Apart from sharing my delight for the Hungry Jacks advertisement in me previousÂ post, it has been many months since I have written a post. Was it the shock of losing my close friend Waratah Rose Gillespie to a major stroke on 21.06.2010, or the battle to prevent the Humanist Society of NSWÂ beingÂ taken over, or just life being too busy. Nevertheless, I remember asking myself over and over – where’s my passion gone? No posts, no sketches, no poetry! I had planned to write about Waratah’s passing away last year, and this June a memorial article and I did neither.
Waratah was an amazing activist and her Bougainville Seminar and book was well highlighted at Parliament House on IWWDay on March 8 2010 and I was proud that we managed to arrange that event for her.Â At least we honoured her life’s work in her presence there.
Motivation is an important aspect of life and without it we become immobilised.
When we are injured physically or emotionally (burnout) the recovery process takes some time and we need to give ourselves permission to veg out and rest in order to heal. Sitting around doing nothing can cause us guilt but the recovery from injury takes time. We need to follow doctor’s orders and not push ourselves to do things that might throw us backwards. Patience is important and logic helps us to be patient till we are again well enough.
as I mentioned before I became injured
resulting in a dislocated shoulder
I took it easy with my arm in a sling
but I miscalculated the recovery time from injury
thinking that after few days I’d be able to be over the pain
it is now 5 weeks since the event and although
I have vegged out and rested and all that
I am still not altogether well and am still in pain
how wrong could I be?
nevertheless I am prepared to rest some more
Arm in sling, photo by Jacque Stengel, United States, http://www.sxc.hu/photo/618476
To be happy we need to have purpose and direction in life. Planning a timetable can create the feeling of productivity which leads to happiness and contentment. Of course, it is important that we avoid making lists which we don’t act on. Sometimes that happens when we feel anxious and in making the list we gain relief but not carrying out the tasks we can feel unnecessarily guilty and is self-defeating.
she made a list and backed it up with the
relevant affirmations but
on a daily basis she only achieved
one or two tasks off the list!
that led to the realisation that
not only was she suffering from burnout but at least
on the bright side she was doing one or two tasks at a time
which made her feel better, little by little
nevertheless purpose and direction lessened the stress
and the outcome was rewarding
I have written several posts on procrastination because it is such a traumatic experience and common to many of us. Procrastination affects us differently – some worse than others, as can be seen by Terry’s comment below. Regardless of how immobilised you feel when procrastination takes hold, there are different strategies that you can choose from to assist you. The most effective technique or strategy is that you learn how to relax so as to let go of the fear the task is causing you. Then give yourself permission to wait until you feel ready to begin. Plan a small step to begin your task once you have relaxed – the momentum will overcome your procrastination. You can find what works for you or you can choose to be a victim of procrastination. You may need some professional assistance to overcome the block.
What about when the procrastination paralyses you and when you are unprepared you perform badly and feel awful and embarrassed. Its as if something inside is hoping for failure. Or when you have a deadline for a task and leave it till the last minute and the stress builds up but there is a block to complete the task. Terry
me myself and i, photo by Davide Farabegoli, Milano, Italy, howto relax
I’ve written about burnout in the last two posts because it is so prevalent in our day and age. Having experienced it myself, I shared with you about how burnout crept up on me and its consequences to my health. Fortunately, I was able to nip it in the bud, nevertheless it had left me not as strong as I am normally. As a food addict in recovery this causes me to think of rewarding myself with trigger foods to give me the energy. However, I reminded myself of the saying this too shall pass. So, I gave myself permission to do everything at 80% level so as to recuperate and not put myself at risk of burnout again. Admittedly, it takes a while to get back to normal.
I was lacking in energy to go to hydrotherapy so
using an NLP (Nurolinguistic Programming) technique
to integrate the different selves
I got in touch with that self in me who
is responsible for this sabotage and found out
that it was a he, and that he wanted more recreation
so I agreed to spend time writing and sketching
which I had not done in at least a year
and was pleased to find as a result
I was eager to go to my next hydrotherapy session
Someone wisely said to me once that to avoid burnout he puts in only 80% of his full potential, especially at work. Once he had experienced burnout to the worst level and thought he was even going to die, so from then on he always remembered how bad that was. Whenever he experienced euphoric recall about the ‘high’ of being productive, he remembered the misery of burnout and that snapped him out of being driven to do more. In time that tool gave him serenity and a healthy way of living whilst enjoying whatever he was doing.
Comments from Atlanta and Paul reminded me of the ‘80% effort to avoid burnout’ theory and I show them here as a further reminder.
Atlanta wrote: Sorry to hear that you have been in burnout. A good reminder about self care. I hope that you are feeling better soon.
Paul wrote:Wow I really identify with this state. My boss was away this last week and I had a heap of things to do without interruptions. I was looking forward to getting some work finalised. I was suffering with a sore back and took some pain-killers to alleviate it. By Thursday I realised I had not achieved anything. As a matter of fact I was unable to make decisions. Partly because of the side effect of the pain-killers, but mostly from the burnout of trying to achieve too much for too long without celebrating my wins. Funny, though I’m posting this comment from another city, where I am spending my weekend working.
When we commit to too many deadlines we risk burnout. That feeling of becoming immobilised and overcome by massive apathy. This can be interpreted as fatigue and in many ways it is. How easily burnout can sneak up on us, even if we are experienced and take the necessary precautions usually to avoid it happening. The sneaky part is that we are hooked on completing the task at hand, and the adrenaline rush throws us into denial about the risks that come with neglecting the safety measures. Once we are suffering burnout it, nature takes its course and we find that we are unable to do even the simplest things – as we vegetate the body and mind rejuvenates itself. We fret about being out of control and we promise never to let it happen again. Then we worry about the immobilised state we are in. We just need to remember that ‘this too shall pass’ and we will find the strength and motivation to become active once more.
I have not written daily posts for the last 2 weeks
because I was in burnout – to the max
I completed two deadlines which kept me up late
at night and which involved my days full on too
my abstinence from food addiction was threatened
and I thought I was in control of how much
this work was affecting my wellbeing
it was not until after I met the deadlines that
reality ‘bit me on the bum’ and I realised my mistake
now I am resting reminding myself that it will pass
and soon I will be up and moving again, but cautiously
this is my first step today
Unresolved anger is a basic human condition which can hurt our minds and bodies. Addiction and anger feed each other in a neverending cycle. When we don’t practise skills to express our feelings appropriately then the anger that results slowly festers until it becomes uncontrollable rage. This rage has a short fuse and makes us feel trapped. The 12 Step program (AA, Alanon, NA, NicA, OA, CoDA, SLAA, SCOPE etc.) helps us to learn how to handle our feelings once we stop medicating them with substances and processes. This means identifying the problem, expressing it appropriately and then being able to walk away without being attached to the outcome. That process gives us an amazing sense of peace – serenity.
she came into the relationship as a calm woman
but the years took their toll on her
her temper reached a point when in a rage
she took off her glasses and threw them on the
carpeted floor, smashing to smithereens which
made her realise with what physical power
she had thrown them, and this frightened her
after attending Alanon for several weeks
she found her serenity again and
no one or nothing could ever make her
loose her temper again
whenever she got angry she firmly
expressed that feeling and people
knew she meant it, without a doubt
and that’s all she needed to let go of it
We can get swept up by work commitments, which results in emotional and physical burnout. We are not aware of this happening because usually the process is enjoyable. Having purpose and direction is very potent for us human beings, whether paid or voluntary activities. However, without leisure time for good health, we can become sick. This can creep up on us, manifesting as common illnesses, depression, addiction and/or moodiness. Being vigilant about these symptoms? can be an early remedy. Better still is prevention, so we need to have a balance between our work and leisure time – no excuses.
I was chosen to run a new program and
we had great success with it which was
most beneficial for the clients involved
I was on call 24 hours a day
for their safety and that of the workers
and after 2 years at this pace
my weight increased and I got
chronic bronchitis and diabetes
my moodiness was not apparent to me
then I developed depression
which took 6 months to recover
I realised how run down I had become, so
I quit the job and found more relaxing work
to this day I am amazed at how intoxicating
that project was that I did not notice
how hard I was working and how
my leisure time had become minimal