I am grateful for you sharing your experience! I am in a similar struggle currently and am trying to battle burnout while working full-time and learning new skills to move into a new profession.
Do you have any insights on how you balanced life, recovering from burnout, and learning your new job? Were you able to keep your learning at work, or did you need to take it home until you were caught up?
Right, so the first thing I did was stop working more than 40 hours, in fact I was regularly only doing 7 hour days. No one questioned that, besides the whole company always saw me working, if I left early I think they assumed I just started early!!
Then I stopped doing all personal projects, and took a break, and that helped heaps. Think of it like like needing to recharge the battery in your phone. It will take longer if you are using it. It will charge faster if it's off.
When you do want to start doing personal projects again, ease into it. I want to blog here, and write about space, and write a fiction book, and learn to draw, and was briefly learning German. I did not have the headspace nor time to do it all at once and when i realised success would come from focussing in on just one at a time, I got a lot less stressed when I hadn't hit my goal of 1 blog article, 1 space article, 5k words on my book every week that I had foolishly
set for myself.
And that wasn't a sure fire solution, i started a new job and i had a mini 'burn out' because I went from knowing EVERYTHING in my last job and I hated knowing nothing in my new role. I had a to take some mental health leave.
Have you considered taking some days off, Im aware different countries have different leave allowances.
Another thing I did was do an analysis of what stressed me. I look at stress like bills, if too much is going out, then you run our of money. There where things in my personal life that were contributing so I did what I could to nullify them, where possible.
Then there is the obvious ones: Eat well, Exercise regularly, reduce booze / drugs, see your friends and family more.
In terms of at work, push the problem up hill and stand your ground. I made my manager aware of everything. Right this is my 40 hours, what am I doing? and if new stuff came in all urgent urgent urgent I made him make the call every time. I even made him talk to my angry stakeholders who just got pushed back a bit.
Get selfish with yourself. The company isn't looking out for you, so don't look out for it. Put your sanity first and go from there. Also recovery takes a long ass time. I think for me it took a solid year before i was alright and even know I make sure to turn off slack and not check emails after I leave work otherwise it stresses me out, cant be stressed out by what I cant see :)
Thanks for breaking it down more for me! :) I really do need to take more time for myself, but using sick days gets counted against me right now, and I have my vacation spread out so I can have a week off at a time every four months. Probably not the best way to use my vacation, but I feel like it's nicer than having a random day off and not getting a full week of a break.
You do have a great system down and it sounds like you have the work life balance more under control now than before; I'll get there sometime, hopefully soon!
That week off sounds like a great idea! Your on the right track! Good luck.
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