I hated post-its in the beginning of my burn out, but these tiny yellow pieces of paper where the start of my recovery and I needed a lot of them!
Before I start writing about my recovery I want to thank my family, friends, colleagues and all the other people I met along the way for their unconditional support and patience. Getting over a burn out is something you need to do by yourself but you cannot do this with the support of the people around you.
February 2015, I think I was two weeks in my burn out. I had lost all sense of empathy for people around me and especially for myself. I hated design, entrepreneurship and everything else work related. Sitting at home on my couch I asked my self, how to get out of this mess? And for me although I hated design there was only one answer. I needed to design my way out this.
I had a Post Whiplash Syndrome for 3,5 years between 1997 and 2001 after a car accident and I felt exactly the same in the beginning of the burn out. I told my self that this wasn’t going to take that long to recover. And there was something else. In the first week of my burn out I told some friends, I don’t want THIS anymore, not knowing at that time what THIS was. But something had been haunting me for a long time, which I couldn’t put my fingers on.
In Designthinking we always talk about the strength of a multidisciplinary approach. To solve wicked problems you need multiple skills and multiple points of view. I approached my burn out situation as a wicked problem that probably had many different layers, which I didn’t know jet at that time.
By putting my self in the center I thought of the things and people I needed to help me get over my burn out. For me that was my family, my friends, the psychologist, a manual therapist, the gym and my mountainbike. And later on I discovered that I benefited from yoga as well and some other things.
I didn’t want to blog about my burn out at first. But explaining to people how I designed my way back to where I am at the moment, people encouraged me to share my story with others. So in a series of blogs I will explain how I re-designed my life over the last year, when facing a severe burn out. I will be going through my approach, the experiments I did and how they helped me during my work and personal life.
“Recovering from a burn out is really hard work”
Author: Jeroen Spoelstra
Featured image: Jeroen Spoelstra