It goes without saying that lockdown has been difficult for the majority of us. Whether you’re working from home with small children, on furlough wondering about the future, or dealing with many care responsibilities, we’ve all had to face a new and unexpected reality with little warning and little preparation.
It’s perhaps unsurprising, however, that statistics on the effects of lockdown on our mental health and overall well-being are beginning to emerge, indicating that, with all the changes and increased pressures of pandemic life, burnout appears to be a major concern.
Burnout doubled from March to April this year (2.7 percent to 5.4 percent), according to LinkedIn’s data analysis arm*, while other study from Robert Walters recruitment found that just under a third (30 percent) of workers stated working from home has badly impacted their mental health.
So, what is the definition of burnout?
Burnout was added to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) International Classification of Diseases (ICD) list last year, with three important symptoms:
- Exhaustion is a common occurrence.
- Negative feelings about one’s job
- Professionally, there has been a decrease in production and efficacy.
What can you do to avoid burnout?
Even as the lockdown is removed, the phased approach means that getting out will take time, and the holy grail of’returning to a new normal’ will not mean resuming life as we knew it before the outbreak.
As we face the challenges (and opportunities) ahead, it will be vital to take care of ourselves and discover the strength, resilience, and balance we need to avoid burnout and instead blossom.
These techniques and recommendations can help you maintain your health and avoid burnout – after all, this is a marathon, not a sprint, so it’s worth planning for the long haul.
Workplace Life Advice
Set work limits — we all know it’s vital, but sticking to them can be difficult. Because so many individuals stepped up to help their companies get through the crisis, it’s critical to re-establish realistic work limits so that the workload associated with “extraordinary circumstances” doesn’t become the new standard.
Separate work from home – if at all possible, set up a separate workspace. If it’s the same space, can you at least clear away as much of your job equipment as possible to transform it from a work to a living area?
Set an alarm for every hour and take a break from your computer – It’s especially easy to be caught in and not move from the beginning to the end of your day if you’re still working from home. Also, make sure to schedule breaks between calls in your calendar.
Regular Check-Ins – Make sure you meet up with coworkers on a regular basis to discuss how and what you’re all up to. It will not only make you feel like a member of the team, but it will also allow you to more evenly distribute tasks. Even a good whine with coworkers might be beneficial.
Video Call vs. Calling – You may feel Zoomed out or secluded depending on your circumstances. Meetings are important if you aren’t receiving enough human contact, but if you’ve been on regular conference calls for the past two months, you may feel it’s time to pick up the phone.
Talk to your boss – You won’t be able to get help and support unless you let them know you need it. It can be difficult to confess that we are feeling shaky, down, overwhelmed, or suffering, but for many people, this is the new normal. Employers should be aware so that they can strive to put strategies in place to assist. Explain your circumstances, including your obstacles and duties at work and at home, and determine whether or not there is opportunity for improvement.
Take your annual leave — it’s tempting to believe that because we can’t go somewhere because of the pandemic, we shouldn’t be taking time off, but it’s actually more important. Because of the elevated stress levels, it’s necessary to take some time off – whether it’s a few weeks of shorter weeks or a full week off. It will assist you in appropriately switching off in order to replenish, reorganize, and revive.
Tips for a Fuller Life
Exercise and get some fresh air – now that most of us are able to do so, it’s a great way to re-energize your spirit. Get those endorphins flowing by going for a run or even simply taking a walk somewhere lovely.
Appreciate the small things – Try to see the bright side of everything. If you notice small positive things throughout the day, it will help you stay focused on the big picture and life outside of work.
Do something you enjoy every day – even if you can only do one thing you enjoy every day, it will provide you joy and perspective.
Limit your alcohol intake – It’s easy to fall into a habit of daily or increasing drinking — as enticing as 6 p.m. wine o’clock may seem, alcohol isn’t helping. It may be difficult, but try switching up your routine and going for a stroll or doing some exercise instead. If you must drink, attempt to reduce your intake by half.
Sleep, sleep, sleep — Getting a good night’s sleep, especially if you’re stressed or anxious, is the finest medication.
Smile and laugh – It’s common knowledge that smiling and laughing convey messages to the brain, causing chemical responses that make us joyful. Fake it till you feel it, even if you’re not genuinely laughing.
Get to Know Your Neighbors, Shop Owners, Other Dog Walkers, Postmen, and Other Locals! – After such an unprecedented period of seclusion and limited horizons, get to know your neighbors, shop owners, fellow dog walkers, postmen, and other locals. The act of conversing with other people will help to extend your horizons and make your task less intense and all-consuming.
Be Kind to Yourself – Recognize that this is a challenging circumstance, and it’s natural to feel fatigued, disillusioned, terrified, and a variety of other feelings. Check in with yourself to make sure these sentiments don’t spiral out of control – and if they do, don’t be hesitant to talk to coworkers and friends or seek professional help.