The week that started 23rd September

I’m practising being inspired, which means taking Artist Dates and hooking tiny actions to existing habits I have. Like, listening to music whilst I do my Morning Pages and exploring on the page ways of writing in flow.

And I’m steadily preparing for my job with a focus on wellness. I start tomorrow!

How to be well

Avoiding burnout

I typed up a few of the pointers from the video so that I can check in with myself as I start my new job.

“I just need to get through X…”

Jessica Rose: Burnout and Your Meat Computer

⚠️ WARNING: This is a sign of burnout!

If you say things like, I just need to get through the Christmas rush, or, I just need to get through this week… Watch out!

If that’s you, stop, take a breath, slow down, get support and get in touch with your priorities and goals.

You may be burned out if…

  • Have you become cynical at work?
  • Do you drag yourself to work and then have trouble getting started?
  • Have you become irritable or impatient with humans?
  • Do you lack energy to be consistently productive?
  • Do you lack satisfaction from your achievements?
  • Do you feel disillusioned about your job?
  • Are you using food/drugs/alcohol to feel better or to not feel?
  • Have your sleep habits or appetite changed?
  • Are you troubled by unexplained headaches, backaches or other physical ailments?

The checklist Jess references in timestamp 08:57 – 11:27 of the video is from the Mayo Clinic. So, you can find out more about it in Job burnout: How to spot it and take action by the Mayo Clinic. Content note: When I visited this page there was a small section about weight loss on the left-hand side of the page.

Ways of recovering from burnout:

  • Speak to your doctor
  • Take huge chunk of time off work, if you can afford it
  • Do less, in ways that won’t damage your life – emotional energy triage (LiLi adds use Min Specs!)
  • Outsource, using money or social network of loved ones/friends/colleagues/etc.
  • Say no (look after yourself first)
  • Selectively emotionally invest – you only have so many hecks to give, is X something you want to spend your hecks on?
  • Ask for help – make actionable requests of people
  • Recharge – do things you enjoy, like reading/ dancing/ boardgames
  • Practise forgiving yourself
  • Try not to be a jerk

Video timestamp: 11:40 – 20:42

And, of course, you can use my slides on how to recover from burnout and get your energy back.

Care, but not about everything!

That sounds like a terrible problem that I have no emotional connection to. I really hope that works out for you.

Jessica Rose: Burnout and Your Meat Computer

I used Wicked Questions and Min Specs to come up with some principles for myself for Q4:

In order to thrive in my life and succeed in my work, I must:

  • trust myself and act with integrity: speak what’s on my mind
  • ask questions and be curious
  • say no: prioritise, set realistic expectations, manage commitments at a sustainable pace
  • connect with myself, with trees and with friends
  • write
  • rest & relax

Achieve, Connect & Enjoy for a healthy life balance

I’m remembering how useful I found ACE (Achieve, Connect, Enjoy) for recovering from depression. I used it with activity planning my weeks and it’s helpful for working towards a healthy life balance. So, I’m going to use it with my weekly logs in my bullet journal.

Mood tracking for better awareness

I started using Daylio this weekend. It’s is the first mood tracker that I really like. You can just pick an emoji to track your mood. (Yes, I am a millennial.) But you can add tags and notes too, if you like. Easy & powerful.

Sustainable working practices

I’m planning to thrive working full time and studying. Here’s how:

  • Take my list of things I want to do
  • Pick one thing that’s important to me now
  • Use the Pomodoro technique to do that thing, taking as long as it takes with proper breaks and deep rest and enjoying my life
  • Repeat

That’s my plan for Q4.


Done, since 19th September

  • Finished reading The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison. 🙌🏿


Read Creative Writing: A workbook with readings by Anderson. Paying particular attention to part 2, chapters 5-11, on writing fiction.

And then, try out free courses on the Open University website, from my list.

And, there’s this huge flowchart of speculative fiction by authors of colour, which I can’t wait to check out.


Useful for my novel… Learning a bunch about my characters. If anyone has any double bass or cello music recommendations, that would be great.

My main characters are a scientist and an artist (and a dragon), so intersections between art and science are definitely themes I’m exploring. Also, I’d totally forgotten the Science Museum is a thing. 😅

Dramatic writing

I’m remembering using music to get into the heads of my characters, as described in last week’s weeknotes.

I’m listening to Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess for that. And to Chineke! again too.

Practising being inspired

Last week my Artist Date was collecting broken things.

I want to make a necklace of them.

This week I went wandering in the woods and brought back alder catkin cones and hornbeam samara fruits.

Wonder what I’ll find next week.

seashells with holes