Coping with COVID Burnout

In the past six months, all of our lives have changed.  A year ago could you have imagined needing to wear a mask when you go outside? Could you imagine not being able to visit your family or go on a vacation? It is safe to say that really none of us could imagine the new ways in which we are conducting our lives. Are you experiencing a bit of burnout?

The Oxford Lexico defines the term “burned-out” as: “in a state of physical or mental collapse caused by overwork or stress”. No matter what our circumstances are, COVID-19 has affected all of us. The restrictions in place that affect our lives may be here for some time. So what can you do to cope?

Cultivate family relationships

Good family relationships benefit both your mental and emotional health.  Cultivating your family relationships will take a bit more effort since you may be unable to meet together in person.  But the rewards are worth it.

Cake Burnout

Practical suggestions:  Have video conferencing calls with your family and friends.  In our family, we have regularly scheduled Zoom family video calls with my husband and me, our grown children, and their spouses. We just hang out together and visit.  We even have found ways to continue some of our family traditions.  

Anniversaries are a big deal in our family.  So for our daughter’s anniversary recently, we sent gifts for her and our son-in-law to open during our video call and we all had cake (or cupcakes) together to celebrate.  It was a twist with our traditions, but we had a lot of fun.  

Maybe you can find a creative way to continue your family traditions too.

Enjoy the outdoors

Appreciating nature benefits your mental health.  Take opportunities to watch the sunset, view the stars at night, and get outside whenever possible.  The beauty of the outdoors is refreshing and facilitates real peace.

Walk in the wood burnout

Practical suggestions: Explore nature close to home.  In recent months, my husband and I have explored a county park near our home.  Prior to COVID, we had only visited this particular park a handful of times in the more than 30 years that we have lived here. We have enjoyed trying out new hiking trails and observing the diversity that the park has to offer.  We now have a standing “date” once a week to get outside and enjoy the outdoors together.  

Look for places close to where you live so that you can enjoy the outdoors.  Sometimes there are hidden gems close to home that we never have taken the time to discover.

Have something to look forward to

Having something to look forward to always makes life better.  Even small things to look forward to can do much for improving your outlook on life.

Practical suggestions:  Plan something you enjoy for the not too distant future.  It doesn’t have to be something big.  My husband and I are planning to go to the beach for a short trip soon.  Where we are going is only about an hour from our home.  But knowing that we will be going and planning out a few things to do when we are there has really given me something positive to look forward to.  

Brainstorm ideas of what you can plan to do.  It could be a day trip to somewhere nearby, completing a project that you have put off, or even planning a virtual party with family or friends.

If you are experiencing burnout, you are by no means alone. Try applying one of the suggestions above to help you feel better.  You can share with us how you applied our suggestions by following us on social media. Links to our various channels can be found near the bottom of the page.