There are so many reasons why burnout is occurring more in lockdown. First, there’s that sense of groundhog day, every day the same screen, same 4 walls, same pjs. Next the lack of breaks in routine- not travelling to work, seeing friends, that sneaky drink after work. Then there are the longer working hours- people are often starting work at the same time they would leave for work adding 1-2 hrs a day to their schedule. Lockdown has increased or screen time- now even meetings, where previously we got off screens, are online… and at the end of the working day, we watch Netflix, box sets or scroll through social media. Finally, add into this the pressures of relationships that are unused to such intensity, or discovering you don’t actually like that person as much as you thought you did, and/or kids 24/7, whilst working and you’ve got the perfect storm.
What causes burnout?
Burnout is not just a result of overwork- it’s a response to long term, unrelenting, stress– so over-work can cause it, but anxiety, and all life pressures, which are increased by the issues above, combined with worries about your and your family’s health will ramp up the overload on your body, causing it to crash.
Although our body thrives on short bursts of stress and activity it also gets depleted by long term or repetitive exposure to stresses. This is because stress and pressure switch on certain hormone systems that powerfully change how our body works. This is fine in the short term but in the long term, it has a damaging effect on a number of body systems including our digestion, sleep, immune system and ability to think clearly.
Am I in burnout?
Burnout is increasingly common, fuelled by longer hours, tighter deadlines, smaller budgets and ‘always on’ communication that reduces real downtime.
As burnout can lead to poor performance, long term illness, ulcers, chronic pain, failed relationships, depression, reliance on alcohol and other drugs, if you have any of these tell-tale signs of burnout, you probably need to make changes now:
Heart racing and high blood pressure
Constantly thinking about work when at home
Being snappy, irritable, moody
Never having enough time for work deadlines, projects, family or yourself.
Tip 1: Notice your signs:
Key ones are: getting irritable, thinking ‘there’s too/so much to do’ and losing your sense of humour.
Tip 2: Step away
Step away from your work/kids/situation for a minute. It’s not lost time, its effective use of time. Continuing when stressed produces more mistakes poor communication and aggravation. Instead
Tip 3: Breathe slowly
Count 3-5 seconds breathing in and the same out
Tip 4: Daydream
Daydream by looking out of the window (ideally at nature) for a few minutes- research says this is good for your brain and body. If there’s no nature nearby get a picture of a beautiful landscape, research suggests it will do the same job.
Tip 5: Listen to this video/audio
Listen to this video/audio for 1-2 minutes, it will calm you down
Tip 6: Physical tips
Stop caffeine after 12 pm, turn off screens after 7 pm, walk/exercise for 15 mins every day
Tip 7: Be kind to yourself
Treat yourself as kindly as you would treat your loved ones- self-kindness is linked to health, calmness and longevity- and you’ll be a nicer person to be around.
8: Learn to relax
Relaxation is a skill which requires practice. Check out the helpful audios designed to get your relaxed quickly and effectively.
Need to get some sleep – well you’ve come to the right place. Listen to Phil’s Help Me Sleep, sleep-inducing program to relax and drift off.
If you want more tools and guided sleep mediations then get our longer Deep Sleep audio program, which runs for an hour. It can be listened to so quietly it won’t disturb you or anyone else as even at low volumes your unconscious will still be listening and benefiting from the program
Dr Phil Parker is an expert in sleep, health and change. He’s a published author and researcher who’s been helping people sleep for over 30 years. And now you can benefit from his skills just by listening to this free ‘help me sleep’ program.
Dr. Phil recommends that you just listen to this Help Me Sleep program once a day and once before bed, and discover how your body can remember, finally, to go to sleep easily and deeply once again. We think, like thousands of others who’ve benefited from our programs, that you’ll be amazed at how quickly you can unlock your natural ability to be calm, become peaceful and sleep once more