On burnout and bedrest

Warning, rambling blog alert – I’m not going to try and edit it, I’ll leave you to follow my breadcrumbed trails of thought:

Changing of seasons can only mean one thing, the usual coughs, colds and flu-y things are doing the rounds. Judging by my train journey’s to and fro the city, it’s a stinker of a cold this year. So why people feel the need to share it with everyone else I don’t bluddy know. AND if you do have to travel on public transport, take some tissues with you…!

Hubs has had the full-on snot-fest (sorry), Peanut’s nose is running like a tap, I’ve been in bed with earache, a sore throat and coughing for two days. I’d rather have the congestion if that’s ok. Ear ache is the worst pain, my left ear and side of my neck is throbbing and sore. I tried to get a doctors appointment today, they could try and squeeze me in tomorrow or Thursday. For the sake of a doctor’s certificate, to be told it’s viral, I’ll hang on to my $60 thank you very much and wear the wrath at work.

So after listening to Poirot yesterday, where somehow the settings of the audiobook went skew-iff and I ended up listening to the same chapters being read on repeat. I managed to reach a height of new laziness, insofar the phone was beside me on the bedside table and I CBA to reach for it, unlock it and sort it out, today I listened to one of The Cat Who books. I can remember the first time I found one of these books in Eastbourne library. I’ve read nearly all of them, mostly through getting them out of libraries, and have about 7 or 8 on audiobooks on itunes. When I couldn’t sleep (even worse than I can’t sleep now) I started listening to audio books, I would write the words in my head, which gave my brain something else to think about and I’d slowly drift off. With the phone tucked under my pillow, it doesn’t disturb Hubs, but means that on those nights where I’m just lying there running through lists in my head, I can switch off.

Worryingly, for some people, I also listen to them while driving. Don’t ask me how listening to something that can send me to sleep can also help me concentrate, I don’t know, but there we have it, you’ll just have to trust me. I’ve ploughed my way through most of my podcasts now too, so am rapidly running out of things to listen to on my phone. I know I’ve got lots of music on it, but I’m in a bit of a spoken word fest at the moment. I’ve got four audiobooks to listen to from the library, but haven’t had a chance to sort them out just yet.

But the reason I started this blog was this article, which I will let you read at your leisure, if you so desire on Burnout. In the article is a little 15 question test on whether you’re experiencing burnout. I got 64 out of 75, and need to do something urgently to address it. Admittedly, I back dated the survey to what I felt about a month ago, before I was offered and accepted my new job, but it’s still a worrying sign, now I’m heading out the other side, I can share with you how rough it’s been. The article highlights five areas of concern:

  1. Inability to concentrate – my levels of faffing have reached epic proportions. I have to physically force myself to accomplish anything, including doing the washing, drying, folding and ironing. Something I usually love doing as it calms me down, by being so methodical.
  2. Guilt – so when I don’t do the washing etc. I feel awful. Peanut has gone into nursery in some really odd outfits, sometimes I’ve even had to reach into the charity bag for clothes too small for him, as he had nothing else clean to wear. I have also felt guilty for not doing something, trying to do too much, not going shopping, then going shopping. I felt like I couldn’t win.
  3. Frequent mood changes – I don’t know how many times I’ve dissolved into tears in the past six weeks. Or laughed hysterically at nothing, nothing remotely funny, like when I was weeping over Awkward Family Photos. I hate websites like that, yet have found myself reading them over and over, because that was all I could cope with.
  4. Social isolation – I’ve not wanted to see anyone, not wanted to talk to anyone, not wanted to blog, not wanted to share, but have been brain-dumping the stupidest things onto Facebook and Twitter. If you’re following me, I’m sorry for cluttering up your feeds.
  5. Increased drinking – I’m not guilty of this one, alcohol and my body are not mixing at the moment (no pun intended) after one or two small drinks, the hangovers I’ve been getting have been horrendous.

I’ve had a stack of books that my cousin lent me in the cupboard, but so far have only read one of them. I’ve retreated into Mapp & Lucia, Jeeves & Wooster and lost myself in the 1930s mix of social foibles and etiquette. My public face has been very, very different from my private one.

Another staff member handed their resignation in today. I walk round the office and say hello to people in the mornings, I can see so many people struggling, again I feel guilty for leaving them to it. But there comes a time when you need to look after yourself first, to make yourself the priority on your to-do list. I’ve a week off between jobs. I’m looking forward to clearing some stuff, I’m going to buy a new notebook, a new pen, find somewhere to sit and just write. Completely brain dump all the baggage I’ve been hanging on to, and then rip up the notebook and throw it away.

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One thought on “On burnout and bedrest

  1. So you’re just going to buy ‘a notebook and pen’? Is this possible? I know what you are like in a stationary shop…….

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