Updated: Feb 23
These Covid years we have all experienced more burnout then previous due to the added restrictions. These added measures and precautions have exhausted most of us. Regardless of the circumstances most all of us have had to make major adjustments in our work to comply and keep each other safe. Wearing masks, working from home or not being able to socialize has taken a toll on us all. Then we may be faced with arguments about the right things to do or not do that wear us down. We may not have agreed with mandates or restrictions from our employer or the government and that causes stress.
The above has added to situations that we may have been tolerating but have now become unbearable. We are reexamining our jobs and do they serve us? We have come to a point of looking to be grateful and to enjoy what we can even if it is limited. To many of us this closer examination of our lifestyle may lead us to look at our work life balance. As we do this our tolerance may become shorter and small irritations are now large issues. Like the song 'We aren't going to Take it Anymore' becomes a real thing. We may be making snap judgements because we are just full up to here!
Here are some signs you may be experiencing burnout.
Burnout Can Look Like:
Little to no motivation
Insomnia or waking up in middle of the night
Feeling negatively or overly critical
Numerous physical illnesses
Neglecting self care
Feeling numb or apathetic about life
Feeling inadequate or /or hopeless
Having numerous little accidents (running into a door, catching your toe on the tub)
Memory, concentrations are impaired
Low levels of Empathy
What can we do about burnout?
Keep in mind your five senses; touch, smell, taste, hearing and sight. Senosory There are many ways to deal with stress and among them are what we call self soothing techniques. These are simple things you can do wherever you are at to bring calm into yourself.
Spending short bursts of time doing silly and enjoyable things at work can help. I like to play with PlayDoh when I have to make telephone calls. The smell takes me back to a happy childhood time and the texture is relaxing. Another alternative is to play with pipe cleaners.
Getting up and moving around if you have a sedentary job really can help and if you are able to go outside do so. Nature; fresh air, new sights and sounds can reset your mood. If you can do this on a daily basis even if it is 5-10 minutes it will be helpful.
Doing small things for others can help you out as well. Bring a co-worker a coffee or a flower for no reason. Offer to switch tasks with someone if that's appropriate.
Use scents around you if appropriate, essential oils or candles. Have living plants in your space if you can-bring nature in especially if you have no windows. Listen to music if you can. Make an upbeat playlist you like or a playlist of songs that hold meaning for you.
Do mindfulness exercises at your desk such as:
Look around and notice 5 things you can see
Four things you can touch
Three things you can hear
Two things you can smell
One thing you can taste
It is the little daily breaks that will make a difference even though you may think you need a weeks vacation. Vacation does paly into burnout though. When is the last time you took one? A relaxing get away from it all vacation not one jam packed with on the go activities?
Of course re-evaluate if you cannot get back on track; seek counseling or look at your options. It might be that you do need a change but make a informed decision and be realistic. Changing a job may not be the root of what's going on and you will feel the same way somewhere else.