Managing Burnout During the Pandemic

COVID-19 has been part of our everyday reality for most of 2020 and now well into 2021. If you are tired of constantly worrying about everything, you may be suffering from pandemic fatigue, and you are not alone. These tips won’t make COVID-19 go away but they may help you better handle the pandemic fatigue.

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The effectiveness of our coping mechanisms may be wearing off, too, explains psychiatrist Jessica Gold, MD, MS. “Even if you had really effective coping skills [at the beginning], it has been a really long time, and sometimes those coping skills stop working,” she says.


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Reflect and Accept

Take time to check in with yourself and reflect on how you are doing. If you feel irritated, impatient, angry, or are suffering from fatigue, anxiety or depression, accept that all of these responses are normal and understandable during such a difficult time.


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Look for small moments to enliven you

Find ways to restore yourself during the day. Take time to savour your coffee or lunch, or other small pleasures. Stop to play with your pets for a few minutes. Be in the moment, especially when the moment feels good.


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Add Some Structure to Your Days

Set boundaries between work and private life. If you work from home, set clearly defined working hours and a specific work area. Your routine may include getting dressed for work, creating date nights or game night, scheduling your exercise, or taking frequent breaks, even if it’s with the same people you’ve seen every day for months.


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Monitor your social media: Stop ‘doomscrolling’ and limit time on your screens.

Your attention is currency, and social media is designed to take as much of your attention currency as possible. Doomscrolling or purposely tuning in to negative stories on TV or on social media will lead to increased dread, uncertainty, anxiety and fatigue. Try to put limit on your social media consumption or if you find it’s stressing you out, better to stay off social media for awhile.


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Connect With Someone

Try not to isolate yourself too much since now we are disconnected from others. It is important for you to get as much connection however you can to avoid loneliness: whether that’s getting in touch with a therapist or catching up with a friend over the phone.

We are living through unprecedented times filled with unprecedented stress, which means you might be having unprecedented difficulty managing your mental health. If you feel like you could benefit from professional help, consult with a professional or research for a therapist suitable for you.

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