I just figured out on last Thursday that I’m suffering from burnout. After 5 months of telecommuting, I had to go in to the office to swap out laptops, and was able to read flyers for the few remaining employees. Some of these had tips for self-care, including one on Burnout. After reading the symptoms, I realized I fit many of the descriptors. I’ve emailed the 2 supervisors responsible for my work group, who have both been given other duties, and so have not been checking in with us regularly.
It doesn’t help that I’ve had all sorts of tech issues that have required hours of IT consultation and fixes on the new computer, including a crash this morning. Or that we’ve had people out. One is on temporary assignment elsewhere, and 3 called out today, leaving only 4 of us. It was so stressful, I was on the verge of tears several times this afternoon. So when the day finally ended, I wondered “What can I do to feel better when I’m so exhausted?” I didn’t want to stuff the feelings with food, and I sure wasn’t about to abandon 10 years of sobriety over this mess!
After playing a round of Spider Solitaire to relax my brain, I picked up Growing Up Again: Parenting Ourselves, Parenting Our Children by Jean Illsley Clarke and Connie Dawson. I had recommended it to a teammate with an adolescent daughter, and decided to check it out again. I had forgotten how wonderful it is. To give you a little flavor, here are a couple of quotes from the introduction:
“We believe that adults of any age can grow and that every day is a good time to rejoice in our being, to celebrate what we do well, and to go about changing any parts of our lives that we want to do better.”
“We are talking about now, not then, what is, not what was. And now you deserve loving, caring messages, and this is the time you can give them to yourself.”
I like how they discuss the need for both nurture and structure in our lives, and this afternoon I read Chapters 3-6 dealing with Nurture. Just having positive, affirming, helpful information to focus on got me out of focusing on the less than optimal working conditions I’m experiencing now. It would have been so easy to grind about all the things that are “wrong” and that I don’t like, but I would have been felt worse, and it would have drained even more energy and made it hard to do any of the productive things I want to work on—vacation planning, cleaning, exercise.
I’m so thankful I made this choice. And now I’m ready to get a little bit done this evening! I encourage you to check out this awesome book.