Dealing with Burnout and crying when needed
How you all doing? If you have stopped by before, you know I am a codeNewbie and a self-directed learner. You also may now that I am trying to land my first internship through the the Outreachy program.
This last weekend has been quite challenging. I had to work on an Open source issue from a big project, and I got all those nasty feeling: "I can't do this", "I don't know enough", "I am not ready"... And some times it got worst: "I should just find a plan B and give up coding", "Will I ever be good enough", "I am not smart enough for this". And All this without writing one single line of working code.
Then Saturday, I just hugged my huge round unicorn (yes, unicorn) and cry. Yes, I sobbed for a good 10 minutes, poor Uni got quite gross after that. And you know what? It helped A LOT! I wasn't automatically happy and confident after that, but I felt lighter and a bit better.
Here is a little thing I learn about Burn out on Twitter (sorry, can't remember who posted that): Burnout don't come from working hard. It comes from a felt if loss of control or impact. SO you can get burned out with little to less work. While my tips are for beginners, because I am one, I think it can help anyone.
So here is how I deal with burnout:
1. I go for walks: Whatever I just can't think of what do next and start freaking out, I get up and go walk. Sometimes 10 minutes, sometimes 40 minutes or anything in between. And when I come back I have renewed energy. So, get up and shake it out a bit!
2. I try to explain the problem to someone else: My older brother and my sister in law are seasoned programmers. So I just go ahead and try to explain to them with my words the problem I am trying to solve, and them I try to answer my own question. My brother usually asks me more questions, not because he doesn't know the answer (He always does x.x) but because he wants me to think by myself.
3. Take a break after a win: This one was taught my older bro: Go rest after doing something you consider a win. After spending days going to rest with the feeling of defeat, when I finally got something right I didn't want to stop, I wanted to keep going. And I am guessing you are the same. But here is the thing, if you take a break with the good "I did it" feeling, it will have time to sink into you and that sensation will have a longer lasting effect. SO when you come back, you will be feeling awesome AND rested.
And, as I mentioned in the beginning...
4.CRY And please, don't tell me you are a guy so you can't. YES YOU CAN. (I know it is hard, society has been telling you all your life you can't) No one has to know if you don't want them to (but feel free to tell me ;D). But sometimes, we just have to cry. For sadness, or frustration, or pure rage. All those feeling that we have, specially as newbies, that we aren't enough. That after all the studying we did, we can't work on a real project. All that is OKAY to feel, but we have to let it go at some point, and cry is a good way to do it.
This is what I have for you today. FYI, I did do most of my project, I am currently stuck but it is what it is, and the win from yesterday still lives on me, so I will just wait to talk with my Mentor today after the day job (I am a nanny:D).
Don't give up ;)