How to deal with burnout and the start of depression

I few months a go I started feeling a bit down and under pressure due to some things happening in my life. The business is not going great, I have less time for myself and every day I feel tired. I would wake up early and and get to sleep late but I’m feeling like I haven’t accomplish much. So this happens every day for some time now and I feel I must do something to make myself feel better so I start making a plan.

What I did first was to realize I was burnout and that things might get worse. If you don’t sleep well, if you feel nothing makes sense, if you feel not wanting to go to work or not liking anymore what you do, you are there.

I read a lot about the subject and learned from my past experiences what I can do to make myself feel better. I’ve seen what burnout can do to people, that’s why I decided to to act on it, even this post I’ve wrote is part of that recovery.

The morning plan

My plan was to start in the morning with my so called self therapy, so I wrote down a few habits to start with that I knew will help me.

I started sleeping more for a few days to get my body in shape again. Happy people sleep more. So I started to go to sleep earlier and woke up without an alarm in the morning. I got a bit late at work in the first couple of days but it was worth it.

I stopped checking social media and email first thing I woke up, actually I only opened my email when I was getting to work, this meant I had more time for myself.

The next thing I did, I started meditating every morning for 10 minutes. Meditation has huge benefits, it helped me clear my mind, be less stressful and more optimistic. I use a couple of apps to do that, Calm and HeadSpace.

I started working out for 5–10 minutes every morning. I was doing five minutes warm up exercises to get me moving a bit. After that I added up some push ups, planks and dumbbell exercises.

After working out I started taking cold showers and it felt great. The first couple of times are a bit harder but when you get used to it’s really amazing. Your body feels so relaxed and you are in a completely awesome state of mind. Actually this is something I’m really looking for after the exercises.

The second part of the plan

At work I focused on only 2–3 things, nothing else. After I finished the important tasks if I wasn’t feeling productive I went home, there was no point on staying there. Once I got home I ate something and relax a bit. Than, I could work a bit more before I go to sleep.

I quit drinking alcohol. I used to drink heavy 1–2 times a week and I was having fun but after each night out in the morning I was feeling like hell, didn’t like anyone or anything. Alcohol is a depressant and intensifies the burnout effect a so I had to stop doing that. Burnout/depression actually increases alcohol abuse/dependence.

The next thing I found out that helps me was to involve myself if physical labor in the weekends. I had some house chores to do and I called a couple of handyman to do them. None of them showed up so I decided to doing them myself. Before this I didn’t like to do this kind of work, I prefer to pay someone to do it fast. But after I finished this little projects like hanging a mirror on a wall, get some lights on the ceiling, painting a wall that was dirty, put together some IKEA furniture, I felt really really good.

All this small habits has helped me be an better emotional state and do more work in less time. I’m more happy and I feel great again. I wanted to share all this because I hope it helps others in the same situation.


Originally published at alexdumitru.me on August 16, 2016.

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