I decided to not use a coach or therapist when I started my sabbatical, for a few reasons:
- I was trying to reduce costs to maximize my runway.
- I was on new insurance with limited mental health coverage.
- I didn't want to deal with the process of shopping around for someone I connected with.
- I anticipated that most of the issues I was dealing with (feeling overscheduled, trouble finding enthusiasm for the work I was doing) would resolve themselves if I left my job. I had reviewed the literature (h/t Amy Hoy) and felt confident that I was experiencing burnout and not clinical depression; the treatment you would seek is very different depending on whether you are burned out or depressed.
If my outlook had not improved after some time (maybe a month?) I probably would have brought in a professional.
The sabbatical has given me time to implement advice that I've picked up from various sources over the years, like a personal version of working in a business vs. working on a business, which can be hard to prioritize when you're neck deep in competing priorities. It has been a joy to have the time to do that work and make it happen instead of having good advice just floating around in my head. That advice includes (among many others):
- Make Time to work with purpose and observe how you spend your time.
- Getting Things Done to manage the flow of to-do items and free your brain from the burden of remembering them all.
- Stoic philosophy to remember that the only thing you can control is how you react to things.
- Building good habits including exercise, meditation, reading, journaling, chores, flossing, etc.