This is probably obvious to anyone who reads this blog or knows me in person, but I got burned out badly in late 2014 and for most of 2015.
Most people I meet think that the work I do must be FUN! After all, I’m on Facebook all day! Dream job! Hooray!
I thought this too before it became a full-time gig. After all, when I was a copy editor, all of my online time was recreational. It sounded like paradise to go to work and hang out on FB all day.
Now all I want to do most evenings is unplug. Social media is a mental cesspool—horrible, hateful opinions; time-wasting clickbait; endless arguing and bickering; outright lies dressed up as facts—and the greatest well of knowledge mankind has ever had. Being on the internet all day is like drinking from a firehose of information that I’m not allowed to turn off. It is exhausting and emotionally taxing.
I don’t know why it took me almost four years to figure this out:
My job, which sounds easy and fun, is actually extremely challenging… and fun.
So now that I have given myself permission to believe that my job is hard and therefore might be causing some of the burnout, I’m resolving to take better care of myself:
Unfriend, unfollow, disconnect, declutter. While I don’t have much control over the social media I engage with for work, I have total control over my personal feeds. Over the past year, I have quietly unfriended and unfollowed people who don’t bring me joy. This doesn’t mean we aren’t still friends in real life; it just means I’m done with their Facebook drama. Call it the Marie Kondo approach.
Take care of my body. My horses all had regular massage, bodywork and vet care. More than regular, really. Often. Extra. Constant. But up until a few weeks ago I had only had one massage, ever, in my whole life. I never saw a primary care doctor between 2005 and 2015. Turns out my new doctor, dentist and massage therapist all found things for me to work on in 2016. Whodathunkit?
Focus on nutrition. So one of the things that happened last year was I became lactose intolerant and started having symptoms of IBS. I also put on a lot more weight even thought my eating habits were unchanged… and as a never-that-small person, I really don’t need the poundage. My new doctor gave me some advice about inflammation that didn’t thrill me, and I have been resisting it. But I have resolved that for at least the first few months of 2016 I will follow her advice. If I can manage a horse’s diet down to the milligram, I can at least make moderate changes to my own consumption, right? I’m also getting pretty much all of the same supplements now that I used to give Blue: Omega 3, probiotics, multivitamin and magnesium/potassium balancer. Turns out these things have benefits for humans.
Spend more time being creative offline. I have shared some of my model horse work here and I keep meaning to share more. Brian has gotten into leatherworking, so I’ve been doing some of that, too. It’s just nice to have an outlet that isn’t words, words, words. I’m hoping to use my model horse profits (if any) to start my new (real) horse fund this year.
Prioritize human interaction. I want to cultivate more local, offline friends this year. My work schedule and homebody tendencies make this hard, but I need to push myself. No more excuses.
So that’s me. What are your goals for 2016?