The Burnout Blog
Disclaimer: this blog is meant for entertainment purposes. We are not medical professionals, and we are not trying to diagnose your definition of burnout. We are simply helping you understand that you are not alone during this time, and that we understand what you are going through.
The term “burnout” has been part of our vocabulary for the past year. Since some of us have left the office to work from home and shelter in place, we have been having a difficult time compartmentalizing what is going on from day to day (this goes for people working in an office, too). You are not alone in feeling this way. We thought this week we would share the 3 symptoms of a burnout, and how you can help get out of the funk. These are our suggestions and help us to feel better, and we hope they help you feel better too.
So, the 3 symptoms of burnout are feelings of mental, physical, and emotional fatigue.
Mental fatigue – when I think of mental fatigue, I often associate it with making careless mistakes on tasks I do every day, or just lack of motivation. The phrase, “I can’t” comes to mind.
Physical fatigue – the first thing I think of when I hear physical fatigue is not wanting to get out of bed in the morning. It does not matter how much sleep you had the night before; you are just tired, exhausted, and achy.
Emotional fatigue – this is something many of us feel as soon as we turn on the news or hear something negative. You simply do not care, and you just want to hit the mute button (even if the person is not on the television that you want to mute).
So, the question is, how can we help ourselves with the feelings of burnout? Well, here are some of my suggestions that may help you.
Take time for yourself. We all have paid time off for a reason – use it. I am not thinking about the future, I am thinking about the here and now. No one knows when we will fully reopen as a state or as a country, so do not think about saving time until you absolutely need it for that luxurious dream vacation that you have been planning since day one of the pandemic. It is not helpful to anyone including your family, friends, or colleagues.
Take a day for yourself, or if you are able to, a long weekend. Do a bit of soul searching. Ask yourself questions like, “why am I feeling like this?” or “how can I help myself feel better?”. There is no right or wrong answer, just your opinion. And remember, your opinion is valid, and it does matter.
Go somewhere even if just for a day. I often run down to different shore towns when I feel as though I am about to go through another burnout spell. Different shore towns offer me different solace. I visit Seaside Heights, and it helps me feel like a child again looking forward to a walk on the boardwalk and reminiscing about rides on the carousel. I go to Ocean Gate and take walks along their boardwalk and enjoy a pizza with family like we have done since I was a kid. And I visit Cape May where I can ride my bike endlessly and enjoy the salty sea air and recollect about summer days spent there with friends and family. These places help me remember my pre-Covid world and allow me to remember that I am still able to enjoy them now.
Step away from the phone. Warn everyone first that you are doing this, but just take some time away from your phone and keep it on airplane mode. Being on social media, news networks, YouTube, TikTok, etc., can be fun at times, but it can also lead you to question why your life is not as perfect as your favorite influencer. Your life is your life, and you should not compare it to others. Be your kind of perfect, not someone else. That goes for after the pandemic is over as well.
Do something good for your body. This could be taking a long walk/bike ride, eating healthier, having a massage, enjoying a mani/pedi, or a facial. My esthetician is basically my therapist. I tell her everything that is going on in my life, and she listens and never judges. We all need someone like that. Plus, I like that fact that I am helping a small business during these difficult times. Schedule yourself a spa day to clean up your maskne, and to rejuvenate your soul.
Travel with your tastebuds. I discovered a European style café in the area that has strong Czech influences in their baking. Having a bohemian donut and a cup of coffee from them is much different than a cup of coffee and donut from any coffee chain. Since I am not able to hop on a plane to Vienna, I’ll enjoy one of their coffees from this café instead!
Remember – you are not alone. I think what we all need to remind ourselves is that we are not the only ones feeling this way right now. This may cause mixed emotions as to why you have not heard from a close friend in a while, or why your colleague is more short-tempered than usual. We all cope with what is going on differently, and we need to support one another, not bring each other down. Just listen if a friend reaches out because it may help them more than you think.
You can also refer to some of our previous blogs about mental health and mental wellness. Some of our previous blogs are:
Do Something Beautiful – a podcast I became interested in during the pandemic.
Week 4: How to Keep Occupied – remember when we were counting the weeks of the pandemic? Well we thought that our readers may need some ideas on how to keep themselves occupied during the pandemic. To your surprise, I still do many of these things!
Wellness – before the word pandemic was in our everyday vocabulary, we thought that wellness was a good topic to write about. We still think wellness is a great idea!
Blog of Bliss – we are all about happiness here at PG. This blog gives ideas on how to improve your happiness factor.
We hope that some of these ideas help you with your burnout. If all else fails, talk to someone. Talk to a professional, talk to a family member, talk to a friend, or talk to a colleague. You are not alone during this time. Perhaps we should start putting pictures of rainbows in our windows again to remind ourselves that better times are ahead. Show us your rainbows in hopes of better times.