We have been living with the coronavirus for several months and the spread of COVID-19 is still going strong in many areas of the world. As the pandemic wears on, it is understandable that some people are feeling burnout and exhaustion caused by the situation. As the pandemic still remains present, mental health is continuing to take a hit. Anxiety and stress due to the pandemic is being fueled by uncertainty, lacking a sense of control, and having a number of important values in our lives threatened. Now more than ever, we need to work extra hard to manage our emotions.
Tips on How to Combat Pandemic Burnout
- Find those uplifting and close social supports: Set up regular video and phone calls with the people closest to you. This is easier now with all of the unlimited technology and resources readily available. Taking time to share your feelings and to listen and support others will go a long way. Talking with others who have our best interests at heart makes us feel safe and validated. Starting a book club online or hosting a dinner using a video platform are examples of ways to stay connected positively.
- In a world of confusion and upheaval, find ways of expressing kindness and compassion: First and foremost, you must remember to be kind to yourself. This is a hard time for everyone. It is important to remember that we are all in this together and we may all emerge with a renewed appreciation for our connections which creates more purpose to our days and well-being.
- Continue to create new routines and practice healthy behaviours: Routine and rituals are healing to us. Our brain wants predictable activity so we can relax our nervous system. Remember that our activities, thoughts and mood are closely linked. If you want to change your mood, change your activities and/or your thoughts. Good nutrition helps our mood. For many, stress makes us seek comfort foods and often we may make poor choices. Junk foods and processed foods are linked to depression and anxiety. Try to fill your home with fresh produce and whole foods whenever possible. But don’t be afraid to indulge occasionally and enjoy it!
- The power of focusing on the present and finding gratitude in challenging times: Focusing on the present is a way to get through stressful and overwhelming times. Consider taking each day as it comes. There is often a pressure to get things back to where they were before, but the pandemic has shown us that life often takes unexpected turns. Learning to be grateful and mindful of the present moment can change our outlook for each day. Gratitude is something that with a little practice can become a regular habit. It can help you cope better with the stress of these uncertain times.