Dealing with lockdown burnout

Burnout seems to be on the rise and as the third national lockdown rolls around in the UK it’s not going anywhere fast.
Burnout is the state of emotional, physical and mental exhaustion caused by prolonged stress and it happens when we are unable to meet constant demands. It can be used as a catch-all for the result of various stressors in modern life, others relate it only to a work-related issue.

What are the signs of burnout?

1. Having little motivation

2. Finding it harder than normal to do everyday tasks 

3. Having a low mood

4. Finding it hard to concentrate 

5. Having brain fog 

What is lockdown burnout?

2020 was a new and strange year and as we kick off 2021 with the third national lockdown there’s still a lot of uncertainty and, to put it bluntly, bad things happening in the world. This means our body is working extra hard to navigate these things, often with a constant hum of anxiety.

Normal life also still feels distant, even though we’ve had fantastic news of the vaccine another lockdown adds to the lack of normality. Which means we are still navigating new situations and routines which can become tiresome.

Just as you can get burnout from working too hard and having to deal with mental and physical exhaustion, burnout from these same feelings can come from dealing with a global pandemic. And that’s ok, we’re not alone in these feelings and there are things we can do to combat burnout, recognise the signs, and ask for help.

5 tips for dealing with lockdown burnout

1. Identify your warning signs

Be mindful of your thoughts behaviours and feelings. The sooner you notice the earlier you can intervene. This will be different for everyone but if you started to notice some of the signs of burnout mentioned above this can help you take action straight away.

2. Create a routine

If you’re not working during lockdown the lack of routine can be daunting, so try and keep some sort of schedule to shape your days. Lay it out ahead of time so you know what’s coming as this can help ease your mental load each morning.

3. Put yourself first

With nothing but time to spend on yourself, it’s important to do things that make YOU happy. This might be exercise, reading, crafting, calling a friend or cooking. All these little things add up and contribute to overcoming burnout.

4. Manage the things within your control

It’s easy to sensationalise things and live inside hypothetical catastrophes at the moment but for lockdown number three we want you to focus on what you can control and focus on the day ahead of you whilst trying not to look too far in the future. Manage things you can control like what you eat, when you exercise and what you do in downtime and try not to worry about everything else.

5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help

Think about the support you need, whether that’s reaching out to a loved one to chat things through or talking to a manager about your ups and downs. You’ll probably find you feel much better once you’ve said how you feel out loud and it can make you feel lighter, after all a burden shared is a burden halved.