Today marks the 316th day since the first UK lockdown in March 2020. The Covid pandemic has changed our world beyond anything we could have imagined, reactions and emotions range from despair, to the stoicism of the British public.
Worries about the safety of our family & friends, health, job security housing, employment, and the necessary everyday restrictions have lead to a rethink and restructure of the elusive ‘Work- life balance’.
Last November burnout was peaking as we entered a second national lockdown, but what is burnout? More importantly how can we deal with it and prevent it from happening?
‘Mental well-being’ and ‘mindfulness’ are expressions we have heard a lot more in recent times and with all the demands placed upon us, it’s important that you start with yourself in order to be present for your partner, family and colleagues. Supporting each other is vital.
Mental and emotional signs of ‘burnout’
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Loss of motivation
- Irritability & anger
- A sense of dread
- Feeling defeated
- Feeling trapped
- Believing you are unable to cope
- Detachment & loneliness
Physical symptoms of’ Burnout’
- Stomach aches.
- Feeling drained, fatigued or exhausted
- Insomnia or sleeping for long periods
Now we’re in the midst of our 3rd lockdown, finding ways to manage our feelings can be challenging. There are ways we can hold onto the reigns of our lives in order that we feel in control. Find out what works for you and make it part of your day.
Commit to regular contact with family & friends, share feelings, concerns & listen to theirs, it’s the best therapy. We’re spoilt for choice, phone, Whatsapp, messenger, text, email, zoom & Skype to name a few; it’ll make a massive difference to not only you but to those you are supporting.
Granted the options are somewhat limited but walking, jogging or just a gentle stroll can really lift your spirits as well as burning the extra calories many of us have consumed!
Had I not been able to go out every day with my husband & the dog, I’d have lost the plot altogether! And the dog’s really happy as well!
Have regular family time
Somewhere in your day of juggling work and maybe home schooling find time to spend together, you may never have this opportunity again. Joining in with the family in a fun workout with the ‘Happy Chappy’ on TV might help release tension, or just be a giggle!
Despite all the jokes about alternating ‘day pyjamas’, watching daytime TV, binging on Netflix and fridge surfing, it may mean we’re getting into habits that could a negative effect on our moods. Healthy meals aid effective sleep and give us the energy needed to tackle another day. Cook with the kids and who knows you may find a new love for baking Banana bread!
Reduce your alcohol consumption, I took to putting out the recycling on the same night we clapped for the NHS, it drowned out the sound of bottles clinking!
Be mindful that whilst alcohol may make you feel more relaxed, it can affect the clarity you need to cope and feel well in mind & body.
At the beginning of the first lockdown the weather was kind and for those who could, much of the country was overtaken by a fever of DIY. We finally found time to clear & organise the loft or garage, repair & decorate, garden, create the allotment you’d always wanted…..thank heavens B&Q was open, even if it meant queuing for an hour to get polyfilla! Many had the time to start their ‘to do list’ which had been collecting dust on a table for years!
Starting a Journal and putting pen to paper can be so cathartic. Learning a new language, reading more and actually finishing a book! Learn a new hobby, sort all the photos and maybe get them into albums. It’s important to work towards realistic outcomes. Do projects in ‘manageable chunks’, we’re often guilty of putting too much pressure on ourselves which may have the reverse effect.
Find purpose and value in what you do it’s a vital step in preventing burnout.
Don’t be afraid to seek professional help. GP surgeries are still open, don’t suffer in silence.