Burnout is the state of physical or emotional exhaustion that also involves a sense of reduced accomplishment and loss of personal identity according to a recent blog from Jay Chopra, PhD, co-founder and Managing Director of Making Shift Happen and a Herrmann Master Certified Facilitator. We've all felt it, whether it from the extended length of this pandemic or the social conflicts being seen within the communities of many cities and towns across the country and world. We are finding small personal wins but at what toll to our wellbeing.
Going down the dangerous burnout path, Jay Chopra shared how with his personal energy resources used up, bouncing back proved to be a difficult and time-consuming task. "Essentially, personal energy resources work like a bank: I spent more than I had deposited, and ended up in the red," said Chopra. "The WHO traces burnout back to "chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed”. Just like not managing your finances, not managing your energy resources results in an imbalance, something that is of course amplified by the on-going COVID-19 pandemic."
The Effects of Burnout
According to Mental Health First Aid Ireland, COVID-19 resulted in the largest and quickest mass shift ever in work patterns globally. Whereas in pre-pandemic times, working from home can increase productivity and wellbeing, the continuous stress of this public health crisis leaves employees with burnout symptoms.
More than two out of three -- 69% of employees are experiencing burnout symptoms while working from home, according to a Monster.com survey in July 2020, yet with significantly less opportunity to take time to decompress. Despite work burnout, the survey found that the majority (59%) are taking less time off than they normally would, and 42% of those still working from home are not planning to take any time off to decompress. The unique challenges posed by the pandemic from financial anxieties to home schooling to and disrupted social interaction were just a few of the many impacts experienced. Even as some areas of the world begin to open up, the continued effects of burnout may persist. Hybrid work leaves many unknowns, school breaks leaves questions of availability of summer day camps and the like, and the continued questions of social stagnation has has to re-engineer itself.
Especially now that we are trying to adapt and grow in a world that pivoted almost entirely online, Chopra says managing our energy resources has never been more important. "Energy management is all about our habits—routines that we repeat without even thinking about them, or checking in if they still serve us," said Chopra. "The goal of the Making Shift Happen: Energy Shift programme is to go from unconsciously spending to consciously managing our personal energy. It is designed to re-train our brains in order to cool the fires of our fight-or-flight responses by activating the body’s rest-and-recovery system."
So how can we go from unconsciously spending our personal energy to consciously managing our personal energy resources? Just like at the bank, Chopra says we need to manage our resources so as not exhaust our personal energy overdraft, and ultimately suffer from burnout. In his blog, he deep dives into six simple habits (and practical tools to put them into practice!) that will increase your mindfulness and wellbeing:
- Habit 1: Manage Your Mindset
- Habit 2: Practice Flexible Thinking
- Habit 3: Build Positive Relationships in a Virtual World
- Habit 4: Be Mindful
- Habit 5: Take Care of Your Body
- Habit 6: Ask For H.E.L.P.
Thank you for Jay Chopra for allowing us to share elements of his blogs. Future blogs will details some of these habits with practical tools.
See prior related blog on Energy Management: Optimizing your Team’s Brainpower for Resilience and Wellness
Click here for more about Herrmann’s Remote Collaboration Tools