How to stay motivated in a pandemic that won’t stop, says performance psychologist
Burnout – why we are experiencing it and what we can do about it
A hallmark of burnout is emotional and mental burnout. In this pandemic, everyday life can feel like Groundhog Day where we do the same thing over and over again. Washing, rinsing, repeating creates the emotional / mental exhaustion part of burnout.
Adequate recovery and variety are very important in preventing and / or treating burnout. Professional athletes don’t recover when they have the time or as a reward. It is a mandatory component of their performance program. We must adopt the same thinking. We need to take recovery breaks throughout the day. Listening to music, going for a short walk, taking a deep breath, laughing, being grateful, are all great ways to insert short periods of recovery throughout the day.
Variety is the spice of life! Even though much of our variety has been washed away by the pandemic (e.g. hanging out with lots of friends, going to different places in your city, traveling), we need to be creative and put some variety back into our lives. . Anything you can do to spice up life – food, exercise, driving routes, work environment, TV shows, etc., change something to get out of your exhausting and boring surroundings and into an invigorating space.
Low morale at work
Low morale at work can come from either a feeling of boredom and complacency OR a feeling of overwhelming and anxiousness. Even though these are both ends of the spectrum, in either case, they can create emotional and mental burnout that resembles burnout. In these situations, we need to re-evaluate our goals and what it means to win the day. Creating a work environment where you are challenged just above your current level of ability creates some excitement but maintains confidence.
You may need to create a more stimulating work environment or break things down into small pieces to feel a sense of stimulation and confidence, but not anxiety. In addition, it is essential to keep the lines of communication open with your superiors and colleagues. I like the idea of a small group of 25 coffee chat video call to check in with everyone – what works and what doesn’t.
How to create incentives for yourself when the usual rewards are out of reach
Something is better than nothing. This is another opportunity to look around and come up with some fun ideas you can do during this pandemic that will not end. Are there any local experiences that you have already explored? Research and do something because something is better than nothing. Continuing to focus on not getting what you want only creates more frustration and exhaustion. Finding incentives on hand can work to fuel you.
In general, how to stay motivated during a pandemic that won’t stop
(A) Physical activity is essential. Remember, burnout is emotional and mental burnout, but not physical. The problem is, after a long day, you think you’re too tired to move, but your body has most likely been resting all day. When you allow yourself to physically move, you create physical energy and give your mind and emotions a break from healing.
(B) Dress the room. Do your best to be the best of yourself! Get up, shower, get dressed.
(C) Create energizing rituals. listen to energizing music, engage with fun and upbeat friends and family, get some fresh air, and more. Engage in a performance routine every day to give yourself the best opportunity to be your best.
Dr. Perlus received her PhD from the University of Northern Colorado with a major in Social Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity, her Masters from the University of Florida in Sports Pedagogy, and her BA from the University of Western Ontario in Kinesiology. She is too
an elite alpine ski racer.