What is Burnout?
What Causes Burnout?
Today, there’s also a pandemic burnout. That’s the feeling of exhaustion with the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on our daily lives. From countless changes at work (or even job loss) to the inability to see friends and family to fears of getting sick, the pandemic has really taken a toll on many peoples’ mental health.
Signs and Symptoms of Burnout
- Chronic fatigue
- Increasing cynicism
- You feel hopeless, helpless, and defeated
- Reduced productivity
- Difficulty concentrating or focusing
- Isolating or withdrawing from others
- Increased procrastination
- Muscle aches
- Digestive upset
- Changes in appetite
- Increased blood pressure
- Becoming easily irritated
- Turning to unhealthy habits to cope (drinking, smoking, food, etc.)
What’s a Mental Health Break?
The Benefits of A Mental Health Break
- Increasing your productivity
- Improving decision-making and creative skills
- Improving your physical health
- Reducing stress and anxiety
- Helping with PTSD
How to Take Mental Health Breaks
- Reach out to loved ones. Sometimes, speaking with a partner, close friend, or loved one can help alleviate the burden on your mind. You can meet up for coffee or dinner and have a good conversation with one another.
- Exercise. Physical exercise, such as going for a walk, hitting the weights at the gym, or taking a yoga class, can do wonders for your physical and mental health. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins that can increase feelings of pleasure and reduce pain.
- Spend time in nature. Fresh air is another great way to improve your overall mental health. Turn your phone off and go for a walk in the woods or go for a hike. Or, if you’re a water person, a trip to a nearby lake or ocean may suit you better.
- Meditate. Meditation can help to calm your mind, allowing you to focus on the moment. Other ways to improve mindfulness (and therefore your mental health) include deep breathing exercises and journaling.
- Take a vacation. If you need more time away, take a trip. Go somewhere you’ve never been and immerse yourself in your surroundings. Visit a new city, head to a cabin in the mountains, or rent a beach house. No matter where you go, your focus should be on relaxing and self-care.