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"Hard is not hopeless." - General David Petraeus

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

My Plan To Beat Burnout

It's here.  Burning the edges off my energy and motivation.  The thing I dread most.


For nearly five straight months I've written consistently every day, even if it's only a few words a day.  But at the same time, I've been utterly frustrated at my inability to find time for research, which I so desperately need for the two novels I'm working on this year.  I can write in short snatches of time, but I can't research in short snatches of time.

I recognize the symptoms of burnout all too well as I've been down this path too many times to count. 

* Greater fatigue than usual
* Disinterest in writing and writing related activities
* Bleak outlook and feeling like I'll never make any real forward progress
* Difficulty mustering up the energy to care

The good news is that I've learned to recognize these warning signs a little earlier after much close personal experience.  So this time I can begin to deal with it before it takes a deep hold on me.

My action plan:
* Dial back on my workaholic tendencies.  I have a high stress job by day and push myself hard outside work nearly every waking hour.  Time to chill and give myself permission to do nothing.
* Do some leisure reading.  I haven't had nearly enough time to read for fun this year.
* Go out and exercise in a new venue.  My life has consisted of walks with the dog around the neighborhood and the inside of the gym.  I live in one of the most beautiful states in the union.  I need to go out and experience it and refill my senses.
* Pull out some favorite movies and TV shows.  Maybe watch my all time fave movie, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan or drool over Steve McGarrett in some Hawaii Five-0 episodes from season 1.
* Eat something bad for me.  I've been working my behind off at diet and exercise the last 9 weeks.  I think it's time to eat something positively sinful and enjoy it. I don't know what exactly but it has to include chocolate...maybe peanut butter too.  Maybe Hot Pockets too. 8-)

I thank the Lord that we have a three-day weekend coming up.  I need to make up for lost veg time.

If you have any other suggestions for beating burnout, I'd love to hear them.


Nicole said...

I think you've nailed them, Brenda. Go for it all and enjoy every minute. Then rest. Really rest.

Paula Mowery said...

Sometimes when I experience that burned-out feeling, I realize I've crowded God out. I often have to screech to a stop and make time with Him a priority again.

B.K. Jackson said...

Thanks, Nicole. Yes, rest and do little or nothing are on the plan for Memorial Weekend. Time to chill out.

B.K. Jackson said...

Good point, Paula. While I've had daily time with God, it isn't always quality. And He gets so little of my day as it is!