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Avoiding Burnout in the COVID-19 Era – Edward McCall Rotan II

Burnout has gotten a lot of attention in recent years, but it has fallen off the radar since COVID-19 struck the world. Although burnout syndrome is not deadly, it still deserves our attention during the COVID-19 era. Burnout syndrome is classified by the World Health Organization as a “workplace phenomenon” that comes from unmanaged chronic […]

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Burnout has gotten a lot of attention in recent years, but it has fallen off the radar since COVID-19 struck the world. Although burnout syndrome is not deadly, it still deserves our attention during the COVID-19 era. Burnout syndrome is classified by the World Health Organization as a “workplace phenomenon” that comes from unmanaged chronic stress. This “phenomenon” poses a severe risk for the physical, mental, and emotional health of today’s workers, including healthcare workers.

Here are some ways we can avoid burnout, even in the midst of a pandemic.

Get support.

Burnout happens as a result of chronic stress, which is nearly unavoidable during a worldwide health crisis. If you are experiencing chronic stress, seek support from those around you. Your workplace might have an employee assistance program that offers resources. You also could reach out to a licensed therapist or friends and family. Even if you can’t meet in person, meeting in a virtual setting can still provide you with much-needed support through this difficult time.

Practice mindfulness.

Mindfulness is another key to preventing burnout. Practicing mindfulness means being aware of how you’re feeling at any given moment. When you’re mindful of your stress levels, you can manage them more effectively. If you find yourself particularly stressed, be sure to reach out and get help.

Take care of your physical health.

Taking care of yourself in the COVID-19 era goes beyond PPE. Make sure you’re eating well, drinking enough water, and getting plenty of sleep as well. Try to make exercise a part of your daily routine, too. Regular exercise will not only keep you in good shape, but it will also help to keep your stress levels in check. 

Practice self-care

Lastly, while you’re taking care of your physical health, also practice other forms of self-care. Take breaks from your work when you need to. On your days off, make time for the activities that you enjoy. Relax, have fun, and spend time with your loved ones. If you neglect all of your needs for the sake of your work, you will significantly increase your risk of burning out. But by tending to your needs, you create a safeguard for yourself against burnout.  

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