If you needed a sign to tell you to take a break, this is that sign
Burnout is among us, for some it hit pretty early on. Whether you’e a student, a worker or both, taking a step back just feels impossible. Why do we justify our exhaustion with more exhaustion?
While it is important to take responsibility for our lives, we need to be kind to ourselves. Living in this pandemic, we have come across what is called “pandemic fatigue.” According to University of Californi a Los Angeles health, it comes in various forms like the inability to focus, not knowing what day it is, feeling anxious, hopeless and worrisome.
How do we fight pandemic fatigue? How do we fight burn-out? How can we avoid a downward spiral of intrusive thoughts, fear, irritability and insomnia?
In an article in General Surgery News, Rachel Goldman, Ph.D., FTOS, a licensed psychologist, talks about healthy selfishness. The phrase explains itself, “knowing what you need to do and allowing yourself to do it.”
It’s time to be more selfish with our health and recognize that we need to take me-time. It’s a reminder and also heavily recommended that we do take time for ourselves.
I personally struggle with taking that break and I wouldn’t consider myself selfish. We are living in a very unpredictable time. I’m a planner, not being able to plan for the holidays or the next semester drives me up the wall. However, maybe it’s time that I stop worrying about the future and worry about what I am doing right now.
“People need to focus on what is in their control, which is behaviors, reactions and how they cope, and not on what is out of their control,” Goldman said.
Worrying about things you can’t control is unproductive and a playing factor in my pandemic fatigue. The feeling of being lost and confused about what to do next runs through my mind every day. Dwelling on the unknown is out of my control and I need to let it be.
I know we are all going through it differently, but we are all still going through it.
So when you are too exhausted to go on, take that nap.
When your head is spinning, go for that walk.
When you find yourself reading that one page four times over because you’re just not getting it, take a step back and make some pasta.
Hit a pillow. Call a loved one. Cry. Watch that cringey holiday rom-com. Draw something, ugly or pretty.
Talk to yourself using only nice words.
Learn some breathing techniques on YouTube, meditate with Spotify, watch the news or don’t, and don’t forget to drink water.