Thursday, September 27, 2012

Burned Out

 I am a generally upbeat person. I always try to look on the bright side of things and make the most out of every situation, even the bad ones. Subsequently, there is very little negativity on this blog. No one likes negativity, and I'd much rather write about what inspires me than about what makes me cry.

But lately I've been feeling burned out and I feel inclined to write about it here, perhaps in hopes of getting some good advice from others who've found themselves in the same rut I'm currently hiding in.

As of late, I'm feeling exhausted. Stressed and lazy all at once, which I have to say is a terrible combination. It is a result of biting off more than I can chew, realizing that I'm doing too much, and then continuing to add more and more to my list because I can handle anything, right? Wrong.

I've been doing freelance writing lately, which I've been loving. It's fun, exciting, challenging and requires me to get creative. It's also really time consuming. Add in all of the freelance photography I've been doing, the graphic design,  a full-semester's worth of online classes all on top of holding down a regular job, blogging, being a wife and going out of town every weekend...I feel just about ready to crack! My apartment is messy and it's driving me crazy but I don't have the energy to clean it. 

Our trip to Tuscany is coming up. In my mind, that trip is where I can let all of this stress go and hopefully come back a new woman. Hopefully. I'm trying to cram two weeks of school into one this week, in hopes of avoiding doing homework and taking exams in my hotel room while we're there. While I'm so grateful for the flexibility that online classes are providing me, doubling the course load is enough to make a girl crazy.

So here comes my question: How do you destress when it all becomes too much? What relaxes you and calms you down and gets you ready to face the day again? Words of wisdom are much appreciated.


Jenna said...

Ugh, I know the feeling lady! This was totally me in August before my trip to the States. Usually what works best for me is setting small goals for each days and then physically crossing things off a list as they get done. Feels so productive for some reason :)

Good luck with everything - Italy is the bright light at the end of the tunnel :)


engquist said...

I fully understand and can relate entirely right now. We're moving, dealing with jetlag, car issues, and about twelve million other things. This morning I woke up with a cold and it was the most blissful thing because my body was just telling me to chill out. Take the day off and stop worrying. My list is not shorter, but if I don't take the time to relax and put things in perspective, nothing will get done. Hang in there!

Megan said...

and it is officially time for you to take a deep breath... :) i went through the same thing about two months ago. too much freelancing, too much worrying about my blog (which i refuse to make money off of so i dont know why i worry about it), too much everything.

sometimes you just have to take a week off from it ALL and relax and prioritize what is most important to you. for me it was taking time off from blogging nearly every single day (now im good at about once or twice a week, which sucks, but it is A LOT of pressure off my back), not contacting people for sponsorships or partnering every time i travel (less pressure when you get home and have to review the places), and not taking on much freelancing at all. while i want to do it all, it's just not feasible.

what takes stress of my back is traveling...which is also the same thing that creates stress sometimes. but sometimes it is nice to take a vacation somewhere and not update twitter, not have posts scheduled (b/c then you feel you must respond to comments, etc), and not once on that trip think "this is a cool restaurant; im going to write about it when i get back". hell i even have my boyfriend thinking about cool things to blog about when we travel...he does this without me even knowing and then tells me later. AGHHHH!

i would use your days in tuscany to unwind and not worry about blogging, freelancing, or anything else. focus your attention on you, good food, and your husband. your blog will still be there when you return. and if you feel like writing about your trip, cool...but if you dont feel like writing about it, cool too :)

Megan said...

ps: i still owe you an unpacking my new place right now...gonna get to it soon <3

gladley said...

Burn out it really useful because it lets you know how much you can handle. Sounds silly, but I learned the hard way too.

A few years ago I was working full time for the government, doing a Masters degree, attending night classes (in German!), campaigning for a political party, and struggling to pay my rent and have a social life. I cut back the bit that was stressing me out most, which turned out to be my job. I found other ways to pay my rent and finish my studies.

Don't be afraid to completely switch off in Tuscany (I'm so jealous) and when you get back see what's stressing you out the most, and then cut it back from your life. Then watch a funny movie.

And then making small goals for each day, things you know you'll achieve in one day, will help hugely.

lostintravels said...

I love this post. I was actually planning to write something similar soon because I'm going through a similar phase. So what do I do? Funny shows, prayer and lots of Hillsong United blasting every time I get in my car. Hang in there, it will pass.

Jeanelle said...

I know what you mean :( We have all been there. Take a deep breath and prioritize. Try things like yoga, going on runs and allowing yourself to breathe a little.

One little thing that I started doing which really helped is going to coffee shops alone on Sundays. I would write my to-do list, treat myself to a big coffee (and cookie) and just spend the afternoon writing, catching up on emails or blogging. Something about the atmosphere really calmed me. Hope this helps and hang in there, friend!


MKBurr said...

Go to a cafe, get something special, sit and relax. What REALLY helped me the other day was sitting somewhere in complete silence and taking a few breaths. I also only do things if I WANT to do them and they'd make me happy, because life should be full of happiness. One day at a time!


Alex Butts said...

I seriously have been digging the Pomdoro Technique - focus and task switching. It sounds like you have so many wonderful things going on and I know you will find time to slow down. Your vacation should be perfect!

Becca G said...

The best way I've found to destress is go on a long walk, listen to your favorite songs and think about your blessings. Then a long soak in a hot bubble bath followed by a sinful amount of chocolate!

I hope this helps! xo

StephanieKelly said...

First of all, you are pretty darn awesome to be doing all of those things. I thought college, work, and extra curriculars (clubs and orgs) was a lot when I was in college, add marriage and another job? Not possible for this girl. However, you have to allow yourself a break. Something that I wish I had learned a bit earlier in life is that it is okay to say no. It's okay to say no to taking on another responsibility, it's okay to say no to homework for a little while. Also, it's okay to say yes to doing what will help you relax. For me, the best thing to do was to make up a list of the things I felt I had to get done, just write it all down. Then, cross off things that don't actually matter, then prioritize the rest. If it's truly important, just get it done, if it can wait, let it. You can do this! You are an incredible person and you will get through this season.

Alysha Doan said...

It's simple, but I do yoga. It gives me enough to concentrate on (holding in the bhandas, keeping my back straight, focusing on the drishti (gaze point)) so that my mind doesn't start running with all the things I should be doing. And it just FEELS good. Don't skimp out on savasana at the end! I like to pull up the routines on BYUtv. You can watch them online. Hope it helps!

Anna said...

vacation will absolutely help! really, just to get away from it all is totally rejuvenating. :)
good music always helps me relax. I also like to take little bike rides to get out some energy then go back to whatever I was doing.

JC said...

First of all doing all those things is very impressive, but there is no reason you HAVE to do them ALL, all the time. You can say no sometimes. Sometimes you simply have to just to keep your sanity. I am bad at this too.
One of the things that really helps me to distress is keeping a journal. I don’t necessarily use my journal as a tirade of all me woos but sometimes it just keeps track of all my lists, or my expenses. I write down things I need to remember to do, goals that I have for the day or week or fun memories. I devote a few minutes every day to at least looking at the journal. Even if I have nothing to write, sometimes reading a list I wrote two days ago reminds me of something I didn’t do. It helps me keep track of my accomplishments and the calendar in the front helps me keep track of my schedule. If I need to unwind I use it to sketch, or brainstorm, or paste in motivational quotes. I cannot tell you the number of pages that just look like scribbles. Writing by hand is like therapy.

Delusions of Grandeur said...

I completely understand you, as I take on too much all the time and just as you've described, will lay around on the couch feeling totally uninspired to do anything, meanwhile the anxiety grows because I know there is SO MUCH waiting for me. For me, lists help - a LOT. If I have to break an hour into little 5-10 minute increments in which I accomplish mini goals, then so be it. I also second the above poster who recommended the Pomodoro technique - that may be the one thing that has kept me from getting kicked out of my PhD program. And lastly, as someone else also mentioned, you may be truly burned out and just need a break - maybe a weekend, maybe a week or two. Hang in there, and know you're not the only one! I've always been a high energy, motivated person, and know how demoralizing burnout can feel.

Daily Photo 2012 said...

Two things always help me: Take a long hot shower, and light a scented candle.
It's something my mom taught me to do when I'm stressed, and it always at least helps a little bit.
Hope things get better soon!

nancy said...

ugh, I'm sorry you're dealing with such a horrible feeling. I know the one - the stressed-lazy double.

I usually let myself have a day to wallow - a whole day from start to finish where I'm just lazy. and even if I think "oh, I should really get onto that homework" I just leave it. and then the next day, from start to finish, I do everything I SHOULD be doing - I exercise, I drink tea, I eat healthy meals, I plan out my entire day to fit in everything I need to fit in. I just tell myself that I just need to push through that day.

your trip will be amazing :) and getting things done before you go away is a good idea! just as long as you don't completely burn out and get sick before you go! give yourself lazy days :)

or, you know. have a glass of wine. or go watch the sunset at the beach one day. or go to an animal shelter and cuddle the kittens and puppies. or the candle thing :)

feel better!

Carrie Teal said...

I hope you feel better soon, I still do way to much , but I used to be a yes gal. I would do pretty much anything someone asked, not anymore . I am picky how I spend my time . So my advice is try to be really selective. I find that running also helps me destress and produces endorphins .

Jackie D said...

Everyone here is giving really awesome advice -- like I think it is actually helping ME de-stress right now just reading through all of these. What I usually do when I'm feeling overwhelmed is to just sit for a second and think about something that I really, really want to do.

Something that makes me excited just thinking about it. Sometimes it's bumming around and watching 8 straight episodes of something embarrassing online, or sometimes it's going to an art museum, or sometimes it's having a 2 hour long conversation with my mom on the phone. But whatever it is, it's something that I and only I want to do, without having to take anyone else into consideration (well, except for my mom I guess. But she's usually down for long phone calls). Straight up girl/me time.

Sierra said...

Thank you for being open and sharing. just know that you are not alone in feeling all of these things.
Hope all is well,
SierraOh, Just Living the Dream


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