With the second-wave-induced lockdown in place, many of us are struggling to cope with the uncertainty and unreliability of the ongoing pandemic—which is inevitably giving way to feelings of extreme helplessness and hopelessness.
While the notion of 'Work From Home' initially seemed attractive—which can partly be attributed to the fact that you get to wear pj's while drafting official emails—it has now set in a sense of stagnancy and stress, due to the monotony involved. "A burnout takes place when you experience elevated levels of stress, over a prolonged period of time. It affects both, your mental as well as physical health. Workplace or remote-work burnout tends to reduce your productivity, and wears down your energy and motivation levels, leaving you feeling helpless and resentful," explain health and mental wellness experts at Practo.
Signs and Symptoms of a Burnout
A burnout involves a culmination of physical, behavioural, as well as emotional symptoms—a reaction to prolonged or chronic job stress—and is characterised by three main dimensions: exhaustion, cynicism (less identification with the job), and feelings of reduced professional ability.
The physical indicators of a burnout include feeling frequently drained and tired, headaches, muscle pain, a change in appetite and sleep patterns, and a weak immune system that can make you more vulnerable to illnesses. The emotional symptoms, on the other, involve a sense of failure and defeat, feeling trapped and helpless, coupled with a loss of enthusiasm and motivation and an increasingly negative outlook. Lastly, the behavioural signs include isolation from friends, colleagues and family, procrastination and withdrawing from responsibilities, missing work calls and meetings, and an increased dependence on substances such as alcohol or drugs.
To minimise the intensity and overall impact of a burnout—on your mental as well as physical well-being—health experts at Practo suggest that you adopt healthy rituals to kickstart and end your day.
START YOUR DAY ON A FRESH NOTE
1) Begin your day by taking a shower and throwing on some fresh clothes, not solely to keep fungal and bacterial infections at bay, but also to feel mentally refreshed and energised to take on the day!
2) Do not replace your breakfast with a mug of coffee. Eating a healthy, wholesome morning meal will give you the energy to tackle all that comes your way through the day, head on.
3) Make sure to take time out in the day—ideally before commencing work—to engage in some form of a workout. Daily exercise is important to increase blood and oxygen flow throughout the body, and serves therapeutic properties as well.
END YOUR DAY ON A HEALTHY NOTE
1) Grab a light-cum-healthy snack—maybe a fresh fruit smoothie or a protein bar—one hour before you wrap up work. However, this is no way suggests that you can skip dinner.
2) Consider engaging in deep breathing for 5 minutes, after you've wrapped up your office work. This simple practice gets you all prepped for a stress-free evening.
3) Post work, consider putting your gadgets away to spend quality time with your family. Plus, curtailing screen-time is extremely important for your eyes, neck, and shoulders as well.
REVAMP YOUR WORKSTATION
You've probably got incredibly used to your work-from-home nook, and aren't particularly fancy on experimenting with a new spot. However, your current workspace could always benefit with a little sprucing up!
1) Add a few indoor plants, fairy lights, or photographs that make you smile, to upgrade your workstation and boost your morale.
2) Make sure that your tabletop is clutter-free at all times, and is disinfected regularly.
3) Ensure that your workspace is set in a corner that receives an adequate amount of natural light, to reduce the strain on your eyes and take in some Vitamin D.
Practicing mindfulness—which involves maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of your thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment—is the need of the hour, to keep you going.
1) Keep a daily log of personal and professional work, to get things done on time and avoid getting stuck in the vicious cycle of procrastination.
2) Unwind and relax by engaging in creative activities or hobbies of your choice.
3) Learn to be grateful, every single day, for being safe and healthy.
You could begin by incorporating the above mentioned activities in your schedule. Over time, you will be able to gauge what works best for you, and can then choose to make those specific practices a part of your daily routine.