You might have noticed my posts becoming more and more sporadic. This blog and this community means a lot to me, but I have reached a wall where I am not feeling motivated anymore.
I generally don't like to post anything personal, but I think this is something that we all suffer with at one point. I think working in the library or educational field makes us more susceptible to it. This is especially true during summer reading.
I am not sharing this as a way to whine, but I feel like it is an important lesson on my road to joining the library field profession.
Can I be real for a moment? Working two jobs and going to school full time is tough. My only time off is during the week is the weekend which is generally spent at my other job or getting caught up on chores, homework, and laundry that I couldn't get done during the week. Weeks go by where I don't have time off. Then weeks blend into months that turn into years.
Lately, I've noticed myself battling a terrible spell of insomnia. I have been taking laps around my apartment building until about 2 a.m. in effort to try and get a few hours of sleep in. This happens occasionally, but I really felt like something was really wrong when I started to feel like my work didn't matter. I love my jobs and my best friend and loved ones knew something was wrong when I made a comment that I didn't want to go to work and that I was thinking of quitting.
When I made that comment, my best friend looked at me like I was an alien, and they made a comment that I didn't act or look like myself.
I confessed that I felt like I haven't been myself in a long time. It feels like I wake up to work and work all day until it is time to go to bed- only to do the same thing the next day. They looked at me with confusion and said, "It sounds like you are burnout."
Burnout? What's that? I have used the expression before when I felt exhausted and I have heard it on TV, but what does that mean?
According to Helpguide.org, burnout is a state of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet constant demands. It can be magnified with certain personality types like perfectionist or high achieving personalities like type A, jobs, and bad personal habits. This leads to an emotional break down.
It is suggested that everyone know the warning signs which are :
1. Chronic Fatigue
3. Forgetfulness or loss of concentration
4. Physical symptoms such as chest pain, dizziness, headaches, and shortness of breath.
5. More prone to sickness
6. Loss of appetite.
If you suspect you might have these signs, try taking an online test and seek a counselor for help. These simple resources can help you determine your burnout to help you in seeking help.
Even though burnout is more common with certain types of jobs, it can happen to anyone. Many suggest that burnout is a quiet pandemic sweeping our nation. We are required to work more and as a result we are left with less time for ourselves and our families. So what do we do?
1. Talk to your employer and let them know what is going on.
2. Take time off & leave work at work
3. Exercise and eat healthy
4. Try meditation
5, Take at least one day off a week where you don't do anything.
6. Make time for your friends and family
7. Seek medical help
I am slowly making my way through this list, but I still have a bit before I can take off work. I am planning on a vacation next week though. I am hoping for a book vacation where I can read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on some sort of beach. Fingers crossed! Until then, I guess I will just day dream about the beach.
Have you ever experienced burnout? What's your story and how did you overcome it?