I've had a lot of conversations lately about burnout. With friends, co-workers and even in discussion forums. Burnout is the condition in which you no longer have any brain cycles left to devote to something. It's a mental phenomenon, which unfortunately can manifest itself physically in the form of fatigue, stress symptoms and the like.
And it's not something that comes from one particular source either. It's usually a combination of things. It can come from work, friendships, relationships, domestic tasks, and when you think about it, even the things you do in your leisure time. You have a finite amount of brain power to process it all.
Naturally you want to give up the things that take up the most CPU cycles if they don't particularly feed your soul. Most of those times it's work related, but you can't exactly just toss that aside if you enjoy eating daily. You can find another job, and I've been there, but that process is itself exhausting.
Me, I just want to take a break from people sometimes. Unfortunately, that's not very easy unless you intend to be a farmer in Idaho. That and, really, it's usually people who can enrich your lives in ways that "things" can't. So that's no option either.
So I'm starting to wonder, can you avoid burnout the way that you diet? Or I mean, the way I diet? I don't give up any one particular food (well, red meat, yes, but that's for different reasons), I just eat less of everything. Is it possible then to just back off a little on everything and have a net gain in available brain matter? The thinking goes that if you pay attention to everything just a little less, you avoid burnout.
I know this is some goofy psychological or philosophical bullshit, but still. I've burned out before, I've watched it happen to people I'm close to, and I can see it in my future again too. It starts when you start to feel overwhelmed, but you can't really pin it down to one specific thing. I feel a lot of happiness right now, and I'd like to maintain that for as long as possible.
What do you do to avoid burnout?