I am Burning Up!

This was supposed to be a rather controversial post asking God lots of questions, doubting him and having a much like ‘haki yangu (my right)’ with the one who gives and takes, listens and guides but it is no more. 

Recent weeks, months more like have been quite straining for yours truly. I hardly take days off work to rest and my 2010 has heavily been characterized with twelve(12) hour days in office, extensive thoughts on making this or that happen and constantly feeling like my efforts on certain specifics have not yielded much. The last time I was away from work for longer than ten days was… well, before I signed any employment contracts. My leave and days off have been characterized with two to three days mostly to attend to something, sick off or just to go catch up on sleep deficit. Bad habits they are. A close confidant I speak to on a regular basis thinks I am a control freak when it comes to my work habits, I find it hard to go away from office because I usually feel I am best placed to handle what is on schedule and I overly play out my loyalty to my customers, internal and external… well, isn’t that what I am supposed to do? 

Yesterday evening I had quite a lengthy conversation with Mum. Talking about and everything basically… I have tendency to trust her most when I am withdrawn. She mentioned something to do with burnout… Of course I thought she was just cooking reasons for me to go stay at the farm with her for longer than my usual 48 hours. I looked it up in depth this morning at The Help Guide. Sigh… The findings are quite interesting; I most probably have been someone quite painful to a lot of people besides myself at one point or another. It also explains heavily why I am freakishly bored with almost everything and having issues with just about everyone… I mean, even my twitter handle has been looking quite boring lately (perhaps explaining my Twitter Handle changes today…

Burnt Out...

The Help Guide notes that; “If constant stress has you feeling disillusioned, helpless, and completely worn out, you may be suffering from burnout. When you’re burned out, problems seem insurmountable, everything looks bleak, and it’s difficult to muster up the energy to care—let alone do something about your situation. The unhappiness and detachment burnout causes can threaten your job, your relationships, and your health.” 

Burnout is defined as a state of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed and unable to meet constant demands. As the stress continues, you begin to lose the interest or motivation that led you to take on a certain role in the first place. It reduces your productivity and saps your energy, leaving you feeling increasingly helpless, hopeless, cynical, and resentful. Eventually, you may feel like you have nothing more to give. Most of us have days when we feel bored, overloaded, or unappreciated; when the dozen balls we keep in the air aren’t noticed, let alone rewarded; when dragging ourselves out of bed requires the determination of Hercules. If you feel like this most of the time, however, you may be flirting with burnout. 

One could be on the road to burnout if;

  • Every day is a bad day.
  • Caring about your work or home life seems like a total waste of energy.
  • You’re exhausted all the time.
  • The majority of your day is spent on tasks you find either mind-numbingly dull or overwhelming.
  • You feel like nothing you do makes a difference or is appreciated. 

The negative effects of burnout spill over into every area of life – including your home and social life. Burnout can also cause long-term changes to your body that make you vulnerable to illnesses like colds and flu. Because of its many consequences, it’s important to deal with burnout right away. Burnout however is not Stress as differentiated below.

Stress vs. Burnout

Stress

Burnout
Characterized by over engagement Characterized by disengagement
Emotions are over reactive Emotions are blunted
Produces urgency and hyperactivity Produces helplessness and hopelessness
Loss of energy Loss of motivation, ideals, and hope
Leads to anxiety disorders Leads to detachment and depression
Primary damage is physical Primary damage is emotional
May kill you prematurely May make life seem not worth living

 

By the end of that reading, I figured out why I am constantly finding insufficiencies in self and those around me, the complete dissatisfaction with plenty in many aspects that characterize my life now and even doubt in my ability to accomplish some of my goals. 

So, I am going to the farm hopefully from next week. I am not going there for two days or to do anything in particular. I am just going to reconnect with my roots (not the Tusker advert). So here are things I am going to do for at least a fortnight on the farm and in the countryside and hopefully forget about things as they are… to re-energize.

  • Play Tennis/ Badminton with folks at the backyard ( steam needs to come out of my head)
  • Get a tractor and go plough through the extensive fields, just because I can… and because while there I can put my mind to task.
  • Wear shorts and go to the plot to make bricks. I have a huge hill where I want to make my future glass house which needs to come down for something constructive… like bricks…🙂.
  • Go sit at the shopping center and chat the bodaboda and vegetable people away… Possibly weigh in on my political ambitions… yeah I have those.
  • Walk through the coffee farm, banana plantation and tobacco estate with Dad and talk about plans… The two of us can’t finish any story involving planning…Our bonding is usually walking through buildings under construction and farms.
  • Stay with mum at the three stones kitchen and talk about girls… The ones she didn’t like, the ones she has heard about and the ones she thinks will be best for me…
  • Visit my only grandma… again without great grandchildren sigh… Guaranteed, she will demand for some and she will make me carry chicken in my arm (The correct Luhya’s way)
  • Visit the local coffee and pyrethrum factories and evaluate possible business… sigh I am still thinking work😦.

There is a lot I can do back at the farm and village that should get me to normalcy… and I am going down there to get me that normalcy. So, if you’re feeling the kind of stuff The Help Guide Suggests… or stressed, or bored… Going to the farm is sometimes much more fulfilling, cost friendly and peaceful. Take a trip.

8 thoughts on “I am Burning Up!

  1. How about shutting your brain up for a second and just get there? Stop making plans and strategising! I promise you, it’s not going to kill you. You will be ok. Get there, wake up and do what jumps at you first. I would tell you not to carry your cellphone but I know that would kill you faster than the burnout. Yes, most of us never recognise it until everything around you starts falling apart and you realise something needs to be addressed. Good luck and get rest🙂

    • Thanks Carol. I am going to make this happen… no more plans without action! The cellphone, sigh, I will try as much as possible to eaze activity while away. But Twitter sigh…

  2. Pole about the stress, and its really bad that you over-commit to a point that your loyalty to work takes precedence over your rest period.

    It’s one thing to take a little work home, but another to have sleeping dream interrupted as the brain ‘clicks on’ to solve office issues… so take the farm trip and try and focus on other things

    • Thanks Banks… I realize that when I am not at work, most of the time I am talking about what happened or didnt happen and a figuring out a solution to an outstanding issue. I am going to get some actual time away for rest and re-energizing.

  3. I agree with Carol- don’t plan, just do it.

    Pole about the stress but its a good thing you have not just identified it for what it is but gotten a remedy for it. Enjoy the family and the pyrethrum 🙂

  4. All this planning. Just get up and go. And take it a moment at at time. That’s the beauty of home. Tell us about every thing you did *after the fact*. No more planning. GO! And have a whale of a time!🙂

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