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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Support Groups » How do you handle burn-out?

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Author Topic: How do you handle burn-out?
Jacob at Scarleteen
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 66249

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I know a Scarleteen is full of kickass passionate people who do all sorts of things to fight for what they believe in, whether it's volunteering, protesting, or arguing important points on the internet...

While things can go our way, so often we have to deal with investing our emotions into struggles that aren't getting fixed any time soon...

How do we deal with that?

It could just be having a bath, stepping away from the computer/project/people or writing some poetry (some of my favoured tactics), but yeah how do you handle burn out?

What sort of situations have brought it on for you?

[ 12-15-2012, 12:26 PM: Message edited by: Jacob at Scarleteen ]

Posts: 694 | From: Leeds UK | Registered: May 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 95598

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Since school work--Computer Science in particular--is a pretty common source of burnout for me, I basically have to shut off my computer. What I do next depends. If I have the energy, I tend to go for a walk in a park or to the bookstore. If not, I'll comb my bookshelves until I find something light-hearted that I feel like reading, flop down on my bed, and read that.

I also tend to listen to music, and take a relaxing shower if I haven't already that day. (My dad raised me to conserve water, so unless I get dirty twice in a day, I don't take more than one shower.)

Finally, if the burnout brings on a panic attack, which it does every so often, I wind up going and talking to someone else just to get my mind off it and calm me down.

Another common source of burnout for me is being around a lot of people for extended periods of time. (I present as extroverted. I'm not. [Razz] ) Being sick/and or tired can be sources in and of themselves, as I have pretty poor tolerances for being tired and feeling unwell, too. It's also hard after something upsetting and big in the news--I feel sympathy and empathy very deeply, and it can be very exhausting.

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Robin Lee
Volunteer Assistant Director
Member # 90293

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I've just recently identified that for me burnout or overwhelm are often signalled by a feeling of crankiness. So, one thing I've found helpful is to pay attention to my feelings. When I start feeling cranky, i know it's time to take a step back and figure out what I need at that moment, which varies from day to day and based on what the source of burnout or overwhelm is.

I also find it helpful to remind myself several times a day to stretch in a variety of directions and breathe deeply.


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Scarleteen Volunteer
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I have to say, I don't think my way of dealing with burnout is particularly good.

I don't get serious burnout often, thanks to my pills and bipolar superpowers, but when I do I find nothing restores my soul like a quiet beer at my local pub. I practically lived there for the last 4 weeks of semester (though half of that was studying). I think it's just being around so much wood in a place with so much character.

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Peer Ambassador
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I'm not really sure what my coping strategies are. When I was at university, my mom suggested I make a study schedule, with breaks and time for eating. That helped me manage my stress. Listening to music, taking not-planned breaks, and crying help and still do when I'm stressed or burning out. Hanging out with my brother and playing video games with him at the end of the day really helps (especially with a game like Smash Brothers, our favourite!).

"I do the best that I can. I'm just what I am." - Rush (Best I Can)

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Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Until someone pointed this out to me this week, I hadn't really taken note of the fact that often, one of my key strategies is coming at stress or burnout or annoyance armed with ridiculousness.

In other words, when the burnout or stress gets going, I get damn silly.

That can mean making jokes, creating willy things, dancing around my living room, singing sappy songs at the top of my lungs as if they were deadly serious, putting strange things on my head, what have you.

I think I've done it so long and so intuitively, I just never even thought about it, but she was right: I do do this a lot, and do find it works very well for me.

Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Member # 101232

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I suffer from burn-out quite a bit, mostly due to the fact that I have a debilitating chronic illness (fibromyalgia). I cannot do as much as I want to, and thus sometimes fee blue because I tell myself I do not do enough (even though I know deep-down that I do a lot). When I feel really burned out in terms of activism, I usually take a break and do something that's low-key and that I truly enjoy- reading, crocheting, or making art. These breaks usually last an hour or two. I mention my coping strategies because I know some activists who also use art as a way to unwind and prevent or cure burnout. If you want any tips or suggestions on what kind of art is good for unwinding, please let me know and I'd be happy to help!

-Erica D.

Posts: 7 | From: New Jersey, USA | Registered: Dec 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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