The best thing to do during COVID – Prevent burn out & take a break

women burn out exhausted working take a break holiday

COVID has had a huge impact on everyone this year. Whilst some of us are not working, others are working harder than ever, and trying to catch up or build up their business again.

Have you taken a moment to breathe, and think of your own health?

When was the last time you had a real break, or a holiday?


Ensuring you take some time off is important and is likely to benefit your productivity and also your career long term. Burnout is apparent when you see signs of exhaustion, lower job effectiveness, and generally having a negative attitude about work. This is all due to the pandemic introducing so many additional stressors in our life, making it easy to feel overwhelmed. Taking a vacation has been linked to job productivity, and in one company report, it also has shown an increased likelihood of positive reviews, bonuses, and pay raises.


You may find:

  1. Employees or those you work with are navigating a ton of change and disruption to how they work. Adapting to any new environment saps their mental energy.
  2. You’re relying on technology like never before, leaning on video conferencing to connect with colleagues and loved ones alike, which can feel less fulfilling than in-person contact.
  3. It can be easy to fall deep into work right now – we are innovating, creating new solutions for new obstacles.
  4. Work is also one of the few things in our control during the COVID pandemic, so putting energy into something that will show results is rewarding. It gives a sense of normalcy and incentivises us to show our value to the business we work for.


When comparing the two, if you’re experiencing burn out, you’re most likely to be:

  • 5 times less likely to share ideas with management
  • 3 times morelikely to feel micromanaged
  • 4 times morelikely to feel like a cog rather than a person
  • 3 times morelikely to think managers play favourites
  • 2 times lesslikely to say that their workplace is a great place to work


So, do you successfully manage workplace stress or are you experiencing burnout?

Why should you take a break from work?

  • We want you to prevent burnout. It’s important to look after your mental & physical health
  • Plan local breaks away to have a change of scenery and routine
  • Long weekends are good to get jobs done that have been lingering and bothering you
  • Take periodic days off to learn something new, try a new activity or hobby, e.g. a horse riding lesson, learn to play guitar, etc.
  • It’s a good time to establish a new health regime, e.g. attend a workshop or self-development course like meditation, or try a new form of exercise like swimming or hiking.
  • Take some time indulge yourself, e.g. you may upgrade your bedding, have a sleep in, stay overnight somewhere and get room service, set up your own in-home beauty treatment – set the scene by lighting a candle, and put on some relaxing music.


One important thing to remember, is if you’re wanting to persist working, and take a break ‘later on’, after restrictions ease, everyone in your workplace may be asking for time off all at once! You may find yourself in a queue for leave, and not be able to take some for a while. Why not take it now?  Book in your Christmas leave, it’s a great time to take advantage of those public holidays!


Burnout can really lead to a roll on effect and continue to decline your mental health and wellbeing, so really consider whether pushing yourself is worth the outcome.


Written by Rebecca Deane – Director & Clinical Psychologist – www.creatingchange.net.au

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