Monday, 9 March 2015

Feeling the burn (out).

I don't know about you, but I've felt the burnout of something dragging on far too long, when in reality it hasn't actually been that much time in terms of my life's length. I'm 26, and studying since 2009 isn't actually that long (well this is year six of study, but I did take off one and half years of that)...
The things that drag on can be anything from arguments that really should have been resolved by now; to those activities that just drag on and on and on.

When someone asks how you are, or what you've been doing... they are really asking about you as an individual, not by what things you've been doing recently (for everyone else).
I started noticing that I'd be really excited about something that was really small but it seemed like a huge thing in my life. The polar opposite of the problem of turning a molehill into a mountain!

Today's post was inspired by this awesome video by Greta Christina on Activism Burn Out (video).
Greta is an inspiring speaker - I need to go and read her blog more.

Things that inspire you should be what drives your actions - something that excites and challenges you as a person is a lot better than doing things you're not enjoying (which is where the feeling of things dragging on comes into play.)

I know I need to take more breaks for me, to just take time out.
Everything I do can be done by others - for me learning to say no was one of the hardest lessons I've learned as an adult. It's better to say no, straight up than flake out at the last minute etc.

It's important to know your limits of what you can (and can't) do. 

There are things we can do to help alleviate the feeling of burnout by a number of things we can do: (Choose wisely if you're asking someone to join you... they may not want to be social etc.)

1. Thank people for those awesome things they do.

2. Leave positive feedback - if you like what someone does tell them!

3. Celebrate - eat chocolate, enjoy a glass of red wine (or other drink of choice).

4. Meditation, yoga, anything that makes you feel calmer.

5. Go camping, or hiking in the wilderness.

6. Party or go clubbing, be social in other ways.

7. Have a drink and chat with a friend (coffee?).

8. Educate yourself with ISM's and how you're acting, speaking and treat others... (ableism, sexism, racism, etc etc.) If someone tells you that you're screwing up listen to them and change yourself / or you see someone do this, call them out on it! We have to work on ourselves making others around us feeling better with what we do, say and feel.

9. Harassment. threats and in particular persistent harassment is targeting particular people (ie women on twitter), it drives people away. Don't make it trivialised or apologise for it. Don't tell victims to "just ignore it". Instead challenge their negative views. Don't allow your community to tolerate such views and opinions. Make this an aim to prevent such treatment.

10. Seek external help if you can't easily change things - there are lots of charities and groups who work with people for every day things. Counselling isn't something to be ashamed of (I've been before and I will go again.) Counselling and help is available to everyone - ask and you may be surprised what you can get.

Self care is not selfish.