“I haven’t solved this problem for myself, and I don’t know how.”
Part video response to Rosiana Halse Rojas‘ video A different kind of bravery, part introspective response to her own video one year prior, Lex Croucher discusses a phenomenon that affects millennials across the world but is rarely widely validated: burnout. From months in 2018 spent battling various illnesses (some mysteriously unresolved) to being buried in book-writing, Lex detailed exactly how she came to the realisation that she was simply doing too much. Fast forward one year and…she was right back in the same place. We’ve been there, pal.
Towards the end of the year, Lex was plagued by yet another mysterious series of illnesses that led her to visit the doctor. “Ultimately, they decided that I was exhausted and that I’d had maybe a couple different bugs and I just hadn’t gotten over them,” she said. “I just needed to stop what I was doing and lay down ’til I was better.”
This forced her to take a step back and look at her work habits. It’s harder, she realised, to recognise signs of being overworked or detrimentally stressed in her friends and family than it is to acknowledge them in yourself. “I’m really recently coming to terms with the fact that is not normal to come home after your 9-5 job and feel worthless if you get nothing productive done in the evening,” she explained. “It is not normal to feel physically sick with guilt if it reaches the end of the weekend and you haven’t done anything as part of any one of the many projects you have on.”
But, as any true hyphenate knows, acknowledging these habits is only the beginning. For Lex, precariously balancing all of these activities is almost her learned happy place. Whether or not she would be able to ever fully address the itch she feels to be productive at all hours of the day? She’s still not sure.
ultimately I beat myself up internally any time I'm within grabbing distance of my laptop but not working. and I'm trying very hard to be nicer to myself, but it's tough. if any of this resonates with you, join me. give your hard-working butt a break. fair work for fair butts!!!
— Lex Croucher (@lexcanroar) November 16, 2018
However, Lex does make it clear to her viewers that it’s imperative to place value in moments that don’t see you achieving monumental goals. “You are a valuable person,” she emphasised. “Being happy and being present in moments and not being exhausted all the time, those are incredibly valuable things to do with your time. Time spent happy is time well spent.”
While Lex knows she is always going to be involved in several projects, she knows that a healthier way forward lies in investing her time in projects and creative endeavors only when they genuinely make her happy. Thanks for continuing the discussion, Lex – we’re all about applying a little more Marie Kondo logic to our lives!