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  1. So I keep disappearing and I don’t mean to. Things have been a bit unusual of late here. Work ramped up and I went from getting out at 430 to 5 (I got off at 330) to 6-630 pm days. Which means boxes were harder and it’s hard to be like “Do stuff” when it’s almost 7 and I am trying to be in bed by 1030, and Oh I am supposed to eat and walk. In other news, towards the end of last challenge, the Agents got to go a LARP in a similar system to what we use to do 20+ years ago. So that is a thing. We go back for Day 2 today. I already know it will be super hard for me to not fight since my knee is a mess. But all this means is I have not had time for home stuff. Agents are going to want clothes and things for the larping. The garden is getting ready to explode which means canning/preserving will need to happen. School is going to start and I would like to well, be home and sleep. Oh and I want to try and get the bad knee looked at so I can get out larping too. Which right now I can’t do because we are all afraid of one bad blow to it. And more than likely, getting it looked at will mean getting to drs and tests and ugh So part of this will be doing non work things. I also added a box of “out of work by 5”. Yes that still allows overtime since it is needed, but still allows me to be home at a reasonable time. I need to be here or I will stop doing everything and fall further into the bad stuff. That’s it, that is the plan, back down at work on how much they get of me, hope nothing explodes and try to do all the other things. And be here to talk to people. Totally doable right? Wish me luck and energy and not to lose my mind.
  2. Warning, this is not a fun gif challenge. There is depression, anxiety, stress, burnout and well, situations no on wants but have to deal with. Please understand that walking away from the bad is not always an option and I have considered a LARGE variety of other options. Support is ALWAYS welcome and amazingly helpful since being alone and thinking no one cares is some of the hardest parts. Honestly, all I can think is I am losing. I lost my Dad’s Mother last week very suddenly. There is almost no family left there. I am losing my empathy since I am seriously stuck in caregiver burn out. I know that some of this is hard, that there are real issues, but right now, part of me wants to just scream at them to do the things they are supposed to do and not be so damn whiny. It won’t help, and make things worse, but part of this is the “THERE IS NO MAGIC BULLET” discussion. I am losing my patience since everyone comes to me and wants me to drop other things to do their things. I am losing my time to time vampires. Some are innocent and don’t know better and honestly, these I don’t mind as much. Some are dark and menacing and some refuse to think that my time is valuable. I am losing my sense of direction and motivation. I feel like I am so pulled in so many places, I barely know which way is up. When I do know which way is up, I have no idea which way to go because so many directions are needed at one time. I am losing my sense of self. I am not the person I want to be. I keep sacrificing future me for current me, or the things I want to do FOR ME, to do for others. This leads to what basically killed my dad. I will deal with me later, I need to do X for Y first. I am losing my ability to be rested. I am not sleeping well, probably from not walking and stress and a million other things. Doing the things will help me actually be tired and be able to sleep. I come home from work, and have started doing the flop on the couch after 6 pm because I have no other energy, and maybe doze, but once bedtime hits, I am awake again. I am losing my strength and flexibility. I haven’t really taken it seriously, but there are days I feel “weaker” and “stiffer” if that makes sense. Nothing like I randomly fall but more like “That wasn’t that heavy last time was it?” or “Why can’t I touch my toes anymore” (I was doing that really well not that long ago). I am losing the progress I had made. The weight that started to come off is coming back. I am eating a TON of sugar that I don’t need. I am not drinking my water because Tea is better. I need to do these things. I am losing my sanity slowly. I am so torn between being the person I need to be, covering what I need to cover, and at the same time, dealing with the negativity and issues that are a side effect. Too many days, I just find myself in the “I can’t stage” unless it’s absolutely necessary. So, after all of this, I am trying to come up with a “NOT ANYMORE” moment,a “I totally have this and I am going to do the super watch me fix it all thing. Problem is, I don’t see that working either. I am in quicksand and I can’t just turn on a dime and nope out here. I need to be small with my expectations and do what I can. So, as much as it pains me, I am going to cut the numbers on my boxes. I am going to still try to do MORE than I must, but a “Do Something” challenge is only going to make me feel more like I am losing, but lowering the total to work on might not. I will still be doing boxes, mostly the same from last challenge. Big one is that I am changing the do 1 thing for Mom to do 2 things for Mom since I am not keeping up on the workload for her and things like bills are being put off if I am at her house EVERY DAY. This is me, trying to find a way to turn around, maybe find something to pull myself out of here, get to solid footing and move forward. Anyone got something I can grab?
  3. One thing has become abundantly clear and that is the due to the events of the past year I definitely am suffering from some sort of burnout. 1) Try to recover from burnout - Probably go to therapy or something (how TF does one do therapy???? The last time I saw a therapist was in college when it was as simple as walking to the student health center & seeing someone for free) - read this book about burnout that I already own a kindle copy of - figure out some boundaries around work hours - probably do something for fun or that I enjoy just because This goal will be tracked by writing here what steps I've taken to do better here. I will also track pages read from the book (out of 275). 2) Lose weight / nutrition It is almost shorts season and my shorts don't fit as comfortably as they did last year. Weight has definitely gotten higher, haven't stepped on a scale in a while, but I can just tell. Will weigh myself in AM which will help further direct this goal, numerically. This will be the first time I am intentionally trying to lose weight in a few years and I am a little nervous about it. I kind of have the itch to get back into some sort of loose tracking, but worried about putting that on my plate or doing too much. I think maybe doing a rough tracking like precision nutrition method of XX thumbs of fat, XX palms of protein, etc. I do eat a lot more vegetarian/vegan meals than when I was strictly tracking, so I'll need to do a bit of research on this to figure out how to effectively incorporate vegan protein sources. A big thing for me will be reducing the snacking/junk foods as I have a major sweet tooth. I've had success in the past with carb cycling, but I think maybe just loose tracking for one challenge would be good before I try to attempt that again. OK. I weighed myself 5/5 and 5/6 in the morning coming in at 158.8 and then 158.6 lb. This is about where I thought I would be. For the record, when I first decided I needed to start losing weight ~7 years ago, the number on the scale was 161. This is the closest I have been to that number since, and honestly, I'm not as worried about it as I thought I should be. My body composition is vastly different from what it was then. My lifestyle is also vastly different. Back then I did barely any exercise maybe a few short walks/day. My idea of a healthy lunch was a lean cuisine. I drank way too much and ate out way too much. Alternately, somewhere after that I started that journey when I was at my lowest (~126 lb) I was obsessively counting and weighing my food, spending any free time I had in a gym, working out 4-5x/week, not having any semblance of a social life or hobbies outside of the gym. Now I'm somewhere in the middle. Up until the past ~6 months, I had been pretty comfortably weighing in the 150-153ish lb range for the past probably 3ish years. I think I'd like to aim to be somewhere in the 140-145 range. I'd like to target 145 lb by the end of July. The precision nutrition method says that puts me at ~1700 cals/day which seems reasonable. They also translate this to the following quantities daily: 5 palms of protein, 4-6 fists of veggies, 4 cupped handfuls of carbs, 4 thumbs of fats. Since this is my first time back into any sort of tracking in a long time, I kind of want to just see how it goes the first 2 weeks and see if this is sustainable before I hold myself to these targets. I will also weigh myself no more than 2x/week. 3) Move (Ended up adding as a goal because could be an easy win, so why not) Have been generally consistent with 3x/week workouts with the exception of the 1 week where I had my first COVID shot and was suffering from seasonal allergies and only got 1 workout in. I do have my second shot next week so anticipating some side effects. - 3x/week gym workouts, 1x/week doing something outside (hike, bike, golf, ultimate, etc) 4) Gardening/Landscaping project(s) I have many including wanting to build raised beds for veggie gardens (we have a lot of squirrels), landscaping edging and some other stonework surrounding trees. I'd like to get one of these projects done by the end of the challenge. As you can see I have some finessing of my goals before they are trackable, but I figure hopping back here and setting an intention is a start. Daily Tracking will look like 1) Burnout Journal ##/275 pages 2) ☐☐☐☐☐ 5 palms of protein ☐☐☐☐☐☐ 4-6 fists of veggies ☐☐☐☐ 4 cupped handfuls of carbs ☐☐☐☐ 4 thumbs of fat ☑ completed check for copy/paste ease in the future - ok it's going to bug me this doesn't match the same size as those above, but I pasted this from a previous challenge. Anyone have a good blank one I can steal that is the same size? lol 3) ##/3 gym workouts, #/1 outside 4) Landscaping project updates
  4. Lighten-ing Strikes This challenge is about adopting NothingWhatsoever as a Way of being, about looking at my possessions and entanglements and making surgical cuts to let go of what doesn't actively heal me. Typical decluttering has me looking at what to get rid of; lighten-ing has me justifying anything I decide to keep, from forks to gym memberships, jobs and relationships. Top of the list are the Super Scary Storage Units. I have no idea what's in those boxes. Step one is to divide a space out for keeps even if I leave it in storage, and designate a section for donate for anything already sorted and not in the keep area. I mean really. I don't need anything in there except my birth certificate, a signed copy of a book by a friend, a notebook of my novel, and maybe that stash of amazing olive oil from a grove in southeastern Italy. Even the books for my dissertation are optional. Once I get enough stuff in the donation area, I can get help hauling it away. The storage units are on the other end of town and it feels like a Dreaded Quest to even think about going. I'm avoidant in the extreme about this. So, time in small chunks will be a dramatic improvement. Also on the list are any and all bills. I haven't used my gym membership. I can either use it or scrap it. We'll see how often I actually leave the house once the paper is done. A thorough inventory of what I'm signed up for (seriously? I was paying for a subscription to chess.com? I don't even remember that.) and then an evaluation of the list. Sounds simple when I put it like that, doesn't it? NothingWhatsoever. I have a habit of signing up for everything that sounds great. And everything sounds great. I need less to do in my life as I heal from burnout, heal from injury, and heal from trauma. No new things, and a lightening of existing projects and commitments. I've already decided to take the summer off from classes, and this first week I resigned from an editing position. The disentanglement of that will take another week or so, mostly in the form of having them tell me who to send my work to and crafting a letter to my series editor and authors for a smooth (ish) handoff. There's an annual Writing Workshop that I usually attend that has a powerful magic for me. It's meeting virtually again this year (June 13-19, so zero week of next challenge). I'm not committing to going yet, even though it's only a month away. I have a feeling that a lot will be revealed during the eclipses (lunar May 26 and solar June 10). I'd like to make no new commitments until after that. The elephant in the room is my relationship with my daughter. Nothing makes sense right now on this front, and it hasn't in years. At this point, if I'm being honest, my relationship with my daughter is a past thing. To have a relationship now would be to start something new. Her dad is clearly, violently opposed. I'm not certain I'm willing to take on a fight just to say I can. It certainly wouldn't be a relationship with my daughter, so what's the value? I have two farm workdays scheduled, May 22 and June 5, at the farm that grows my food for the season (May-December). I like that these come right after the paper delivery and right after court. Hoeing onions or weighing lettuce are the perfect tasks for resetting my spirit and listening for inspiration. Even so, the weight of commitment is noticeable. I know there will be a million opportunities to sign up to help. I need to limit myself to these two. If I want more farm time, I can go to the garden up the mountain, my spiritual home.
  5. So, like, guess what word has been turning up in challenge after challenge this time around? Yeah. That's the one. Herbal tea to the right, beanbag chairs to the left. In theory, there are ways to deal with burnout, but who can remember them when burnt out? (I mean, apart from "sleep, exercise, healthy diet", which kind of applies to everything.) So here's a place to post some stuff and recap some stuff for the benefit of your frazzled neighbors. And if nothing else, there's tea.
  6. I continue to struggle -thoroughly- with the same things over and over and over. So again: Selfcare and taking breaks. Kinda boring, isn't it? more soon
  7. Hi Rebels, I would like your thoughts on something. I have been following a fairly regular regime for the past year. It looks like this: Monday and Wednesday - 6-7am Strength training - 8-9:30pm Krav Maga class Friday - 6-7am Strength and heavy bag training Now I've added archery lessons on Saturday 9-11:30am. It's not much of a workout but I do use my muscles so I count it as training. My conflict is, I would like to start rock climbing. I've done the math and with some tweaks on my work schedule I could do it Tuesdays and Thursdays for a couple of hours in the afternoon. My workplace provides very flexible hours. I can see the time is there but I'm afraid my body can't take it and I don't want to give up the other things I do. I already experience burnout every few weeks and either I get sick or some part of my body starts hurting, which results in a week or more without working out. A couple of people in my life have suggested I'm over-training, but this doesn't sound like that much to me. I think it should be able to take it. I have an office job I love, but an office job after all, and I would like to mitigate the impact of sitting for eight hours as much as possible. I think it's relevant to mention that I do get enough sleep, 7-8 hours, although I don't always feel rested. What would be your advice? How many activities or workouts do you do during the week? What do you do when you are legitimately too tired to work out?
  8. What, a GL telling people to not do their challenge? What is this Madness?! Hear me out. I've been reading a lot of threads recently which are talking about how burnt out they feel. Or maybe an injury is holding them back. Or life is pushing them down a bunch because it's a jerk that does that. So here's the deal. I love challenges. They push us, they give us direction (which has been shown to help human happiness), and can help us test our limits. Sometimes, though, we just need to survive. So the challenge this week is to listen to the slightly-more reasonable voice in your head. Burnt out because your challenge has 47 things and work is stressing you out? Cull that list down to the essentials and keep moving. Feeling like humanity is a horrible group of people out to get you? Let us know - we love you all and want to help you vent! Injured and can't feel motivated to go do your normal routine? Try to find an alternate to keep yourself moving (he says to himself)! This is not a "You can slack off" Challenge. This is an "Embrace that life happens and we are here for you" Challenge. A "Speak what's your issue and find a way to over come it" Challenge. Challenges are great, but if they break you because you use up all your energy, you are less likely to want to continue. We have 2 weeks left, and another 2 until the end of the year. Keep yourself going, fall back on the GOOD habits you've made. Even if you don't make new ones, keeping steady is better than a burn out and a back slide, any day! So tell me what's ailing you. Tell me what you need help with over coming. This isn't an opportunity to slack off, but to help you refocus on what YOUR essentials are, especially after you've done so well through this challenge!
  9. Ah, Frank Turner- just the musician a recovering workaholic needs. For those of you who did not follow my previous challenge, I am currently working on recovering from some nasty burnout. It's been a rough year and a half, but the last challenge was successful and I am on the way to recovering sanity and motivation, slowly but surely. Huzzah!!! Frank Turner's song "If Ever I Stray" is my general theme song for this challenge (look it up, it's a great song). For the sub goals, if I'm going to bail on follow through, I have to first listen to the corresponding song and then decide to skip it. Long term goal: be silly and badass, all at once Run 3-6 miles at a 10 minute milePull myself up over a wall without helpPerform a gymnastic routine that includes a backflip or something else springyTruthfully, I am nowhere near motivated enough to work on my long term goals, but I don't want to lose sight of them either. Building block goals (aka - challenge goals) "Reasons Not To Be An Idiot" - Get outside every day and hike/ explore a new outdoor location 3 times during the challenge Pertainable lyrics "so why are you sad at home? You're not designed to be alone. You just got use to saying no, so get up and get down and get outside"It doesn't matter what I do, but for at least 15 minutes each day, I need to be outside.Why? Because depression sucks and sitting in the sun helps fight it. Plus, winter is too cloudy to pass on good weather just because I'm in a bad mood. And I always regret not hiking - I love being in the woods, along the beach, where ever there is nature in abundance. "Photosynthesis" - work less than 41hrs each week and 10 hours per day Pertainable lyrics "I won't sit down. I won't shut up. But most of all, yeah, I won't grow up "Why? Because working more than 41 hours is stressful, I'm salaried and there is always more work that could be done, so why kill myself over it? And, it's summer! Sunshine is a limited commodity in the pacific northwest. Why waste It working indoors? "Love ire and song" - reduce negative/jaded thinking Pertainable lyric - the whole song (language warning)Why? I miss the days when working in a nonprofit was fun and fulfilling. and I realized last week that I spend a lot of time listening to bitter, burnt out people, which helps me not at all. Success = listening to this song twice a week, walking away from negative conversations and activity looking for good things at work at least once per workday
  10. I have a yo-yo relationship with fitness. It's either full bore, Insanity/P90X addict, or couch potato. The first generally leads to burnout or injury, which leads to the second, which tends to linger until my pants are too tight, which then sends me back to to the first. Rinse and repeat. My ultimate (for now) goal is to build consistency of habit without the extremes; a sane, geek-based approach that keeps me motivated. For me, that means visualizing myself as a kick ass assassin/swashbuckler/ranger who climbs the walls of the castle in the dark of night, subdues the guard and opens the gates to awesomeness. I'm not sure what actual exercise routine that translates into yet. Mission 1: Exercise 5x wk. It does not have to be Insanity or p90X, or an hour long slog-fest. A walk-run, hike, or yoga counts, too! (This may be obvious to some of you, but I have some sort of block about it.) Mission 2: Reduce wheat, sugar, and dairy in my diet. Add more fruit/veggies at every meal. Less meat for meat's sake. No boxed freezer meals. Mission 3: No slamming myself for mistakes/ skipped days. Get back on the horse and keep going. Mission 4: Try a new kind of exercise class; parkour or rock climbing or barre or hot yoga or... at least 2x during the challenge. 1x a week would be bonus points. Life Goal: Schedule, study for, take, and pass the next exam in my licensure series.
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