Everyone’s hit it,
though some deny it,
and once you’ve been bit,
you won’t care a wit.
I saw it in corporate healthcare and I see it in my fellow creatives: BURNOUT.
Burnout became the it word a few years ago and then quickly following came self-care. I saw it in corporate healthcare and I see it in creatives. No matter who’s experiencing it, it’s a hard thing to climb out of. Even for those of us who know what we have to do.
That thimble thing I put in the title? That’s real life right there. I’ve been through burnout that was compounded by my chronic illness. And I climbed out. It took a lot longer than I wanted it to, though now I know a few things NOT to do.
I’ve done the relaxing. Check. But as Jeffe pointed out on Sunday, you can’t relax when you’re multitasking. Uncheck.
Google burnout and you’ll find suggestions to read. Reading! Yay, my favorite pastime! Check. But, what do you do when your body is out of whack and you’re depressed? Depression robs the joy from the even the simplest things. Uncheck.
Then, how about unplugging? Check.
I’m not going to uncheck that one because I’ve learned that what I need when I’m at the bottom is to seriously unplug. When my well is bone-dry, I need to walk away from all the voices and opinions floating around the social. If I’m going to have a chance at a bucket, or even a cup, rather than a thimble…I need to get out where I can breathe and the only voice I hear is in the wind.
To my fellow chronic disease sufferers, I know there are days where getting outside in the fresh air is insurmountable. I’m blessed to have a furry companion that pushes me, but there are still days it doesn’t happen. And that’s okay. If I beat myself up over it I’m going the wrong way. But, if I let it happen and just breathe, then I’ll get out the next day.
That’s how I start, by filling a thimble. I find some snow, or sunshine, or raindrops splashing into a puddle to stare at. And before I know it I’m listening to the birds and imagining what they’d be saying if there were fae walking beneath the branches.
Maybe this is why writing fantasy, in which there are always powerful trees, seems to come from my soul whereas writing science fiction is all brain-power entertainment.
That’s how I keep going and how my thimble amount grows into a cup and then a bucket. Nothing fancy and it’s often frustrating and humbling, but that’s how life is. So, dear reader, how do you bounce back when your emotional/mental/physical well is empty?