Where has the time gone? I can’t believe that it is almost July. This post is to recognize the fact that I’ve been absent or doing the minimum lately. I’m sorry.
I have no real excuse. I have been dealing with illnesses and doctor appointments and that takes a lot of energy but it has not stopped me before. We also moved but that was a temporary stress. Am I burnt out?
I just ran out of energy to do everything beyond the bare minimum. I wondered about depression but this feels different.
What is burn out?
There is a lot written about burn out, especially for people with perfectionist tendencies (uh oh). The symptoms:
- Emotional exhaustion
- Alienation from (job-related) activities
- Reduced performance
I like the description at PubMed Health because it also discusses the differences between burn out and depression.
In my case, I think I’ve been suffering from reduced performance due to illness/treatments and then spending more time feeling guilty instead of doing things. Again, I’m sorry if you are one of the people who has been waiting for me to do something.
Can physical illness lead to burnout?
If you look up physical illness and burnout, you get a lot of information on how burn out can cause illness – but not how illness impacts feelings of burn out. Is this because people expect you to modify your behaviour when sick? Maybe I put my expectations too high and thought I could do more especially as I get older. (I hate having to add that caveat.) I’ve dealt with some big illnesses in the past and maybe my memory of abilities while sick and recovering were inflated. It doesn’t matter – I haven’t been able to do what I want. I don’t think I’m burnt out but may have been on my way.
So what now?
One worry is how much things have piled up! Now that I’m feeling better, I’m hoping to just start doing things. I will try to spend less energy on worrying about how much I’ve let people down.
I will also try to celebrate what gets done. To avoid real burn out, I’ll make sure that I’m including exercise and varying my activities every day.
Current Project List
There are many things but these are top of mind and overdue promises. I will try to include links as they are done:
- ‘Sorry’ image in many languages: would be great for this post.
- public health experience: requested by patients from other systems that I recently spent some quality time with
- Candy DNA exercise: promised this to a class months ago but hopefully useful for new class
- mosaic vs. chimera post: pet peeve
- information about craftgeeks: students who have joined me in making science-related crafts
- DNAfit review
- daily exercise: starting with 20 minute walks so that I don’t do too much too soon
- what else?
I need to embrace imperfection and also focus on what is done, not what is left. I think I should consciously remind myself because I had similar thoughts in 2011 when I embraced perfektion.
Do you have suggestions for me to tackle my lack of action?