Anxiety and Burnout during COVID-19

After years of struggling, these two minutes may just help save your life.

Rabbiah Chaudhry

Rationalising and reframing cognitive processes.

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Anxiety is a feeling of worry or fear that everyone experiences at some point in their life. Often it can occur before an exam or a job interview. Some people find it hard to control these feelings, which can affect their daily lives. Signs include: restlessness, a sense of dread, feeling constantly ‘on edge’, difficulty concentrating and irritability.

Coping Mechanisms 

  1. Avoid information overload - although checking the news can be tempting, it can worsen anxiety. It is important to stay informed but try setting a single time in the day when you can check the news. 
  2. Be wary of misinformation - fake information regarding Covid-19 is being spread on social media and can create panic. Ensure you always use a reliable source when you are checking the news. 
  3. Social media is great…when used properly - social media can be a dark place as I’m sure we all know. Try to limit your time on social media and unfollow any negative accounts or accounts that increase your worries. Follow those who prioritise compassion and kindness.  
  4. Be kind to yourself - self-care is something we should all practice in our daily lives. We should have some time set aside every day for our ourselves. This can include exercise, meditating, prioritising sleep, writing in a journal, thinking about what you’re grateful for today or anything that you enjoy.

“Burn-out” is a state of exhaustion caused by emotional, physical and mental fatigue triggered by prolonged stress; it’s safe to say we’re all under a lot of stress at this present time. Some possible causes of burn-out include: lack of sleep, no work-life balance, work overload, lack of praise, excessive ambition or lack of motivation.  

Be mindful of your news intake.

Coping Mechanisms 

  1. Time management - try to set time restrictions on each task to improve productivity. Often if we don’t allocate time, we can spend excessive amounts of time on tasks that could have been completed a lot quicker.
  2. Be realistic - make sure you set a realistic amount to complete in one day and factor in time for other activities for your own well-being like calling a friend or doing exercise. 
  3. What is your motivation? - reminding yourself why you’re doing something can help motivate you to complete the task. For instance, a university student may be aiming to get good grades so that they can get their dream job.  Similarly, a working adult may be working towards a promotion. We all have dreams and aspirations and sometimes we can get so overwhelmed that we forget the purpose behind all the work we’re putting in. It is not all about the end goal though - don’t become so fixated on the end-point that you forget to enjoy the process! 

Life is normally so fast paced in our western society. Covid-19 has, for some of us,  put a roadblock in the way. Take this as a chance to slow down and appreciate the smaller things in life. I know that it’s “easier said than done” and it doesn’t take away from the chaos of the current situation, but for our own sanity, it’s important that we look at the positives. It’s only when we find peace that we can address our worries. Despite everything that’s happening, it’s brought communities together and strengthened our human connections. We will come out of this stronger and having learnt something about ourselves. We’re the human race. We always get through. 

For now, we just need to take care of ourselves and those around us. 

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