Thoughts on burning out
In my eyes, burnt out is just another way to describe professional depression. I say professional because it generally starts by over-working and eventually seeps into your everyday life, until you’re just depressed. Increased workloads, stressful deadlines and lack of work-life balance gets the ball rolling and before you know it, you’re laying in bed for the second week in a row with no desire to get up.
Unfortunately, this is what I’ve experienced and have been dealing with. It began in April and has slowly creeped through my life until I was incapable of doing anything. For those that know me, having no motivation is not like me at all and it wasn’t until I stopped enjoying traveling that I realised this.
I couldn’t understand why I had no passion, no feelings and no interest in life. I went through the routine of working, taking photos and visiting new places without really enjoying it. I isolated myself completely and when I did have to socialise, I was irritable and argumentative.
After almost 12 months of travel and heavy work-loads during that time, it’s completely understandable that I was feeling like this. Starting a business and then working two jobs in the UK (my own business and a full-time job) probably set the ball rolling and by the time I left the UK, I was already over the edge and heading downwards.
When I realised what was happening, I made a decision to disconnect from social media, my side-projects, my website and emails. Basically everything except my weekly Skype call to my family back in Australia and my work with my client in the US. I also stopped traveling for the most part — I went to a couple of new countries, but I stayed in places longer and I didn’t do as much sight-seeing.
After some rest and recuperation, I’m pleased to say that I’m back, even better than before. I’ve implemented many strategies to improve my workflow so that I no longer need to manage my business for hours on end and can concentrate on what I’m good at — designing. I’ve also removed a lot of the ‘fluff’ from my life that was occupying my attention but not giving me enjoyment.
I have a backlog of posts to share with you and will start catching up on those soon. For the people that were there for me during this time, thank you. It’s during times like this, when you’re feeling isolated and alone, that you see who your true friends are.
This post was originally shared on my website.
I’m a writing a book for student designers. Interested?