (candles, music, cannabis, etc.), go on forest walks and slowly take everything in, listen to music that energizes me and motivates me but with no expectation of doing anything. i try to do short-term things that i can just cross off the list, like wipe down the counters, which helps motivate me to get other things done. i'll sleep in (when possible), read short novels, and just take all the pressure off of creating or doing and, instead, focus on taking things in and appreciating the things around me. sitting outside, preferably in grass, moss, or surrounded by trees, and thinking about my life also helps a lot — it's all about just slowing down, taking the pressure off, and acknowledging where you currently are in your life, process, career, etc. a time of reflection and introspection.

i hope your burnout gets better! :) it will pass!  :4u:
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« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2023 @887.13 »

i try to be very intentional about things that "fill my cup," so to speak.

Thank you for your thoughtful response. I think that I've actually reached the same conclusion, that I need to do meaningful things, rather than just things, you know? I went on a walk today, sipped on a cup of coffee at my desk, & read my tarot cards. I like what you said about reading short novels, too, because I just finished a novella a couple of days ago & am starting on another short read, Kafka's The Metamorphosis. I think you are right in doing small things, too. Normally I sit down & get things done over the course of several hours, but I'll try breaking things up into smaller, easier to handle pieces, so as to avoid becoming overwhelmed.

Thank you for the well wishes & the guidance. I feel as though I can see my situation with some more clarity now. These feelings are new to me, so I'm happy to hear how someone else has navigated them.

Oh & I forgot to add that this idea of introspection is actually one that came up in my tarot reading, haha.

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« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2023 @896.35 »

Burnout always makes me think of this episode of blackbooks  :tongue:



But I will say; this is one of the reasons retro tech is great; it requires so much extra attention, and it just exists out of time; you can really get lost in its stories and its quirks; and sometimes when you do get really into an old thing, you end up finding inspiration or an alternate way of thinking that you can bring back with you to your future projects  :grin:
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« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2023 @920.34 »

Hi.
Setting out for a week is a good intervention - if possible, use the time out to reflect a bit about the factors that caused your distress (Why? When did it start? What situations bothered you especially?), and things you can do to prevent them in the future.
Being at school is a situation where things often get messy. Is there a alternative way of dealing with your situations to the one you attempted in the past few weeks? Are there people who know and understand you, and would it be maybe a good idea to talk to them about your current feelings?

Try to iron out your current situation. If things are easier again, attempt to built up some resilience: Active sensitivity about your own needs, a healthy diet, enough sport, enough sleep, and restrain when it comes to the use of drugs (speaking of which: If you aren't well atm, it is better to stay off them at all - the risk of addiction through "self-therapeutic" use is increased) will help you to prevent future breakdowns.
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« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2023 @257.41 »

But I will say; this is one of the reasons retro tech is great; it requires so much extra attention, and it just exists out of time; you can really get lost in its stories and its quirks; and sometimes when you do get really into an old thing, you end up finding inspiration or an alternate way of thinking that you can bring back with you to your future projects  :grin:
I thought about what you said for a little while & I think I really get what you mean. The moment I started feeling weird & bad, I just felt this urge to pour myself into working on my site. Something kind of just clicked in my head where I'm realizing that the opposite of burnout isn't doing nothing; The opposite of burnout is actually just feeling passionate. Trying to force myself to relax isn't going to fix things. I just need to take this time to do things that are important to me. I actually just drew for the first time in over a month. It feels really nice.
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« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2023 @261.13 »

@ThunderPerfectWitchcraft, thank you. I think self reflection is what I need. When I started feeling weird, I started feeling kind of detached from everything around me, like the world is spinning & I'm not part of it. Normally I'm the type of person to really immerse myself in the small things around me, I guess another word is "mindful," so this is unusual for me. & maybe I will reach out to my friend. She's asked me how I was these past few days & all I've told her is that I feel bad & don't want to talk about it, but maybe I'll try opening up. As for your last paragraph, I've been thinking that maybe some sort of concrete sleep schedule will help me get back on my feet. Anyways, I really appreciate you taking the time to help me, an internet stranger, with my problems.
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ThunderPerfectWitchcraft
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« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2023 @701.39 »

You're welcome. Good luck!
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« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2023 @947.65 »

Everyone already gave such lovely and helpful responses, so I doubt I will be adding much of anything...

Awhile back, I left a link to this article on burnout within the "The Small Web As A Safe Space For Sharing Experiences" thread. I tried to include as much practical life advice within that article and thread as I could. However, to more specifically address this thread...

You've stated that you are normally pretty "mindful" (i.e.: operate with presence of awareness, for example, by giving yourself cues that lead you back into focusing upon the details of the present moment instead of a nebulous hypothetical future). But how does what you are doing connect with your core values and overall sense of purpose?

You do not have to answer that question if it is too personal, but that is immediately what I thought of after reading everything that you have said so far, especially this part:

...Trying to force myself to relax isn't going to fix things. I just need to take this time to do things that are important to me. I actually just drew for the first time in over a month. It feels really nice.

Personally, I start to feel a bit restless when it seems that my activities are diverging too far from my core values or there is a vagueness about how my activities are contributing to my purpose, even when there aren't significant stressors within my life otherwise. Conversing with your friend might help. Dialogue can often act as a mirror into our own inner life that helps us to clarify these sorts of things.

Hope all is well! :transport:
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« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2023 @194.13 »

Everyone already gave such lovely and helpful responses, so I doubt I will be adding much of anything...
You've stated that you are normally pretty "mindful" (i.e.: operate with presence of awareness, for example, by giving yourself cues that lead you back into focusing upon the details of the present moment instead of a nebulous hypothetical future). But how does what you are doing connect with your core values and overall sense of purpose?

You do not have to answer that question if it is too personal, but that is immediately what I thought of after reading everything that you have said so far

Hm, I guess I feel like I'm just doing things that don't matter to me. Work, school, they're just means to an end & I think I hate the means. I think maybe I'm just doing too much... I go to school full time & work twenty or so hours a week. I think I'm going to quit my job after next semester & only do school, but it feels like all of the things I need are in this barely out of reach future.

It feels like instead of my hobbies revitalizing me, they've felt tiring in the same way that work does & this is unusual. I don't know. Starting them is hard, but once I'm in the process of doing something fun I'm able to lose myself in it.

Outside of that, I've just had a series of painful things happen this past month or so & even outside of that, I feel like I'm very much in my head. If we're speaking about values, my normal day-to-day philosophy is to immerse myself in the moment & honestly just to live day by day, but at the moment this philosophy of mine isn't serving me. It seems more like this ideal that I'm not able to live up to at the moment, so maybe I need to adjust my expectations for myself.

I don't know, I feel like as of now I have far more questions & speculations than answers.
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« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2023 @104.42 »

To be honest, I really dislike talking about myself, but I feel called to openly share a few personal experiences. It will cover some serious topics and be a little long...These are not necessarily suggestions. Please do not feel obligated to read or reply to any of this. You might not find any of it relevant to you...

Hm, I guess I feel like I'm just doing things that don't matter to me. Work, school, they're just means to an end & I think I hate the means. I think maybe I'm just doing too much... I go to school full time & work twenty or so hours a week. I think I'm going to quit my job after next semester & only do school, but it feels like all of the things I need are in this barely out of reach future.

I can deeply identify with these sentiments, and a lot of people are probably going through similar situations right now.

All throughout growing up, I was a top student until I got into high school. Everything about it started to feel like "busy work" to me, so I staunchly refused to do it any longer. I instantly went from straight A's to failing several classes, and then, I dropped out completely. Funnily enough, when I was no longer forced to follow a curriculum or timetable, I became incredibly passionate about researching a wide variety of different topics and spent all of my time doing so. Not long after, it transformed into constantly trying to share information that seemed like it could be of help to others and attempting to develop my skills in conveying it through writing, art, and music. The idea of turning that task into a "business" hurt my conscience. So, when it seemed that entering the workforce was unavoidable, I was "in-between a rock and a hard place". The jobs that I held felt like being in school all over again, a lot of meaningless "busy work" that distracted me from actually studying.

I think it is entirely possible to approach those types of environments (i.e.: workplaces and schools) in a way where it doesn't feel like one is compromising their values or squandering their time, but I won't lie, I have personally gotten to the point where I no longer choose to navigate them. To elaborate and clarify: I would not consider myself anti-social or lacking in self-responsibility. I genuinely care about people in general and find nearly everyone easy to get along with on some level. Likewise, I rarely ask anyone for assistance and sincerely want each thing that I do to serve everyone. However, I also do not want to direct my effort towards furthering many of the social structures that we, as in humanity as a whole, have developed, whether consciously or unconsciously. I ended up getting rid of a good chunk of my personal possessions and live on the street. I do the minimum needed to survive as I focus almost entirely on activities that I truly feel will fulfill my purpose in helping humanity. Some might find this "weird" or "extreme", but I feel freer than I have ever felt. No matter what happens, I am at peace with myself despite whatever anyone else may think about it. Again, this is NOT a suggestion. It is not an "easy" way to live if we are suddenly faced with it and completely unprepared. The first few weeks were particularly difficult for me, but I am extremely grateful that things have seemed to work out so far over these past few months. I have a lot to be thankful for.

People often suggest to others that they should "just follow their passion", but then proceed to ignore the realities of living within a society among other people, the support and resources that they take for granted, and/or their level of skill in survival. If I may, I would like to humbly share a few ideas to facilitate everyone's transition towards more "freedom" in every sense of the word...Not all of this is directed at you specifically Vashti, I'm just thinking out loud...

First, one must strike a balance. In the burnout article that I linked to, I mention this tool:



It is helpful to give some careful consideration to what we would put within each section created by the overlapping circles. If we are already clear on the "ends" that we resonante with most, how can we transform our current "means" to achieve them? It is important to point out that physical needs sometimes take precedence over emotional wants, but that does not mean that one has to start doing destructive things or compromising in potentially dangerous ways in order to meet them. For example, sometimes when people are desperate they adopt a philosophy of "the ends justifies the means" and choose to become involved in "illicit trades" (e.g.: stealing, drug dealing, etc.) as a result. Karma will always catch up with a person though, even if the impact is not immediate or visible. How do our beliefs influence our behaviors, and what are the consequences of those actions?

If at all possible, we should channel all of our resources (which includes time, attention, energy, effort, etc.) towards self-sufficiency so that we can become progressively less dependent upon a "job" or "money" of any kind. I talk about this subject a little bit within the article, Media Addiction & The Slow Death of Enjoyment, where I posted this diagram:



As our resources start to accumulate, we should delay gratification, thinking carefully about what we direct our resources towards and why. Likewise, we should not compare ourselves to others or try to "scale up" our lifestyle. Live modestly and continually find ways to channel any abundance towards everyone's benefit as much as possible. This will start to shift the environment around us.

For those that are in college, please realize that finishing school is not necessarily a guarantee of a stable job. Try to minimize debt and make full use of what is there. For example, many college campuses have extensive libraries with expensive and hard-to-find pieces of media, many teachers have open office hours where we can ask them questions and gain from their direct experience in their respective fields, many campuses have clubs where we can network with people of similar interests and do projects together, some have free counseling, childcare, and other services, etc. Be friendly with everyone, but try not to be promiscuous or "party" (in the sense of drinking or doing drugs). While they might seem "enjoyable" in the moment, those things have a tendency to cause tiredness, heartache, and regrets in the long-term. Try to eat healthy food and get proper sleep.

Ultimately, while our environment can heavily influence us, everything that we do is self-motivated. Civilization should provide helpful guidance and support, assisting the individual in their growth and facilitating a harmonious experience among the collective. As it now stands, it does not seem to do much of either for the vast majority of people. I am not necessarily talking about the effects of "wealth" inequality either. Ironically, some of the most affluent also seem to be some of the most miserable sometimes. No, it is something much more fundamental...Agapic Love may be intangible, but it is more necessary to our continued existence than any amount of physical goods or resources. Its lack is currently putting all of humanity in jeopardy on multiple fronts. Thankfully, this understanding seems to be flourishing within the public consciousness since the world-wide lockdown gave a significant portion of the population an extended period of time to reflect on themselves and how their environments are structured, whether that be home, work, school, etc.

It may all seem overwhelming, but be of good cheer, and have patience for yourself and others.

It feels like instead of my hobbies revitalizing me, they've felt tiring in the same way that work does & this is unusual. I don't know. Starting them is hard, but once I'm in the process of doing something fun I'm able to lose myself in it.

When I am in situations that are painful, my regular ways of coping (like throwing myself into my research) do not always work in helping me to relax. A similar thing occurs when I feel that I am procrastinating in some way. It is as if my subconscious knows that I am attempting to distract myself from my obligations. Generally, being pressured into doing something is often unpleasant and causes stress, even if we know that it will be of benefit to us in the long-term. Likewise, we can hold onto tension without realizing it and must consciously choose to "slow down" and "release" sometimes. Knowing how best to relax at any given moment can be a skill.

Outside of that, I've just had a series of painful things happen this past month or so & even outside of that, I feel like I'm very much in my head. If we're speaking about values, my normal day-to-day philosophy is to immerse myself in the moment & honestly just to live day by day, but at the moment this philosophy of mine isn't serving me. It seems more like this ideal that I'm not able to live up to at the moment, so maybe I need to adjust my expectations for myself.

Our "internal dialogue" (i.e.: the ways in which we talk to ourselves) can sometimes undermine our sense of self-compassion. It is good to have an expansive vision for one's life, but be cautious of unrealistic ideals that degrade into "perfectionism".

Much healing unto you. :4u:

« Last Edit: October 13, 2023 @694.28 by purelyconstructive » Logged
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