Hello beautiful people! Let’s talk about burnout.

As I write this, I can kind of feel burnout wanting to creep in. As I’ve been shifting my relationship with healing, I’ve learned to recognize this stuff WAY early so I don’t fall prey to it all. Before I sat down to start this BonBlast, I took a bubble bath. I did some EFT. I journaled. I painted my toenails. I played Words With Friends. I strung together a few known mood-boosters so I could start another few hours of work without burning out. Because I could see it trying to happen!

For me, early signs of burnout include low-grade anxiety about things I could never control. Overwhelm about the things I *could* control if I could just get a handle on them. Powerlessness over my ever-growing to-do list kept in a dozen different places. Too many demands on my time and no space to allow myself to breathe. Feeling as if no one understands me and never will, ever. Deciding my work is futile so what’s the point?

If you could visualize this energy, it’s as if there are some frayed, stringy edges starting up around a few of my core projects and priorities and if I let them, they’ll become more than hairy annoyances that grab my attention. They’ll become a tangle that will trip me up, plop me on my ass, make me sick, cause me to fall out of love with my life’s work and the humans for whom I do it, something very burnouty.

Yuck.

Here’s a question for you: How often do you reboot your computer? Your gadget? Your phone? Hell, even our satellite dish receiver needs to be shut all the way off and brought back online every now and then. The printer will stop being “seen” on our network. The wi-fi will need to be turned off and back on.

The browser, the app, the electronics of our lives… they all do a pretty good job of letting us know they’re grinding hard. My laptop will get so hot that I have to prop it up so that air circulates under it. When? When it’s been running multiple applications for many hours, all of them churning through the computer’s resources at once. (Meanwhile, *I* will have been churning away at work on multiple projects for many hours at once, BTW.)

My classic car will let me know it needs servicing by whining a wee bit in a turn or “catching” as I rapidly change gears to scoot through town. Those of you with cars younger than THIRTY YEARS OLD may have fancy indicators that tell you when it’s time to service your engine. 😉 No matter the signs I get, I’m fairly obedient when it comes to the caretaking I do of my machines. A tiny indication that there’s a need for attention and I’ll provide it.

My experience on the web slows at multiple sites? Oh, that’s not every single one of these sites being weird; that’s my machine. Reboot. My phone won’t sync when I plug it in? Oh, that’s not a faulty wire; that’s my gadget. Reboot. Right?

But when we’re running around with to-do lists a mile long, a bunch of open tickets waiting for us to provide answers and close the loops, feeling tugged at by everyone and everything… for some reason we often push harder to get to the items on the list, to respond to all the people, to somehow become superhuman and certainly never do something like — oh, I don’t know — TAKE A BREAK or something!

Oh, hai! There’s a recipe for burnout, served up on a platter, pretty as you please!

And we made it. We created it. We caused it.

Because we didn’t treat ourselves with the care and gentleness and understanding that we grant our freakin’ technology regularly: We rarely give ourselves a reboot. A reset. Any sort of rest that’s restorative rather than repairing in nature.

Oof.

Here’s what I’d love to suggest — especially if you’ve not yet gotten good at noticing the early warning signs of whatever your version of burnout might be — and I hope you’ll share how it goes just below (comments are open, baby): Start noticing *sooner* those things that are indicators that it might be time for a small reset.

Start tracking the patterns about what happens just BEFORE you get so sick you can’t get out of bed for days. Start noticing how you feel BEFORE you blow up with a loved one over “nothing” and wonder how things spun so far out of control. As with all things, if we do enough pattern-tracking, the data will reveal clues that we can begin to get out ahead of!

And then how do we be sure we head a burnout off at the pass? Reboot. Just like I did before sitting down to write this. A solid 90 minutes of nothing but self-care, rejuvenation, relaxation… disconnecting, reflecting… BEING ENOUGH.

Try it! I look forward to hearing how this goes for you!

Wanna join me for a livestream (at Facebook, YouTube, or Periscope and/or Twitter)? Hop on at 12pm PDT Tuesday and I’ll reveal a few more early warning signs of burnout and of course share some of my very favorite resets! And you can share yours with me LIVE during the broadcast! Woo HOO!

PS — We’re more than halfway full for our last one-day intensive of 2019, the SMFA Retreat! It’s coming up in less than a month and we ALWAYS fill up with creatives in Los Angeles and those who travel in to join us, so be sure to snatch your spot today! We actually have a couple o’ very special guests this time out and I am so freakin’ excited to have them share their brilliance with you as you join me on this deep-dive of the Self-Management for Actors principles! 🙂 Any questions, pop ’em in the comments just below. We’ll get you covered!

All right lovelies, avoid that burnout by rebooting and of course, I’ll see you on the livestream on Tuesday! 🙂

Much love,

Bonnie Gillespie autographed the internet


Enoughness is an inside job… and sometimes you need a guide to find your way there. Let Bonnie Gillespie get you started.

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7 Comments

  1. Avatar Sean Frost October 8, 2019 at 6:50 am

    Hi Bonnie. I’ve noticed in the past that I’m burning out when I don’t feel like I’m getting enough reward for the work I do. I feel tired, “pissed off and mad about it” (thank you Texas Hippie Coalition), maybe a little hopeless, like “what good is it gonna do anyway?” When I’ve spent the time and gotten little back.

    I liken it to when it’s the morning and I’m hangry—I need food to be more myself. Then, when I’ve had a bit (some rest, some just doing something else), I can revel in the work I’m sent here to do and have that work help sustain me.

    Reply
  2. Avatar Alex Ryan October 8, 2019 at 8:30 am

    Of course you and universe knew I needed this post. So friggin helpful even to be validated w this! And I think this time of year when it’s close to the end and we start (at least I do) to wonder what we did all year and try to make up for it in 3 months, well , it makes my engine rev too hot. Love the reminder…

    Reply
  3. Avatar Natalie Scott October 8, 2019 at 8:35 am

    Oof I spent the last year recovering from a gigantic burnout. I’m much more careful with my energy now and I’ve been able to stop judging my body for the amount of rest it needs. Saturday’s are for sleeping. I don’t schedule anything on Saturdays ever. I work full time and go to classes and rehearsals in the evening and then get all my housework and cooking done on Sunday. On Saturdays I wake up early to feed the kitties and myself and then I go back to sleep sometimes until 5 that night. Since I’ve started this firm Snoozy Saturday policy, I’ve noticed that I have the energy I need to get through the rest of my busy week 😊

    Also I don’t remember what Bonnie place I heard this recently, “It is safe to be successful,” but it was my mantra on my ride home last night. I crushed it in a couple scenes in class and I felt the worry worm creeping in making me think about how that great night meant danger was on its way to keep the balance in the universe. And I just kept repeating, “It is safe to be successful.” It helped me really just enjoy the benefits hard work I put in. Thank you thank you thank you for teaching us how to THRIVE ❤️

    Reply
    1. Avatar Alex Ryan October 8, 2019 at 11:47 am

      ❤️ ❤️ Love this! I just reset this morning to give myself a “Badass Alex” assignment of getting up at 6am (because even though I hate the “get up” I’m MUCH happier) and my gift is NO ALARM (working to have my body be an alarm but until then…) on the weekends! #goals!

      Reply
  4. Avatar Ninja Erin October 8, 2019 at 11:42 am

    Alex — I so relate to this. I’ve often said that New Year’s Eve is my least favorite holiday because I often find myself feeling poorly about the past year rather than being hopeful for the next. Rebooting and reframing (and remembering to celebrate *all* victories, no matter how small they may seem) are much needed as we approach year’s end!

    Natalie — Snoozy Saturdays are my new #goals. Way to go setting those boundaries and HONORING them! And soooo glad to hear that the “it’s safe to be successful” mantra is helping you! ❤

    Reply
    1. Avatar Alex October 8, 2019 at 11:48 am

      It’s true Erin! And also I think I’m adding when I feel the overwhelm/burnout to list ALL my accomplishments big and small for the year. I’d started out trying to do it at the end of every month and fell off it :/ But I’m new and I’m learning and JOY! ❤️

      Reply
    2. Avatar Sean Frost October 8, 2019 at 2:03 pm

      Erin and Natalie— I relate to this as well. Sometimes have to remind myself that one good day does not mean the next will suck. If the thought comes, I have to be like “No it won’t.” Or “not necessarily.” I choose to disobey Murphy’s Law. 😂

      Reply

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