Listening to my body through a period of burnout- part 2


So, like I mentioned yesterday, I had a rough patch of burnout recently when I was faced with something I should have been able to do fairly easily, but couldn’t for some reason. Today I want to explain how that ended up, and what I think I learned from the whole endeavour.

After thinking I needed to have my sketches completely done and painted for a meeting that was coming up quickly, I managed to use the time-induced procrastination panic that finally found its way to me to sit down and make a decent amount of progress on my work over the period of about 4 or 5 hours. FINALLY. However, they still were not nearly done by the time I needed them to be, and I still felt really down on myself. I was ready to be totally honest and explain that, although I was expected to show my finished sketches, I needed more time. However, when we sat down, the lady I spoke with explained that she didn’t need them until at least next week. This entire time, I was literally tormenting myself for no reason. Whoopsie daisy. I did feel a lot more motivation to make these paintings the best they could be once I found this out, but I remembered that I might go back to procrastination hell if I wasn’t careful. Thankfully, I figured out that being gentle to myself would prevent this, and if a day came in the following week where I found it hard to sit down and paint, I wouldn’t push myself through the problems focusing and simply let my body tell me when it was done for the day or needed a break. By allowing myself to rest, and trying my best to turn off the nagging motor in my head, my rest was much better quality, and I had more energy to give to a session of painting. Even though they still didn’t end up as complex or detailed as I had originally wanted them, I met with the project supervisor for our second meeting and she seemed very happy with what I came up with anyways. I spent a lot of my energy making myself feel bad that I wasn’t able to accomplish as much as usual, but I Iearned that, for me at least, it's more productive to relax and recoup when I am feeling past my limit than it is to push through it, not be able to do it anyways, and spend more energy worrying about it instead.