A few weeks ago, DSANDA published an article, COVID: The “New Normal” Burnout addressing symptoms to watch for it you aren’t feeling like yourself. COVID burnout is not a symptom of having COVID-19, but rather a by-product of symptoms we experience from living in a world with so many new changes and restrictions. It is the emotional and physical adjustments we experience as we realize that our old lives will not be resuming any time soon.
Five simple steps to get you feeling physically balanced and in control.
How do we acclimate to these pandemic changes without suffering burnout? If you are suffering from COVID burnout, how can you help yourself feel mentally happy and healthy again?
Step 1: Set Work Boundaries & Use Health Benefits
Struggling to maintain a work-life balance? Working remotely has presented challenges with balancing home obligations with work expectations. According to a study by Flexjobs, 40% of people are feeling work burnout specifically due to the pandemic with 37% of employees reporting they now work longer hours than they did pre-pandemic. What makes the situation more detrimental is that few employees feel they can openly discuss this issue with HR.
It is crucial to have open communication with your HR department. Start with micro-asks and small flexibility requests. Ask for offline hours where you can focus on your work without constant interruptions so that you can be more productive.
Ask about your extended health benefits and use them! Many companies have extended health benefits available to employees. Set boundaries on work hours. Don’t roll out of bed and immediately log onto work and go all day without a break. Set an intentional routine to help optimize work hours and productivity. Start your day device free and engage in journaling, meditation, or online yoga. It can set the tone for the rest of the day.
Step 2: Get Outside & Get Moving
Yes, it’s getting colder out but make a pact with yourself to get outside and get your body moving. Changing your scenery can change your mood and perspective. We all need to get out of the house. Now that we are working from home, we engage in even less socializing than we normally rely on for mental health. Moving your body is an effective way to naturally boost your immune system and improve circulation.
Make physical activity a priority. If you are at risk for Metabolic Syndrome a physiotherapist can prescribe a simple exercise program and even work with you in the clinic. If you can’t get outside or to a gym, join an online pilates class or exercise community. At first, it might feel daunting but after a few days, you will look forward to getting into your body and giving your mind a break.
Step 3: Engage in Self-Care Rituals
Everyone talks about self-care, and it sounds gimmicky. Self-care doesn’t have to be a big production. It can be as simple as making time to journal, showing gratitude, or reflecting on the positives in your day before bed. A study by Greater Good Magazine showed that participants who suffered from depression and anxiety showed more progress in mental health when they practiced daily gratitude.
Another way to show self-care is to address your unhealthy habits. Use the extended health benefits we talked about above to indulge in services like naturopathy, osteopathy, massage therapy, and counselling. Care for yourself and recharge your positive energy so that you have a reserve for when negative burnout energy hits you. Season Affective Disorder (SAD) is also just around the corner, consulting a Naturopath is a way to preemptively face some roadblocks to your health by getting the right supplements your body needs to balance itself.
Step 4: Address Your Burnout Symptoms
Side-effects of COVID burnout include insomnia, digestive issues, chronic tension, and anxiety. This vicious cycle can get harder and harder to break free. Seek remedies that are proven to help your mind and body heal. For example, Traditional Chinese Acupuncture is a proven natural way to help with migraines and insomnia.
Naturopathic Medicine is an insightful way to explore the root cause of digestive issues. A naturopath can run tests to uncover chemical imbalances and can prescribe natural vitamins and supplements to restore your body’s optimal health. What you stress eat can drastically affect your mood and hormones and can play a role in depression and anxiety. Working with your MD, they can create a program to improve your mood, digestion, and mental health.
Step 5: Don’t Ignore Chronic Physical Stress
Don’t ignore your body’s stress signals, because over time acute stress becomes chronic stress and will zap your energy and health. With COVID burnout our bodies try to adapt to chronic stress which leads to a poor health outcome. Your body can also hold extreme amounts of stress in your muscles, ligaments, and joints. Sitting for prolonged periods, poor posture, and getting less exercise can cause muscle depletion and tension. People who suffer from burnout, live with chronic pain, and frequently reach for pain relievers or sleep-aides. Drugs may help in the short-term, but the cumulative buildup can cause dysfunction in other areas of your body.
Stretching, strengthening, and looking at tension patterns are valuable tools. Seeing an osteopath or physiotherapist is one way to learn about your unique tension patterns and to rehabilitate your physical balance. Osteopathy is particularly beneficial because an osteopath will find the root of tension and study the way negative energy affects your systems. Indulging in some passive care rehab can feel like a tremendous release if you have been ignoring your chronic physical stress
Schedule Your Health Assessment!
Don’t wait for another sleepless night or anxiety-driven day to pass. Get a health assessment now at Denise Semple & Associates. We offer Physiotherapy, Naturopathy, Osteopathy, Traditional Chinese Acupuncture, Registered Massage Therapy, and Yoga under one roof. We can design a tailored program to reduce your COVID burnout symptoms and help you regain balance. Remember, you aren’t alone. If you feel you require mental health assistance, we can refer you to one of our trusted mental health colleagues.
We offer online and COVID safe in-clinic appointments. Book Now!