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How to Cope with Work Burnout during COVID-19

What is burnout?

It is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress The World Health Organization says that it is simply stress that is not managed properly

Work burnout during covid: - One study shows we're working 48 minutes longer - Not working from home, we're living at work

How is it different from stress?


  • You put in too much effort

  • You feel emotions more strongly

  • You feel hyperactive & anxious

  • You have less energy

  • It takes a physical toll


  • It's hard to put in any effort

  • Your emotions feel blunted

  • You feel drained & helpless

  • You have less motivation

  • It takes an emotional toll

Oftentimes there is an overlap with depression in that burnout may not be very much different. Some experts believe that burnout could be another type of depression. It can also happen to ppl who are not particularly vulnerable to depression - people usually know that it's situational whereas with depression people don't always know it Symptoms of burnout: 1) Cynicism about your work - don't get along with co-workers, your workplace is not supportive 2) Feeling as though what you do doesn't matter/feeling ineffective, 3) Low energy - mental, physical, and emotional exhaustion, 4) Headaches/body aches, GI issues Causes of burnout: 1) Lack of control 2) Work/life imbalance - employers are not sensitive and/or not aware of all of the things we are managing at home paired with not taking breaks 3) More work than you can handle 4) Unclear and/or unrealistic expectations 5) Family pressures - managing remote learning, taking care of the family, caretaking for someone who has been sick 6) Can happen in relationships What to do to recover from burnout: 1) Acknowledge you're experiencing burnout 2) Create more boundaries - set working hours then shut it down at end of day, we have ultimate freedom but that's not such a good thing 3) Create structure in your day 4) Change or rearrange your work situation - quit or make your schedule work for you, say no to unnecessary meetings 5) It's not personal - we're all going through it 6) Recognize the choices you do have 7) Have compassion - when your tank is full, give to others. When it is bare, seek support 8) Practice mindfulness to regulate your nervous system, take wellness breaks 9) Rethink the concept of work - what are your reasons for being here? Why did you start this? helps to reframe what's really going on 10) Self-care - take care of body, mind, heart, soul, and work - decorate your space, take lunch breaks, exercise, journal, meditate 11) See a therapist

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