As I’m sitting here writing this I’m feeling exhausted; my head feels as if it’s packed with cotton wool and my thoughts creep through my head at snails pace. In short, I am learning to cope with and recover from the effects of long term emotional stress. Finally recognising I had a problem and getting some help awakened my curiosity, my engineer’s need to fix and teacher’s need to explain. The Doctor describes this as stress and depression, but I wanted to know more, so Investigating further, I found this description of ‘burnout’:

“When you’re burned out, problems seem insurmountable, everything looks bleak, and it’s difficult to muster up the energy to care—let alone do something about your situation.” – http://www.helpguide.org/mental/burnout_signs_symptoms.htm

This seems to capture how I have felt recently, and believe me, I really want to change that.

This blog is going to be about recovering from stress and burnout. I am planning to share with you what I find out and what I try, and whether It works for me. What I hope you will do in return is share your ideas and experiences, whether success or failure.

One of my big enthusiasms is Free and Open Source Software (FOSS), and one of the reasons I am so enthusiastic about it is the way it uses communities to support it. The community is the place to go with questions and to share answers, but it also provides an opportunity to peer review those comments, questions and answers. What comes out of this is, I believe, trust and a cooperation and a willingness to share.

One of the key features of stress and burnout is often detachment, distance from relationships and isolation. What I hope we can do, via this blog, is to create an environment where we can support one another and help us to find tools and techniques to recover from this under this dark cloud. We can do this by sharing and providing thoughtful, honest and supportive comment on what others share, just as the best open source projects do.