On my burnout

I’ve said a lot about depression, self-compassion, and breakup blues.

I haven’t said much about burnout. I have that too. Have had for years, in fact.

This is just the first time that I’ve had a chance to stop and heal.

I did a day of work last week, the first one I’ve done since the end of November. It went well. It felt good. So I thought I would try to get a full week’s worth of work done.

Then I basically crashed again.

Sometimes, your skin feels sensitive and raw. Everything is, not if outright painful, then at least unpleasant to touch.

That’s how I feel today, and on a lot of days. Except that the skin is my mind, and the things that I touch are thoughts about things to be done.

Goals. Obligations. Future calendar entries. But even things like a computer game I was thinking of playing, or a Facebook comment I’m thinking of replying to. Anything that I need to keep track of, touches against that rawness in my mind.

That’s another big part of why I’ve been so focused on self-compassion recently. On being okay with not getting anything done. On taking pleasure from just being present. On enjoying little, ordinary things. Because that’s all I have, on moments like this.

I’m getting better. There are fewer days like this. There are many days when I’m actually happy, enjoying it when I do things.

But I’m still not quite recovered. And I need to be careful not to forget that, lest I push myself so much that I crash again.


  1. Jef Allbright

    Kaj – Try to get out and change your surroundings. It can be good to find someone else to help, and get your mind out of the cycle of thinking about yourself and what you should be doing. I’ve been there. It gets better.

    – Jef

    • Kaj Sotala

      Thanks, Jef. That’s kind of what I’ve been doing, and it does definitely help.


  1. How I found & fixed the root problem behind my depression and anxiety after 20+ years | Kaj Sotala - […] previously written about my depression and burnouts; usually I’ve said that my problems started during the second year of…

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