How To Avoid Mental Burnout During The Coronavirus
As we enter into our fourth week of staying at home, combined with the sudden and drastic changes in our day-to-day life, it’s no wonder than nearly half the workforce is feeling burnt out.
We’re on the phone. We’re checking social media. We’re answering emails. We’re having meetings. We’re responding to urgent requests. We’re on phone calls. We’re catering to the kids and other people. We’re checking our email and social media again.
If your day sounds like this, you’re not alone. We are spending 90% of our day in output and reaction mode. One of the challenges is that there’s no clear distinction from work to life, no change in week day to weekends.
Add to that the stress of going to the grocery store and waiting in lines, managing at-home schooling, and the onslaught of free classes and courses that might leave you feel like you’re not doing enough.
This go-go-go mentality is contributing to burnout at rapid rates.
We are facing decision fatigue, with the constant barrage of news to view, deciding where to spend our time, and saying ‘yes’ to nearly everything coming our way.
In a crisis like this, burnout can emerge because of something different – what experts call ‘decision fatigue’– BBC
Below we are sharing ways to help you grapple with feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, anxious and reduce any form of burnout.
AVOIDING MENTAL BURNOUT
- Learn how to say NO. We have a tendency to overcommit ourselves because we don’t like to let others down. In this video, we are sharing the importance of saying no and how to do it with confidence. This will help you to reclaim your time during the day and reduce burnout.
- Meditate. This can come in all forms such as focusing on your breath for a few minutes to listening to a guided meditation as you fall asleep. The good news is there’s no right or wrong way to do it, yet committing to a daily practice can have profound effects on keeping you calm, managing anxiety and reducing any type of stress or burnout you might be facing. Check out our guided 10-minute meditation that you can do anytime (especially recommended during your 17 minute break; see below).
- Use the 52/17 rule. This strategy helps reduce distraction by having you work straight with no breaks (that means no checking emails, social media or getting a coffee) for 52 minutes. Once the timer goes off, you take a 17 minute break to catch up on your inbox, text messages or make some food. This productivity hack is used by some of the wealthiest people in the world who manage multiple companies, helping them to balance their time. The key here is that taking more scheduled breaks throughout the day helps you work smarter, not harder.
- Schedule “you time.” We tend to only schedule meetings, doctors appointments, business calls and other things that suck our time in our calendars. List out 3 things that bring you happiness that you can do each day and schedule them in your calendar the same as you do any other appointment. When you are notified of the ‘happiness event’ stop what you are doing and treat this as important as anything else you schedule.
- Start a gratitude journal. In your phone or a notebook, jot down 3-5 things that made your smile, that you are happy about, people you got to speak to, or self-care acts that you did. Each day you do this, you’ll start to find that you become more positive, are less stressed and find joy in the simple things. When you can’t control much of the outside world, you can control what you think.
- Ask yourself, what will make today amazing? This is a simple exercise that can help you to see what you can do that will bring you more joy and happiness. Each morning as you wake up, write it down on a paper and put it next to your computer or on your fridge. As you look over this paper, what do you need to complete it and how will you feel after it? It’s a simple act of self-care to help you reduce burnout.
- Have a consistent sleep routine. Sleep is one of the most important things for your body and when you don’t get enough, it can cause fatigue the following day, cravings, and reduce your productivity. See our tips on how to get better sleep.
- Do less. No, you don’t have to join every single free course that you’ve seen, nor do you need to have a zoom call with friends if you’re feeling tired. Now, more than ever, is a chance to really focus on what you need. Sit back, relax on the sofa and don’t stress out if you want to take a break from speaking to people. Focus on yourself and how you can nourish yourself.
- Stop trying to please everyone. As humans, we have the natural tendency to want to make sure everyone around us is feeling good, which makes us tend to give all we have. It’s okay to focus on yourself and what YOU need. As the saying goes, you have to put your mask on before anyone else’s in a plane, the same goes for life. The more you can show up for yourself the better you can the to those in your life, not the other way around.