Yay! And happiness and play is restored… and like a garden it must be tended to.

The creator of Things was chatting to some friends about burnout in Roller Derby. And being the sort of person she was she ended up doing a bunch of online research about it, because stuff is interesting. She found some nifty articles and has spent more time trying to find them again so she can share them with you than she did finding them in the first place or reading them! This is why she didn’t go into academia… great at research, lousy at actually keeping the research so she can do references.

Anyway, there’s a lot of good stuff, a lot of it focused towards children but applicable to anyone around having a good attitude towards sport. There’s great stuff around the challenge to be competitive with the importance of having fun, pushing yourself while having time for recovery etc. Complete burnout is awful, the creator of the Things has burned out badly in consuming jobs that ate her heart and soul… the need to give your all to something important can lead you down paths that leave you a small whimpering husk.

Complete burnout is so exhausting that it can take a long time to recharge and recover, you think you’re recharged and leap into the fray, only to fall over sideways again because your system is sooooo exhausted.

The creator of the Things is keen to avoid burnout in Roller Derby, but she also loves throwing herself heart and soul into things, so it’s been good to check in with the factors of burnout BEFORE she burns out. Prehab is much nicer than rehab.

One of the things that really stands out is the importance of a positive mental game, for good athletic achievements in general and for avoiding burnout.

When we are puppies, I mean children we learn a lot of stuff while playing. Adults can play too, sometimes we just have to work harder to cultivate it or trick our bodies into it! One study (that is somewhere on the internet, for reals!) looked at how emotions effect people’s learning. Powerful emotions lead to stronger memory and skill retention, BUT negative emotions are much less effective than happy emotions. People recall memories and skills with greater ease if they’re in the emotional state they were in when they did the learning (same with scents, smell something while studying, smell the same thing at an exam). Happy emotions sound like a more pleasurable habit and are more effective.

The creator knows that sometimes she uses anger or fear to push her through stuff, get her going when she’s exhausted, but she also knows that every time she cultivates happiness she makes herself a more powerful warrior. It can be hard to get over the fear that comes with wanting to do ALL THE THINGS, or even just a few things.

That’s why this year the creator of the Things New Year’s Resolution is to play lots (including playing the game superbetter and incorporating the getting things done methodology), journal her feelings (so sadness, fear etc have places to live, heard and facilitate action as required) and be as grateful as possible!

Would you like to play with us this year? We’d love to hear about your plans for the new year and maybe be can check in with each other and cheer like crazy every now and then ^_^