Another Post About Newyear’s Resolutions

I am prone to burnout. As a high performer in my job and life, I often push myself beyond where I should stop and take a breather. It is a habit to drain my mental energy and it often comes at the expense of my personal life, my work relationships, and generally my health. An American work ethic is partially to blame but also the work-until-death attitude that is so common place in the ever-sprinting world of Silicon Valley. I have been tremendously lucky to find work that makes space (and time) for employees in the throes of burnout but I have yet to crack the enigma of changing my own tendency to fall over that ledge.

It is nearing the end of 2018 (Update: I’m late) and I think I am overdue for some mental reprogramming. This is not just a post about New Year’s resolutions but also about the culmination of happenings that have brought me to the need for a mental course correction. 2018 has been a wild year (see my previous post) and 2019 is already shaping up to be full of milestones, first of which will be the birth of my second child. I am truly excited about all of these things but confronting them day-to-day can be extremely stressful, only compounded by lack of sleep. It is clear to me that a reorganization is needed, one that helps me prioritize my mental energy so that I can be fully aware and ready to take on whatever 2019 brings my way.

I spend an inordinate amount of time releasing my stress through escape. A lot of us do this. This is why we binge the latest Netflix thing. Escape, especially through media, is easy. We can sit back have someone or something take over our mind for a brief time and get back to reality after a low-energy break. It is really appealing. I see it all around me as well. There is seldom a commuter on the train each morning without headphones on. I can also admit that this is my preferred commute as well, totally disconnected from the crowd. I am addicted to podcasts and audiobooks, music, and more. I feel ill when I miss a YouTube subscription alert. Media has become a constant companion, a spirit familiar keeping me sane. That said, staying the path feels very counter to the state of mind I would like to achieve and certainly not the person I want to become. I want 2019 to be a year of creativity. I promised myself I would go all-in on my new life and that means making space for deviation from the obvious path.

I am resolving to make a creative space for myself. I will opt for a doodle on the train rather than surfing Reddit or listening to the Immigrant Song on repeat. I also resolve to be more present in my personal life which will include opting to leave my phone off while I focus on my growing and demanding family. Lastly, I resolve to make space for my mental health which is part of the two former points but will also include me sticking to a strict diet and doing yoga. There are so many demands for my attention that I will need some escape. I resolve to make that escape an inner reflection rather than sensory vacation into overly stimulating media.

I hope to stave burnout and be prepared to take on 2019 as an influential year in my many.