The one warning we get from the higher ups, is to be mindful of the burnout factor that come with Relay For Life of Second Life and rightfully so.
This Relay, is unlike anything I have come across, and I’ve had a long career working on what some people call mega projects, project that would last 9 or so months, with insane amounts of work to be done, with tight deadlines.
The biggest thing I came away from that experience, is that one needs to pace oneself for the long haul. There is only so much one can do.
Photo courtesy of Kevin Botto “faceymcface1’s” Flick’r Photostream
Burnout is defined on the HELPGUIDE.org site as “a state of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion, caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed and unable to meet constant demands. As the stress continues, you begin to lose the interest or motivation that led you to take on a certain role in the first place. Burnout may be the result of unrelenting stress, but it isn’t the same as too much stress. Stress, by and large, involves too much: too many pressures that demand too much of you physically and psychologically. Stressed people can still imagine, though, that if they can just get everything under control, they’ll feel better. Burnout, on the other hand, is about not enough. Being burned out means feeling empty, devoid of motivation, and beyond caring. People experiencing burnout often don’t see any hope of positive change in their situations. If excessive stress is like drowning in responsibilities, burnout is being all dried up. One other difference between stress and burnout: While you’re usually aware of being under a lot of stress, you don’t always notice burnout when it happens.“
Physical signs and symptoms of burnout
~ Feeling tired and drained most of the time
~ Lowered immunity, feeling sick a lot
~ Frequent headaches, back pain, muscle aches
~ Change in appetite or sleep habits
Emotional signs and symptoms of burnout
~ Sense of failure and self-doubt
~ Feeling helpless, trapped, and defeated
~ Detachment, feeling alone in the world
~ Loss of motivation
~ Increasingly cynical and negative outlook
~ Decreased satisfaction and sense of accomplishment
Behavioral signs and symptoms of burnout
~ Withdrawing from responsibilities
~ Isolating yourself from others
~ Procrastinating, taking longer to get things done
~ Using food, drugs, or alcohol to cope
~ Taking out your frustrations on others
~ Skipping work or coming in late and leaving early
So in a place like Second Life and more specifically Relay For Life of Second Life, were the season runs 24 hours a day, for 4 months straight, burn out is a big factor, and we all need to be aware of this fact.
HELPGUIDE.org suggestion for burnout prevention tips are
~ Start the day with a relaxing ritual. Rather than jumping out of bed as soon as you wake up, spend at least fifteen minutes meditating, writing in your journal, doing gentle stretches, or reading something that inspires you.
~ Adopt healthy eating, exercising, and sleeping habits. When you eat right, engage in regular physical activity, and get plenty of rest, you have the energy and resilience to deal with life’s hassles and demands.
~ Set boundaries. Don’t overextend yourself. Learn how to say “no” to requests on your time. If you find this difficult, remind yourself that saying “no” allows you to say “yes” to the things that you truly want to do.
~ Take a daily break from technology. Set a time each day when you completely disconnect. Put away your laptop, turn off your phone, and stop checking email.
~ Nourish your creative side. Creativity is a powerful antidote to burnout. Try something new, start a fun project, or resume a favorite hobby. Choose activities that have nothing to do with work.
~ Learn how to manage stress. When you’re on the road to burnout, you may feel helpless. But you have a lot more control over stress than you may think.
Make sure the people around you are not overwhelmed with what they are doing. Take a break and just get out there and have fun.
If you are feeling burnt out, please ask for help, take a break and get real for a while. We are in this together, and together we need to look after each other.