Corona Burnout: 5 ways to reset when you’ve hit a wall


Jade Poole from I write words

Corona Burnout

Burnout isn’t anything new, but it is on the rise. Find out how to listen to your body and protect yourself against burning the candle from both ends.

These days it seems like Queen's “Another One Bites the Dust” should be on repeat in offices throughout the world as one by one, employees are affected by burnout.

Here’s the thing: burnout is a serious matter and if we fail to get a grip we will continue to see more people falling into depression, exhaustion and a general sense of cynicism towards their work and passions. What is the solution?

Setting aside time to reset your mind and body.

What is burnout?

Burnout is caused by long, extended exposure to stress.

There isn’t one single solution but rather a shift that needs to happen. Burnout happens as a consequence of trying to achieve our goals but not taking care of ourselves in the process. Lots of people think that burnout comes from long hours of work, but that isn’t entirely true.

Long hours of work under the right circumstances can bring immense joy and satisfaction without the damaging effects of exhaustion.

Long work hours under tricky situations is what causes us to burn out: being dispassionate, misdirected or under-appreciated. If we are working long hours, we need to know they are valued and purposeful. 

Check out this read on how to manage stress and make it work for you on

Active vs. passive recovery

Here are two ways you can look at how we reset: passively and actively. Passive rest looks like the stuff that feels instantly good but doesn’t leave you feeling great afterwards. Netflix and too much MSG? Feels awesome but doesn’t do you too many favours in the recovery department.

It’s great to have passive times of rest to turn to when you need them. However, relying on them to replenish your mental state can become unhealthy and won’t bring about the fulfilment that combats burnout.

1. Optimise your sleep

Making the most out of your sleep is so important when you’re trying to stay on top of burning out; or even just trying to live a good, energetic life. Although sleep is still a complicated area of study, we know that sleep deprivation significantly impacts your cognitive function; and not in a good way.

Taking your sleep seriously means finding the right balance for you. Most people need 6 - 8 hours of sleep per night. Psychology Today tells us that “Deep delta-wave sleep is critical for recovery and for learning—it’s when memory consolidation takes place.”

Stay away from triggers that worsen your quality of sleep like flashing screens (which trick your brain into thinking it’s day time) or caffeine and alcohol.

2. Active reset

Let’s expand more on active reset and how to incorporate it into your life. We don’t need to be completely numb to restore ourselves - we can still be making mental and physical progress. Active reset is about filling our cups with things that centre us and bring us into the present. Humans like to be challenged and sitting around doing absolutely nothing can trigger anxiety and procrastination in certain people.

This can take the form of mindful movement - yoga, kickboxing, dance or breathe work.

Speaking of exercise, have a look at this great blog: 30 Minute Equipment-Free Full Body Workout

Check out this blog on ways to get your whole family moving!

3. Know the signs

Your body will tell you everything you need to know if you listen to it. The road to burnout is a sneaky one because we all act surprised when suddenly, we are at the end of our tether.

Even though the signs of producing sub-par work, getting teary and irritable or being flat out depressed are all there. It is up to you to take control and know the signs of what burnout looks like when it is happening to you.

Am I burning out? Here are some signs to look out for

  1. Forgetfulness
  2. Extreme fatigue and lack of energy
  3. More frequent illnesses and a weaker immune system
  4. Loss of appetite
  5. Isolation, anxiety and anger

4. Total reset

You will waste more time being burned out than by scheduling in time for a total reset. This means stepping away from the thing you do to make money for at least two days. You’re entitled to more if you ask us.

Use those days to slow down, look around and immerse yourself in something that brings you back to yourself. Read, listen to your favourite bands (and spend time finding some new ones) or bake a cake from scratch.

Spend time alone, get to know yourself better and enjoy it!

5. Reach out for help

Remember that seeking professional guidance is a part of learning the correct tools to use to manage, overcome and recover from burnout. For free counselling and resources surrounding mental health, you can reach out to the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) via 011 262 6396 or 0800 12 13 14.


Until next time,


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