The year 2020 has been a tough one, and one that feels extremely long. The country is caught up between recovery mode as most industries have continued to operate and a celebratory mode with the announcement of the move to Alert Level 1 of the lockdown, which has led to a greater opening up of the economy and relaxation of the restrictive measures. However, many companies/organisations have had to play catch up as a result of lockdown, while in other companies’ employees have had to take on additional duties of those who have been retrenched as a result of the pandemic. This has resulted in employees putting in extra hours to make up for lost time and at times even working on weekends and public holidays.
Burnout is a possible and an inevitable result of not only the economic, but physical and emotional impact of the pandemic and its effects.
Burnout is a state of emotional, physical and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress (Smith, Segal & Robinson, 2019). This year has been an emotional rollercoaster of note, therefore being able to identify signs of burnout is extremely important, especially to ensure that one does not go over the rails. Some of these signs can include:
There are a few approaches that Smith et al (2019) suggest in order to deal with burnout.
All aspects of the lockdown are/were a constant stressor and can definitely send anyone over the edge, regardless of whether:
However, it is important that we recognise the signs of burnout, begin a process of reversing the effects and building resilience to stress by taking care of our mental and physical health.