... the road to July!

23 December, 2007

An interesting journey with burnout

It should be apparent by now that 'burnout' is something that I've related quite closely to and many others like me must be embracing this ecstatic feeling every now and then.

Up until my first realization I had only heard/ read about it but found myself immune enough to shrug the thought away as a superstition or something.

But the day it's waves hit the shores, world turns completely Grey, what was once interesting and fun feel annoying and meaningless. Hollowness comes to surround you or perhaps no sound, no matter resonate back at all, things that used to motivate, you feel nothing for them. Everything around is so mute to deal with. Even if you drive on road, you drive it only sub consciously without realizing the traffic around you. If this sounds familiar or if this is something which you can currently relate to or fear to relate with it in near future, it makes sense for you to follow further.

Understanding burnout
I relate to burnout as a state which comes to people involved in creating things. The longer you work for creating things (paintings, music, softwares, websites or animations), greater are the odds that you'll hit a day where you don't feel like doing it anymore.

Creativity, no matter how its defined is a relative term, a painting may look creative to you but not to your friend. The art of understanding creativity comes from your own combination of qualities and feelings that makes you, you.

Burnout means you have pushed your creative energy beyond the point of recovery. Like a burnt skin, it replenishes itself slowly with time. A person who has pushed their creative stores too hard for too long, one day find it empty. Usually, by the time you realize something is seriously wrong, there's very little left to patch it up.

Unless learnt the skills to avoid and manage burnout, it can make life either bitter or better with high odds in favor for the former.

Identifying burnout
Just because you are not running around to fire the crackers, while others are screaming about how interesting it is for them, doesn't mean there's anything wrong with you. You're you: they're not. You should not want to be them and why should they want to be you?

To be yourself you have to sometimes deal with feelings that only you are feeling. Lets figure out some common signs that sometimes make you feel you are on sale:

  • You don't care anymore about something that you were passionate for.

  • You saw the title of this blog and felt a ray of hope.

  • You feel you are little heavier than other days.

  • Everything look so dull & dead that all the colors look like grey.

  • You're either drinking more, eating more or doing something in excess which you do not do otherwise.

  • Though your shoulder is paining but you find it hard to relax.

  • The basic work which you are capable of, looks like impossible to be done today.

Beware: I've essentially related to any such feeling as a burnout, only when it is completely under an eternal influence not by any external factor. Usually burnout is aggravated by loneliness, in spite of the fact that you meet hundreds of people every day but lack an emotional connection.

Surviving Burnout
One thing to learn and believe is that 'Burnout is entirely survivable'.

Creative people get burnt all the time to varying degrees, its only wise who learn to avoid and manage it and develop the habits that allow them to come back even stronger/ motivated than they were before.

The best way to start with survival tactics is by meeting someone and indulging yourself in emotional talks, this helps you release yourself. Find one person, you can relate best to and reveal them how you feel, be assured to find best of the support from them even beyond your expectations.

Practically even talking to other people won't dramatically change the way you feel. Its important to talk and express things, since expressing the feelings is the only way through them, but in the end, the change only comes from within.

Since everyone is so different, the approaches for how to work through it often have to be discovered by you. Taking an escape from monotonous schedule, doing exercise, sleeping, driving, traveling and meeting with emotionally closed people may do some good to you.

However you choose to deal with your situation, pay attention to yourself. What works and doesn't work for you? When did you feel most inspired in your life? Least? What motivates you the most? No one can answer these questions but you. The sooner you sit down and allow your own truth to come out, the better off you'll be.

At the end, life is as much about unlearning things as is about learning.

1 comment:

Sari said...

I relate to burnout as a state which comes to people involved in creating things.
-->totally agreed!
but d'oh! this scares me :P:P
The longer you work for creating things (paintings, music, softwares, websites or animations), greater are the odds that you'll hit a day where you don't feel like doing it anymore.