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I also go between bursts of productivity and periods of burnout. In my case, I recognize that the restlessness comes from a feeling of “not being enough” and the practice of self-compassion is helpful in that. Though there is the trap of being hard on yourself for not being self-compassionate enough when I am struggling with that practice.

I feel like the discussion of how increased human productivity has led to shoving more into our days is pretty central here. Enough is never enough, not for long. And so it seems like we have to not just figure out standards that are enough, but enforce them in the face of headwinds such as office culture, social media, and economic pressures. I’m not sure that most individuals are capable of that and it requires a group of similarly minded people. Would be curious for your thoughts on that topic.

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Oh Alana, once again I resonate so strongly. I feel as though burnout has made me lose my sense of self because for so long I attached it to productivity and achievement. I also cannot sit still and actually have a post coming out later about the fidget toys I recently bought that are helping me find mental stillness in kinetic movement! But I hate to sit and stare and do nothing so I crochet, knit, sew, write, and read whenever there’s a spare moment that begins to loom with its emptiness. One thing that’s helping me lately is realising that I don’t need to optimise myself or my good moments. I now know that even though the good days may seem like the perfect opportunity to up my productivity, because I’m in a burnout cycle they only make me crash harder as a result of pushing when I thought I could (and turned out I couldn’t). But I feel you, deeply. It is so hard to figure out how exist in a way that is sustainable for your energy and mental health 🫠

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