When you just want the world to stop
I have a funny feeling that quite a lot of people, in the last couple of weeks, have just felt like they want the world to stop. I know I have.
It's a strange situation to be in when the world has kind of been on hold since March. But, at the same time as not being able to live life normally, life has also marched on and new and different demands have been placed on us.
So, today, in the first week of December 2020, I thought I'd talk about what it means when you just want the world to stop.
What it means when you just want the world to stop
When you feel like this, it's a sure sign that you're approaching burnout, or you've actually gone beyond it and you're just kind of living on petrol fumes.
I've hit burnout before, most catastrophically in February 2019 when I was diagnosed with chronic fatigue. It's not fun. I'm still not fully recovered, and despite trying to live what I learned about how to recover, I feel like I'm on the verge of burnout again.
I get the very strong sense that this is happening to lots of people around me, as we head into winter in the year of the pandemic.
What burnout looks like for me
Everyone will have different personal signs of burnout but for me they include:
- Tiredness and fatigue
- Frequent, if not daily, migraines and headaches
- Other body pain
- Poor sleep
- Loss of creativity (I had to wrack my brains for over a week to come up with what to say in this week's blog post and podcast episode)
- Feelings of defeatism
- Feeling like you're running uphill just to stand still in life
- Only being able to see problems and not solutions
- Wanting to go inward – the introvert in me insisting that it is listened to
There are many other signs of burnout, and you need to learn to read your own body so that you notice the tells.
- Alienation from work-related activities: Individuals experiencing burnout view their jobs as increasingly stressful and frustrating. They may grow cynical about their working conditions and the people they work with. They may also emotionally distance themselves and begin to feel numb about their work.
- Physical symptoms: Chronic stress may lead to physical symptoms, like headaches and stomachaches or intestinal issues.
- Emotional exhaustion: Burnout causes people to feel drained, unable to cope, and tired. They often lack the energy to get their work done.
- Reduced performance: Burnout mainly affects everyday tasks at work—or in the home when someone's main job involves caring for family members. Individuals with burnout feel negative about tasks. They have difficulty concentrating and often lack creativity.