WATCH — Tips for dealing with pandemic burnout because the struggle is real
Expert shares tips for kids experiencing common problem
⭐️HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW⭐️
- After living through the pandemic for more than a year, some people are feeling tired and unmotivated.
- It turns out these are symptoms of pandemic burnout.
- Other symptoms include feeling moody or easily irritated and physical exhaustion.
- Read on for tips from an expert on how to combat pandemic burnout. ⬇️ ⬇️ ⬇️
Oof. In case you’ve lost count, it’s been more than 450 days since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020.
And as you’re wrapping up your second school year in the era of COVID-19, you may find you’re feeling exhausted and unmotivated to finish up your last few assignments.
You’re not alone.
“Last year when we were online, I definitely had some motivation to do some stuff,” said Kirat Malhotra, a Grade 10 student from Calgary, Alberta.
“But recently, it’s like I’ve been trying to do my school work, but I’m always procrastinating.”
It turns out feeling like this could be a sign of pandemic burnout.
CBC Kids News contributor Alexia Sabau called up her friend and classmate Kirat Malhotra to see if he’s been feeling any symptoms of pandemic burnout as they wrap up their Grade 10 year. (Image credit: CBC)
What is pandemic burnout?
CBC Kids News contributor and hawk-eyed social media user Alexia Sabau couldn’t help but notice #pandemicburnout and #covidburnout trending on social media platforms like TikTok, Instagram and Twitter.
On TikTok alone, the hashtags have received more than 189,000 views, with people sharing their experiences with pandemic burnout and tips on how they’re dealing with it.
“It is really, really normal to be feeling pandemic burnout,” said Lydia Muyingo, a PhD student studying clinical psychology at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
This week’s Hey Alexia, What’s Trending? episode is all about pandemic burnout, and Alexia’s re-enactments of what it might feel like are truly ✨the most✨. (Image credit: CBC)
Muyingo said pandemic burnout, also known as pandemic fatigue, has been brought on by the impacts of COVID-19 on people’s everyday lives.
This includes everything from having to do school online instead of in-person, being stuck at home for long periods of time or even feeling worried about catching the virus and not knowing when you’ll be safe.
Burnout isn’t a new thing
Since pandemic burnout is a relatively new experience people are having, research is still being done to learn more about what long-term effects it might have on the human body and brain.
However, burnout is something that people have experienced in other aspects of their lives, like work or school, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Research on that might help us figure out what we might see in the long run.
According to Burnout and the Brain, a 2016 article by Alexandra Michel that was published by the Association for Psychological Science, some long-term effects of burnout include:
- Problems with our memory.
- Shorter attention spans and concentration issues.
- Loss of creativity.
Lydia Muyingo works with kids and teens who experience different mental health challenges. Muyingo shared tips for dealing with pandemic burnout with CBC Kids News contributor Alexia Sabau. (Image credit: CBC)
The good news is that these effects are reversible!
“Our brain is really good at repairing itself,” Muyingo said.
If we take some time to rest and relax, she said, we can actually fix and prevent these issues down the line.
Tips for combating it
Muyingo shared these tips for those who are experiencing signs of pandemic burnout:
- Know that you’re not alone in this. Many others are feeling this way, too, and it can help to reach out to close family and friends.
- Find balance between work and rest. Try to take breaks throughout the day.
- Go back to the basics in maintaining physical health, like drinking water, getting enough sleep and spending time outdoors in nature.
- Stay social. As easy as it is to curl up in bed in your PJs all day, spending time with loved ones (even if it’s over Zoom) can help you feel more positive.
Check out this week’s episode of Hey Alexia, What’s Trending? to learn more about pandemic burnout and how you can use this summer to feel better and go into the new school year in September feeling more like your old self!
TOP IMAGE CREDIT: Graphic design by Philip Street