Dealing with the Big “B”: Burnout
Nothing to give, nothing to say, nothing to create. I’m drained!
A friend gave me great advice when things aren’t working out as you want, leave it alone. Don’t bother it, don’t touch it, don’t allow it to fester in your mind and spirit. There’s nothing left to do but allow things to organically come back together. And when the time is right, it does.
At times, I find it hard to constantly create ways to simply…create. I can’t concentrate, can’t think, and don’t have the normal drive to sit at the computer. And when I do, the ideas just won’t come. I feel sluggish and tired, only wanting to lay in bed. It’s not that I don’t want to be productive I just can’t get with it.
This is what I call burnout. It's more than having “writer’s block”. It’s a mental block, preventing me the ability to function at my full capacity. Time moves on and nothing happens. It becomes comfortable for me to “not do it”. Then it mentally takes a toll as I feel like I’m being lazy.
I love to write. I love to create. I want to work. But my mind and body just won’t allow it. When this moment arises, I have no choice but to step back and regain focus on my own time.
It can come from lack of sleep due to work and/or piling more on my plate to “keep up”. So, I want to share what I’ve learned during my moments of burning out.
Be honest with yourself about what you can/can’t handle. It’s okay!
How do you know you’re burnt out?
One minute you’re going full force, producing at a fast pace. Then the next…boom, it hits you. Sluggish feelings and frustration set in because you can't produce like you used to. The feelings are hard to control and come out of. You have no choice but to go with the motions of irregular patterns thrown into your regular work routine.
Whenever this feeling arises what can you do? First, it's best to identify what it is. Feeling the burnout can come in many forms. It can range from falling behind on personal and professional deadlines to staying in bed longer than the alarm clock(s). It can also show up in the physical form. Headaches, physical pains, tiredness, and even sickness.
Getting hit with these symptoms can make you feel as if you’re inactive. Self-doubt kicks in, bringing you further down into a bad spiral. Instead of piling more work and forcing it, recognize what is happening to you. Understanding that you’re going through the motions of burning out, helps in dealing with it.
When to leave things alone.
As you deal with the mental and physical changes from being burnt out, you must know when to leave the work alone. Allowing it to just create space to recharge. Taking time away from your project, job, or whatever that’s draining you helps in refocusing your purpose while getting the necessary energy back.
What if you’re not able to fully take time away? Peel a few layers off your tasks. Cutting back can be just as effective. Just as long as you’re not trying to operate at full speed while your energy is on empty.
When your cell phone or laptop battery is low what do you do? Charge it. You don’t put more work on it or curse it because it's lacking productivity.
What to do in the meantime.
While stepping away or cutting back, it's best to fill those spaces with activities to refuel. Remember, taking this time is meant to help YOU. Not to take on a new stressor or do for someone else. This is all about getting your mind and spirit back to a place where you’re operating on 100%. Here are a few examples of what to do:
Get ready for the abundance. Jump back in!
After you have taken that necessary time, your mind and body have a way of letting you know that it’s time to jump back in. You can also test the waters if you’re feeling antsy but don’t hesitate to pull back if you’re feeling overwhelmed again.
It tends to happen when you least expect it. All of a sudden, you feel better. The headaches are gone, and you feel like a new person. Once the burnout flows away from your recharging, you’ll tend to receive random overflows of ideas and creativity.
You wake up one day on a full battery and you’re ready to go!
Burning out is normal. It doesn’t equate to a lack of productivity. You can’t escape it if you’re constantly working hard towards your goals. We’ve all been there. Don’t worry because it's only temporary, as long as you take care of yourself. Sooner than you think, you’ll be able to get back on the saddle operating better than ever!
The Blakk Dahlia (E. Alexcina Brown) is a New York City author/blogger from Macon, GA. Recently, she released the book series, the Heartbreak Diaries outlining different perspectives of heartbreak. The Dahlia Diaries is a lifestyle blog penned by The Blakk Dahlia, sharing her story in NYC along with life lessons and tips she's learned in her journey.
"I LOVE to write and create. These are the diaries of how I work and deal in my world of writing and adventures!"
- The Blakk Dahlia
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