Burnout is Real

“Don’t be so hard on yourself,” she said, looking deep into my eyes, making sure that I was listening intently to her. Her eyes, behind her thick framed yet stylish glasses, pierced my armor, touching me. Her reassuring words and comforting look somehow pacified my over-concerned spirit.

The last couple of days weeks years, I have been moving non-stop, engaged in emotionally draining work. It has become a running joke in my family that I am always busy and/or away, and it’s true. My work depends on relationships with my students, their families, and my colleagues. The majority of these interactions are often highly emotional, especially when discussing issues of diversity and inclusion, which are difficult topics. Similarly, I attend multiple conferences and professional development opportunities throughout the year, which are also exhausting, just by the sheer travel. Mentally, right now at this very instance, I feel drained from the traveling, planning, organizing, grading, teaching, thinking, performing, and challenging that my day to day activities require.

I need to find make some necessary time for self-care.

About an hour ago, I called one of my super busy friends and he was sounded relaxed when he answered the phone, a first. He later shared that he was finishing his manicure. Combined with his earlier pedicure, his self-pampering  was much needed because, like many, his job was stressing him the           out.

I need to find make some necessary time for self-care.

The last couple of nights, I have gone home and have not touched my school work. I felt guilty when I walked through the double doors into the teacher’s lounge to begin my work day. Thankfully, my colleagues’ word abated those negative, no-good feelings. Yes, I have work to do, but I also deserve time to relax and watch The Wire or chill with my homies (read: hang out with friends) or kick it with a shorty (read: spend time with a romantic interest, date). I need that respite from the constant pressures of work.

I deserve that.

I have to take care of me because if I am not healthy then my work and relationships will not be healthy either. More importantly, I have to take care of myself because no one else will do it for me. I play basketball, bike, read, write, spend time with me in order to sustain myself.

Please, find time for you; do something that re-energizes you. Make sure that you take care of yourself.

In the comment section, share the things that you do to sustain yourself. It will undoubtedly be helpful to others as we all try to find (new) ways to sustain ourselves.




5 thoughts on “Burnout is Real

  1. I love to sit with a good book or go get my hair done when I need that time out. My hairdresser gives head massages. How good it feels completely overrides the part of your brain that objects to the creepy aspect of it.

  2. Lately, for me, it’s been about a beer per night. I pop one open, kick my feet up, and find something that won’t be intellectually draining to watch on TV. I wish there were more time outside of my similarly emotionally draining job to improve myself more on the intellectual front, but lately…beer. Relax.

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