Burnout: My Case

I’ve recently come to the following conclusion: I’m burnout. In retrospect, I’ve probably been like this for about two months. With time, I believe it has intensified.

Burnout is “a state of physical or emotional exhaustion that also involves a sense of reduced accomplishment and loss of personal identity.” It’s a work-related stress.

In Adam Grant’s podcast, “Work Life with Adam Grant,” there’s an episode on burnout. They discussed how burnout seems to be “contagious.” What I mean by this is that, let’s say your spouse is very stressed. The tension fills the environment where you also cohabit. The chaos is shared. On top of that add your own responsibilities. Your glass might be about to spill.

As Elena Mató, a specialist in clinical psychology, points out, “the syndrome of burnout builds up progressively until it results, in many occasions, into a state of inability to continue performing your regular work.” This is exactly why I stopped publishing. In an attempt to cope with the situation, I changed the frequency of the posts. Nonetheless, it seems there are processes you can’t force.

This is the second time I’ve experienced burnout. Some of you might remember my extensive absence a couple of years ago. Remember when I told you about my zombie mode on my last post? Well, it turns out when this mode prevails in time it’s a synonym of burnout.

If you want to know more about this syndrome, you can read this article by the Mayo Clinic. Now, I want to focus in what to do when you’re burnout.

What’s worked for me is, on one hand, to give in to the numbness in order to touch bottom. Once you feel ready to re-emerge, you can then concentrate on small wins.

  • Touching Bottom: If I only have the energy, or my mind and body only crave for something in particular, like reading or watch TV all day, then I go for it. I’m no expert and ignore if this piece of advice might be counter-productive or negative in terms of health. What my experience has showed me though, is that when you aren’t ready, you aren’t ready. If you don’t feel like helping yourself, you won’t. You need to build that desire for getting better. In my case, it doesn’t work to force my habits and systems for the sake of improving. Sooner rather than later, they all stop working and I need to start all over again. It’s like working your muscles. If you want to build your body, it doesn’t happen in a day. In fact, if you push your limits more than you should, I guarantee than in a week you’ll get bored and exhausted, and your habit will die. Because of this, you need…
  • Small Wins: You might want to go back to work or to your regular activities. However, your mind isn’t tuned to your desire. Find something small, something your body and mind are willing to try. For example, my first two small wins were (1) taking a shower and taking care of my skin everyday, and (2) going into the balcony for fresh air at least once a day. These are basic tasks, but when you’re burnout, these basic things require more effort than usual.

If you have a chance, take some days off to recharge your batteries and leave work and everything behind.

Am I in my regular state or mood? No, but habemus post. That’s quite a lot. One step at a time…



…Because for every door shut at you, a window of opportunity will open. Join me in the path of mindfulness, happiness, and essentialism for a fulfilling life.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
The Collector

…Because for every door shut at you, a window of opportunity will open. Join me in the path of mindfulness, happiness, and essentialism for a fulfilling life.