When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world, there was no end in sight. Businesses came to a grinding halt; employers were frantically trying to figure out the quickest and most effective way to keep their staff safe while maintaining their productivity.
Parents were faced with balancing home schooling with their own displaced work. With the cancellation of sporting activities and limits imposed on socializing, parents had limited resources to manage the swelling stress levels felt all around them.
During this time, I worked more and worried more, and as the pandemic days blended, I became a recipe for unmanaged stress and fear on a whole different level.
When the brain goes into a prolonged state of emotional, mental, or physical exhaustion the result is burnout and as we moved through the phases of COVID-19, I realized I was one of millions of people feeling this way.
As the uncertainty around COVID increased, my eating and sleeping habits deteriorated and like every other Canadian, I worried about my job and my staff. My life had become a blur between work and family.
It wasn’t until I listened to our Overcoming Burnout message, last month, that I realized, I was experiencing burnout– how could this be? In that moment, going through that VR experience I was able to re-frame my mind set.
Here are 6 suggestions to move from burnout to engagement. These suggestions are based on all the psychological research we have done in this area:
- If you are working from home, implement an intentional structure to allow home and work life to co-exist. Create defined working hours and stick to those hours! Build your workout breaks, coffee breaks, and sleep schedule into your daily activities.
- Physical activity is one of the best things you can do for your brain and body. Even a short 20-minute walk during your lunch break will contribute to improved cognitive performance. Exercise also boosts endorphins, which will improve your mood. You will find you are most creative and do your best thinking while you are walking or shortly after.
- .Sleep is the number one, most important function of good health. A good night sleep should be a priority. Try and keep a regular sleep and wake routine to ensure you keep your brain healthy.
- When was the last time you sat down with your manager to see and understand if the vision of the company has changed and if their expectations of you have changed? How your ‘work’ world looked like 6 months ago may look very different today. By gaining a clear sight of the company goals, you will be able to plan better, work better and feel energized again.
- Carve out time for technology-free family bonding sessions. Talk, play a board game, go for a bike ride. So many families have lived in close quarters for so long but have not truly connected. It comes down to quality over quantity.
I keep telling myself that this is just a season, and this too shall pass. I am still learning to be kind to myself and consistently have to remind myself, I am not in this alone. In just a few short weeks since I started working towards building these 5 points into my life, I have begun to feel so much stronger and healthier and so will you!