Avoiding Burnout by Practicing Self-Care

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the world is expected to experience emotional trauma and symptoms of PTSD. This emotional stress can lead to burnout, a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. During these unforeseen times, physicians and other healthcare workers are working extremely hard to keep up with the demands of patients with or without Coronavirus. These demands increase their risk for burnout.

What are the symptoms of burnout?

Physical Symptoms of Burnout:

  • Fatigue
  • Change in appetite or sleep habits
  • Headaches or muscle aches
  • Lower immune system
  • Impaired concentration

Emotional Symptoms of Burnout:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Anger
  • Hopelessness
  • Loss of motivation
  • Decreased feeling of accomplishment
  • Self-doubt/Sense of failure
  • Feeling alone

Psychological Today refers to burnout as a feeling of “running out of gas.” The key to avoiding burnout is practicing self-care to keep fuel in your tank.

What is Self-Care?

“Self-care” is not just about treating yourself to a bubble bath or your favorite chocolates. Self-care is not always pretty and is not always fun; it’s about doing the tasks that help you stay afloat, even when they feel nearly impossible.

1) Balanced Nutrition

According to eMedicine Health, “the goal of a balanced diet is to consume an
appropriate number of calories, carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins, minerals, and water.” The stress of the pandemic may cause one to overeat, under eat, or not eat nutritious foods at all.
If you’re at home, this is the perfect opportunity to open the cookbooks (or your web
browser) to learn some new recipes. If you’re still going into work, eating well and
appropriately is always an essential part of self-care. No matter what your situation is,
keep yourself energized and healthy.

TIP: If you’re already feeling burnt out or do not have the time, cooking in a crockpot or slow cooker may be the solution for you. Tasty has many yummy, easy-to-follow recipes for slow cookers.

2) Excercise

Exercising can feel like a trickier task to accomplish – the gyms are closed, and everyone is advised to stay inside. That doesn’t mean it’s time to give up. There are many exercises that can be done indoors, such as:

There are endless possibilities for exercising indoors. Be sure to search for Youtube videos for more ideas and workouts. Exercising is proven to improve our minds and bodies, so give it a try!

3) Sleep

During this time, your thoughts may be racing at a pace that promotes insomnia, or your thoughts may be so overwhelming that you experience hypersomnia. Both insomnia and hypersomnia can put you at risk for a variety of health problems. Check out these tips for insomnia and these tips for hypersomnia to learn how to get a better night’s sleep.

4) Maintaining Relationships

Admittedly, social distancing is making it increasingly difficult to maintain relationships outside of your home. This increases the risk of burnout symptoms, such as loneliness, depression, and even frustration. Luckily, we live in the digital age, so there are options.

Online Socializing ideas:

According to Psychology Today, “People who call, text, video chat, and reach out on social media tend to have higher quality relationships and more interdependence than those who use only one mode of communication.” Now is a perfectly acceptable time to bury yourself in your devices! Technology is your friend; use these tools to your advantage.