A Postcard From Burnout City

A redheaded woman in a mustard cardigan and 70s-print shirt with a huge collar.

Hullo! I'm still around. But for once I'm not going to apologise for my absence. At the end of December I posted about making 2021 a year of self-care and, well, it's needed. I'm not depressed or anything, but I think the combination of covid restrictions and uncertainties and all the fears brought about by it and trying to hit my hectic late-2020 deadlines at the same time burnt me out a bit. The first weekend back after the break, I only got out of bed on the Saturday to do some work, then went back to bed. That's pretty much unheard of for me; I'm usually unstoppable. The upshot of it all is I'm living much more in the moment, asking myself what I feel up to doing right now and doing that, and trying not to put any extra pressure or expectations on myself. So not much sewing or interesting stuff has been done, I'm afraid. When I haven't been working it's been old episodes of Father Brown or The Avengers for me, and looking at pretty things on Pinterest.

Living gently is having some effect; I'm already doing much better. Having a daily video call with one of my teams means I always put makeup on and dress properly on weekdays, so I've been having a bit of fun rewearing bits of vintage jewellery. I'm always convinced clip-on earrings will fall down the loo, so wearing them now, when I cannot go anywhere, is a good way to see which pairs of mine will stay put. I also bought this mustard cardi in the sales because I'd fancied one for a while, have a few things it will work well with, and am allowing myself to accept that no, I'm not going to make one, and I shouldn't feel guilty for buying one rather than making it. It's not quite the right shade but will do for now. Maybe when the charity shops reopen I'll find a better one.

Go-go starts again tonight, and that's another positive thing. Can't beat a good dance, and tonight it's to Quincy Jones' Soul Bossa Nova. Groovy baby! 

Anyway, I'm catching up with people's blogs when I can, and peering into Instagram. Stay safe, and be kind to yourself!


  1. Lovely to see you, Mim! Mustard really suits you, what a wise buy.
    It's exhausting enough not working for a living, let alone having Zoom meetings and deadlines.If a day in bed works for you then do it and enjoy, there are no rules anymore! xxx

  2. Being kind to yourself seems like the best use of time and energy. I really like that shade of yellow, and it looks good on you. Hope all your earrings stay safely on your ears.

  3. Glad to read that you're managing it and not putting extra pressure on yourself and taking things easy!
    I totally agree about not being productive all the time (I tend to be self-demanding!) and about dancing!
    And you're looking fab in this photo, proffessional and cool!

  4. There's no need to apologize for your absences, ever!
    When I read about your deadlines, I often wondered to myself how you manage to keep up with so much pressure, on top of everything else. There's no denying that the seemingly never-ending Covid situation is playing havoc with our mental healths.
    Taking time out, living in the moment and not beating yourself up too much about things is the best way forward, I think. A spoonful of Father Brown and some go-go dancing is just what the doctor orders. Take good care of yourself, and stay safe, Mim xxx

  5. Well, I think you look fabulous in that yellow shade! I think it really suits you.
    I'm so glad to hear you've been taking care of yourself and having some downtime. I don't think many of us have anything exciting to report so it's up to us to make the most of mundanity! (If that is a word).

    Take care

  6. I noticed your mustard cardi right away - love it! I often have a yellow/mustard cardi in my wardrobe - it's such a useful colour. Good idea to get one now, while you need it, and then consider "upgrading" to a better one when you can go to the thrifts again!

    No worries about being absent, or taking care of yourself. Self-care is not selfish! I'm glad you are taking it easy and questioning how you feel about doing things. That will be the biggest takeaway for many people, if we ever get back to a semblance of normal: not do the crappy things that we don't want to do, that don't make us feel good. I know a lot of people who are looking at reducing their hours or retiring after the past year.

  7. Glad to hear you are sticking to your word and starting the year with self care. Yay for the mustard cardigan.

  8. I don't know you, Mim, but good for you, taking some time to relax and avoid more burnout. I've had a hard time giving myself permission to do just that.

    Someone told me that if I ever feel guilty for not being productive, I shouldn't think of it as "relaxing" or "resting." Think of it as "replenishing." It's impossible to feel guilty for engaging in self-care when we think of it as replenishing our energy reserves.


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