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Dealing with Lockdown Burnout Amid Pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has forced us all to reimagine the way we work. But, as lockdown draws on, at what cost to the employee’s wellbeing?

Working from home doesn’t make it less vulnerable to the effects of mismanaged stress – in fact, thanks to additional factors such as isolation from colleagues, communication issues, and blurred work/life boundaries, we might be more at risk of developing burnout than ever before.

For this reason, even some of the most experienced managers are likely to have encountered challenges as the lockdown has worn on, particularly around monitoring productivity, managing performance, and their pastoral duties.

Here are some tips to avoid burnout.

Separate Work for Rest

“If you get tired, learn to rest, not to quit.” — Banksy

It is important to recognize that you don’t have the same boundaries anymore, especially when working from home. With so many of us now working from home, it’s becoming increasingly harder to create clear divisions between our jobs and our lives. But this sort of separation is important, not just for your own mental health, but for your relationships.

Create a Routine

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” —Winston Churchill

It’s unhealthy to stay at home all day and not get some fresh air. So get up every couple of hours to take a work break. This can help to lessen your mental load; even just knowing what you’re going to have for breakfast and that you go out for a 20-minute walk and have a coffee after.

Take Days Off

“Time spent in nature is the most cost-effective and powerful way to counteract the burnout and sort of depression that we feel when we sit in front of a computer all day.” — Richard Louv

Vacations and time to detach from work at the weekend are important in enabling us to sustain performance, productivity, creativity and prevent burnout, in order to ensure we are actually rested when returning to work. 

Understand How Much is Being Asked of you

“You can have it all, just not all at once.” — Oprah Winfrey

Say you are a parent and are expected to perform your job to the level you always have, at the same time being a mother. It’s a time to lower your standards; you cannot do everything perfectly right now.

Do the Things that Make you Feel Good

“Have respect for yourself, and patience and compassion. With these, you can handle anything.” —Jack Kornfield

When you wake up each morning, spend time recalling all the things for which you feel grateful. Use all five senses to imagine these things vividly in order to help your brain latch on to all that goodness. Use this time to do more of the things that make you happy, such as a favorite hobby, exercise, or simple relaxation.

Be Compassionate

“A moment of self-compassion can change your entire day. A string of such moments can change the course of your life.” –Christopher K. Germer

People generally try to hide their shortcomings in order to maintain a positive self-image. With self-compassion, people can actually increase their knowledge and clarity about their own limitations.