The Daily Gamecock

Column: My time with burnout

I have to start this off by saying, I love The Daily Gamecock. Not only have I witnessed myself grow personally and professionally, but I've also met some of the greatest, most talented people. I'm so glad to be a part of something such as this.

But I also have to acknowledge the reality of the situation. I’m tired, I push myself as hard as I can to get work done and make myself better, and my own unrealistic expectations result in me falling short every single time. It’s a cycle I know I’m in but don’t know how to break.

This cycle has been the backdrop of my whole time as one of the news editors of the paper. A never-ending stream of work and stress are staples, but I tell myself to keep pushing, keep going; I can fight on without having to stop. 

That was until one day I found myself laying in my bed with absolutely no drive to get up. It ain’t easy for me to get out of bed in the morning, but this was different. The very thought of any sort of work made me feel like garbage. I had lost all motivation to do anything, especially The Daily Gamecock work, which hurt me even more. 

I felt like this for two days, and even during those two days, I hadn’t done a good job taking care of myself. I felt like garbage because I was burnt out and because I wasn’t doing any work. 

That was my wake up call. I wasn’t a machine, and I couldn't be working all day every day and expect perfection at the end of it.

No one should have to think like that. During this time I felt terrible, not just because of burnout, but because I felt like I had let the rest of my team down and wasn’t able to do any work.

But at the end of the day the thing that got me into that situation was not taking care of myself. My unrealistic expectations for myself drove me to work as hard as I could as long as I could without stop, trying to be the best I could no matter what. It was unhealthy.

I realize I can’t just fix this problem with a snap of my fingers, but recognizing my problem is good progress, and that problem came from me not taking care of myself. I need to make sure I remember that my health comes first, and I can’t do what I love — report for The Daily Gamecock — if I don’t do that.

— Tyler Fedor, news editor