Still in burnout mode
It’s been two months now since I quit my job and I still have no idea what the hell I’m doing.
My life is mostly sleeping, feeling guilty about sleeping, taking baths, cooking, cleaning, and doing projects around the house. then feeling guilty about enjoying just being at home.
Turns out, burnout sucks; but a planner without a plan (or job, omg) is not good either!
On social media, I watch all these people seemingly who have it all figured out. Yes, I know better, social media lies, but they’re telling good lies I want to believe!
It can take 3 months to 3 years to recover from burnout, I remind myself. Rest and relaxation are precisely what I need right now. I fully embraced the hustle culture and it’s not going to go away overnight.
It has been interesting to observe my behavior over the last few months.
- Feeling like I don’t have enough time to complete a task. The other day I found myself rushing through my walk, pulling my dog away from sniffling something because “we had to go.” I was worried I needed to get back. It took some untangling to realize this was not indeed true, and I had nothing but time. It was a reflex!
- The constant need to check my phone, keep it near me, and dread it when it rings. This is pretty self-explanatory.
- Headaches. They come easily still. Just a little stress and hello, headache.
- Fatigue. Why am I still so dang sleepy? Is this part of it? Okay, yes, I could stop drinking and could start eating better and exercising, sure. Excellent point, internet stranger. I still want to nap when something stresses me out.
When you’re sitting and daydreaming about relaxing away from your job, you don’t consider how long it will take you to remove yourself from “high alert.” I imagine this would be even stronger, or strong in a different way, for those whose jobs involve life and death stresses.
Look, this time off is two-fold for me. Firstly, I need to recover from burnout. I’ve always enjoyed being a hard worker and found happiness in doing work that meant something to me. I want to get back to a place where I feel that again – so I need to take this seriously. Secondly, I don’t want to screw up this chance. This time is a gift. Yes, I want to become a normal, functioning human again, but I also want to establish routines that keep this from happening again. Here are the things I’m committed to currently:
- Spending time with people I love. Not worrying about rushing to get away (although the instinct is there). Accepting invitations and working on truly listening to what is happening in their lives (not just complaining about mine).
- Reading. I come from a family of readers and my favorite thing about vacation was getting time to read. Of course, I had time before, but I always chose Netflix over reading. Now I can have both!
- Cooking at home. Sometimes this means I have to eat my crappy food, but I’ve got to learn sometime.
- Saying no. If I’m not up for it, it doesn’t feel right, I don’t want it, whatever, I say no.
Over the next several months I’ll be traveling – which is always fun – so I’m going to get my fill of rest and relaxation here and now. This time has gone by so very fast, I’m sure this next year will too so I’m trying to slow down, reflect, and enjoy.
Brianna is a businessperson with a passion for social science and healthy living. They seem to always intersect and come together on Indie. If you’d like to read more articles like this one, check out Indie. Thanks, as always, for reading!