Day 20: Write about burnout. What does it feel like? What are your triggers? What gets you OUT of the pit of despair when nothing is going your way?
This prompt came at the perfect time as I have really been struggling with burnout the last couple days. Blogging every day for a month is hard y’all! But more than blogging burnout, it is difficult to not get burned out living every day with chronic illness. The pain is not only physically taxing but is also a major drain on you mentally, emotionally, socially, and spiritually.
The last two days I have just been maxed out and needed to take a step back. I sat in front of the computer screen on Thursday for what seemed like eternity and just watched the cursor blink on the screen. I stared at the prompt given by WeGo and as much as I tried to come up with something, I just had nothing to offer.
Physically, I am still trying to adjust to life without work. My first week off was spent running after Abby with Lysol and a bucket as she struggled with a stomach virus. Thankfully she is doing much better which has allowed me to focus more time on resting, especially since my endometriosis has seemed to be flaring more than usual. Sleep has been fleeting so I feel more fatigued which seems to exacerbate my pain (which makes it harder to sleep and the cycle continues).
Mentally and emotionally, I feel checked out. The reality of not working hasn’t fully set in and I’m still working on not feeling guilty for spending most of my day resting. I feel like I should be doing something else. I question the reality of my pain. I wonder if I’m doing something wrong. I worry that the pain will become too much to carry.
To escape the burnout, I had to take a step back from writing for the challenge and take a breather. I really wanted to achieve 30 posts in 30 days but I had to give myself permission to step away. I needed to not think about life with chronic illness for while. I don’t have a choice about living with it so I allowed myself some time where I didn’t have to focus on it. Instead I watched some Ghost Hunters, browsed Pinterest, caught up on my blog reading, and worked on plans for Abby’s birthday party. I did some behind the scenes work on the blog (have you checked out my updated About Me page?) which helped me feel like I was being productive without focusing on illness.
Taking a step back and working on some self-care has definitely made a difference and I feel more refreshed mentally and emotionally. When I sat down to write, I felt much more at ease and have a better perspective on my life and my goals with writing in the WeGo Health challenge. Through some of my seminary classes, I feel like I have been able to learn about burnout and steps to take to both prevent it and recover from it as well as learning to be more in tune with my body and my own personal triggers throughout my journey with illness.
What are your signs of burnout? What are some ways that you practice self-care to either prevent it or recover from it?