Mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic: how to prevent emotional burnout

Exhaustion, cynicism and reduced productivity are all symptoms of burnout, which the World Health Organization calls a “professional phenomenon.” Although we all run the risk of burnout, this can be prevented. How to do it, read this article.

Who can have burnout?

Workers who are constantly stressed and working overtime are at high risk of burnout.

Risk factors are also problems with life balance, a profession that involves helping people and lack of control over their work. Occupations that most often suffer from burnout: doctors, social workers, teachers, service workers and others.

Scientists have found that the most vulnerable group since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic are health workers. According to them, this is due to heavy workloads, long working days, as well as serious moral dilemmas in conditions when there is a lack of medicine at all.

In addition, fears of possible infection of yourself and your loved ones, lack of proper support in the work environment and lack of medication can weaken the mental health of doctors.

How to prevent burnout?

One of the most unexpected methods is to plan the day and periodically change one activity to another so as not to combine personal affairs with workers.

In the realities of telecommuting, this is hard to imagine: people work where they sleep, work more hours, or spend all day with children who also study online.

However, structuring the day will help to actively change tasks, deleting previous ones, and not overloading.

Multitasking is sometimes needed, but it is important to form a consistent schedule and bring to the fore important activities: sports, time with loved ones, psychotherapy.

If you do not have a job, the task schedule can motivate and discipline you, even if these tasks are very simple: gymnastics, keeping a diary, calling a friend.

Neurologist and psychiatrist David Reybin notes that emotional burnout depresses our nervous system and, as a result, our ability to work, create, sleep, have children and build healthy relationships.

To prevent this, doctors recommend adding the following tasks to your daily plan:

  1. Start the day with a productive task. For example, make a bed, do breathing exercises, meditate. Our bodies love routine, especially one that enriches and fills our lives with joy. The better we structure it, the more time we spend on rest and recovery.
  2. Create a specific workplace. Even if you live in a small room, a separate work area will help maintain a vital balance. This will make it easier for your brain to change the mode of rest to the mode of operation and vice versa, explains the expert.
  3. Take a lunch break. Working from home changes the physical and psychological boundaries between personal and professional life. Therefore, it is important to set a lunch time and during this period to interrupt work and leave the workplace.
  4. Turn off gadgets. After work, close the laptop, turn off the phone or set the mode “do not disturb”. Turning off gadgets before bed improves sleep and reduces stress.

But if you notice signs of burnout or depression, do not delay and see a doctor, you may need to take antidepressants (Apo-Clomipramine or Aropax).