Since the pandemic hit in March 2020, billions of people worldwide have experienced chronic stress at work, home, and in their communities. Given this, it is no surprise that we’ve seen the arrival of a unique form of burnout: pandemic-related burnout (PRB).
Pandemic Related Burnout Is Different
While PRB shares much in common with other forms of burnout, PRB is unique. Among other things, PRB is more difficult to recognize since, during the pandemic, the symptoms of burnout have become normalized. Sadly, the normalization of PRB’s symptoms may explain why it has become widespread. One December 2020 study (carried out by Spring Health) found that the number of Americans experiencing burnout may be as high as 76 percent .
Mitigate the Stacking Costs of PRB
PRB isn’t merely a failure to manage chronic stress because PRB can’t be easily mitigated with tried and true methods of chronic stress management. Addressing PRB before it presents requires increased self-awareness and planning. It also means celebrating what we’ve gained and learned throughout the pandemic.
- Balance Your Energetic Accounts Weekly: Ensure you’re making more deposits than withdrawals. This will likely mean taking stock of what you’re giving to your family, work, and community versus what you are getting and giving back to yourself. Don’t leave yourself running on borrowed time or resources. If you do, you’ll have nothing left to give back to the people and organizations that need you most.
- Schedule and Automate the Replenishment of Deposits: When exhausted, it can be hard to find the motivation to take control of one’s health and wellness. It helps to have a list of things that replenish you physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Remember, this isn’t about being selfish. It’s about putting on your own oxygen mask before helping others.
- Increase Structure to Reduce Decisions and Stress: Establish rules for how to live, we reduce second-order decisions. Doing this, you’ll reduce levels of stress.
- Celebrate Small Victories: We all want this pandemic to end, but there are a few things that we will likely want to continue doing post-pandemic. Take time out to celebrate what the pandemic has taught you and how it has changed you, your family, team, or organization for the best.