South Africans have been experiencing lockdown since March 2020, in order to curb the spread of Covid-19 or Coronavirus. While the lockdown certainly helped in delaying the spread for just over 3 months it has had some extraordinary effects on those who experienced it.
Most corporates continued to allow their staff to Work From Home (WFH) which meant that many had a regular 8-5, just in the comfort of their own home. For some, with children also being at home, with no childminders available, this meant trying to juggle being a parent and being an employee in one day. Let’s add the stress of cooking and cleaning (no domestic help, no restaurants) and we have a full-blown mess!
While many tried to juggle all of the above continuously, we are seeing an emerging trend:
- Parents: being a mom or dad, a teacher and a childminder in one day is difficult. Children don’t know whether they are being scolded by their mom or “teacher-mom”. This leads to anxiety in the children, guilt from the parents and a general feeling of exhaustion
- Employees: Most employees will tell you they start work at 8, probably grab a couple of coffees, and have a quick chat with Marlene from finance, all before lunch. Perhaps sneaking out a couple of minutes before 5pm is something they do most days, or just taking 10minutes in the sun for a quick breather after that post-lunch slump are things they do for grounding and mental clarity. Ask any person WFH at the moment and they will tell you the same thing: “I’m working harder and certainly more”
Boundaries have been blurred across the ladder as colleagues know that you have access to any piece of information at any given time. Whatsapps fly across irrespective of it being a Friday afternoon or Sunday morning, just because we’re now Working From Home.
THE RESULT: BURNOUT
As we are quickly passing the 100th day of Lockdown, I am noticing an emerging trend walk through the doors of Homeopath on Main: EXHAUSTED, BURNT-OUT, FATIGUED human beings. Patients with bizarre physical symptoms that don’t tie to any diagnostic condition except Adrenal Fatigue/ burnout.
PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE
Usually by the time you make your way to your homeopath it is too late to just take an afternoon off and be ready and back at your desk tomorrow morning. Your body often needs a couple of days to regain strength and mental clarity.
What can I do to prevent burnout?
- Maintain strict boundaries for work times: Try and set a weekday routine of work start and end-times with necessary tea-breaks in between.
- Take a walk: Short walks allow you to stretch out those muscles which are being compromised due to poor posture and allow increased circulation to the rest of your body. It also just helps you to clear your mind and refocus.
- Remove work emails from phone. This may be something you cannot do, however, mute your notifications during times you are not meant to be working
- Instant messaging: WhatsApp allows you to turn off your “last seen” and “Read” notifications. Use these to your benefit.
- Meditate: 10 minutes of meditation a day is effective in providing a tool to ground you and allow you to be present. You can do this when you feel overwhelmed or create a morning or evening routine that incorporates this.
- Your kiddies will appreciate the grounding and “exercise” have a look at @warriorkidsyoga for kiddies yoga classes and make this a fun exercise which promotes movement and calmness in your home.
- Supplement: Ensure you are having your Vitamin B’s. These are responsible for good neurological function and help to prevent burnout. There are also a couple of “Burnout supplements” on the market which contain adaptogens. Adaptogens are herbs which help modulate your stress response. Ashwaganda and Ginseng are 2 common adaptogens which work amazingly well in keeping your Zen.