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Dealing with Burnout and crying when needed

Pachi πŸͺ (she/her/ela)
πŸ™‹πŸ½β€β™€οΈ I am your friendly developer relations personπŸ¦• #DevRel @newrelic; MoΓ§a de DevRel e co-fundadora da @feminis_tech πŸ’Œ Streamer, writer, EN && pt-BR🌟
Originally published at ・Updated on ・3 min read

Heya everyone!

How you all doing?
If you have stopped by before, you now I am a codeNewbie and a self-directed learner. You also may now that I am trying to land my first internship through the the Outreachy program.

This last weekend has been quite challenging. I had to work on an Open source issue from a big project, and I got all those nasty feeling: "I can't do this", "I don't know enough","I am not ready"... And some times it got worst: "I should just find a plan B and give up coding", "Will I ever be good enough", "I am not smart enough for this". And All this without writing one single line of working code.

Then Saturday, I just hugged my huge round unicorn (yes, unicorn)
and cry. Yes, I sobbed for a good 10 minutes, poor Uni got quite gross after that. And you know what? It helped A LOT! I wasn't automatically happy and confident after that, but I felt lighter and a bit better.

Here is a little thing I learn about Burn out on Twitter (sorry, can't remember who posted that): Burnout don't come from working hard. It comes from a felt if loss of control or impact. SO you can get burned out with little to less work.
While my tips are for beginners, because I am one, I think it can help anyone.

So here is how I deal with burnout:

1. I go for walks:
Whatever I just can't think of what do next, and I start freaking out, I get up and go walk. Sometimes 10 sometimes 40 minutes or anything in between. And when I come back I have renewed energy. So, get up and shake it out a bit!

2. I try to explain the problem to someone else:
My older brother and my sister in law are seasoned programmers. So I just go ahead and try to explain to them with my words the problem I am trying to solve, and them I try to answer my own question. My brother usually asks me more questions, not because he doesn't know the answer (He always does x.x) but because he wants me to think by myself.

3. Take a break after a win:
This one was taught my older bro: Go rest after doing something you consider a win. After spending days going to rest with the feeling of defeat, when I finally got something right didn't want to stop, I wanted to keep going. And I am guessing you are the same. But here is the thing, if you take a break with the good "I did it" feeling, it will have time to sink into you and that sensation will have a loner lasting effect. SO when you come back, you will be feeling awesome AND rested.

And, as I mentioned in the beginning...

And please, don't tell me you are a guy so you can't. YES YOU CAN.
No one has to know if you don't want them to (but feel free to tell me ;D). But sometimes, we just have to cry. For sadness, or frustration, or pure rage. All those feeling that we have, specially as newbies, that we aren't enough. That after all the studying we did, we can't work on a real project. All that is OKAY to feel, but we have to let it go at some point, and cry is a good way to do it.

SO, that is what I have for you today. FYI, I did do most of my project, I am currently stuck but it is what it is, and the win from yesterday still lives on me, so I will just wait to talk with my Mentor today after the day job (I am a nanny:D).

Please share your struggles, your wins and everything else that you wanna share :D :D :D
and don't give up ;)

Happy Monday,


Discussion (13)

ianturton profile image
Ian Turton

For open source projects, don't be afraid to ask the developers for assistance. They will be so pleased that someone is trying to help they will be happy to help you out.

pachicodes profile image
Pachi πŸͺ (she/her/ela) Author

Thank you!
Really, I feel afraid of asking too much, but I will get used to it!!!

thomasgoldberger profile image

Never feel afraid to ask anybody. Keep you q's sharp and crisp try to give examples what you try to achieve. In my experience dev's are a friendly folk and try to help out as much as possible, so don't be shy!

Thread Thread
pachicodes profile image
Pachi πŸͺ (she/her/ela) Author

Thank you! I am learning that and asking everything I have to ask!!!

katieadamsdev profile image
Katie Adams

What a lovely, positive message. If it's not too much information, I very much needed to hear this today. ❀️ Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to make myself a cup of tea, grab my stuffed fox, and let it all out.

pachicodes profile image
Pachi πŸͺ (she/her/ela) Author

Awww Katie I am sooo glad that it was helpful too you.
Let it out, your fox got your back girl!!! πŸ₯°πŸ₯°πŸ₯°

pachicodes profile image
Pachi πŸͺ (she/her/ela) Author

Thanks for your comments, I never thought about that, but it makes lots of sense about boys not learning how to cry. I really hope it changes with the new generation!!

cjtaylor1990 profile image
Corbin Taylor

This is a nice post. I've felt overwhelmed and burnt out many times before, and can confirm that giving myself the freedom to cry or do whatever I need to do really helps in those situations.

cjtaylor1990 profile image
Corbin Taylor • Edited

I mean, I'd be lying to you if I didn't admit to eating lots of ice cream as a coping mechanism for dealing with PhD thesis anxiety combined with the anxiety of trying to change career paths. Crying into a unicorn and taking walks sound like great methods of coping.

pachicodes profile image
Pachi πŸͺ (she/her/ela) Author

Thank you for sharing!
And seriously, ice cream can help cope with lots of things lol

lautarolobo profile image
Lautaro Lobo

Yeah, I cry sometimes... <3 <3

khryseos0 profile image

A very nice post about burn out. I'm not much of a crier, but I totally agree with the points you've made here. They span beyond programming as well!