The Betterment Project

How To Destress & Recover From Burnout, Even After Covid

Let’s face it — the pandemic has been stressful. From opposing perspectives to major lifestyle changes to uncertainties about the future, the pandemic has forced us to rework our old lives to fit the new and ever-changing circumstances. 


On some level, you can say that our lives have been turned upside down, and we are all wondering when things will return to a (new) normal. 


A loss of connection has been one of the most pervasive consequences of quarantine, whether that loss of connection is with the world or even with ourselves. Connection makes the human experience exciting and is necessary for us to thrive. 


So what happens when the connection in our lives is taken away? 


Sometimes we do not realize how much we rely on something until it is no longer there in the same form. On top of the emotional exhaustion, frustration, schedule changes, and poor work-life balance some have experienced, that additional loss of connection makes for the perfect recipe for burnout. 


If you’re experiencing symptoms of burnout, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s talk about burnout recovery.

 

How Can You Tell if You’re Burnt Out?

 

Life naturally comes with a certain amount of stress, but when it becomes perpetual and compounds over time, that stress can become chronic and may progress into burnout.


If you’ve experienced burnout previously, you already know that it affects our mental and physical health. Mental illness may become more prevalent in our everyday life, and our immune systems might take a hit, too. 


What are some of the signs that indicate burnout? Signs of burnout can include:

 

  • Lack of motivation
  • Exhaustion
  • Fatigue 
  • Lack of interest in social activities 
  • Trouble sleeping or insomnia 
  • Inability to focus or concentrate 
  • Feelings of detachment
  • Self-doubt or negative self-talk
  • Apathy, cynicism, or loss of enthusiasm
  • Loss of motivation
  • Physical symptoms like heart palpitations, headaches, or muscle tension

 

So, what is actually happening in the brain when we reach these higher levels of stress and fatigue? 


Stress in any form elevates the hormone cortisol in the brain. When cortisol reaches the brain, it affects our memory, concentration, and general cognition. 


If you just don’t perform as well when you are stressed out, there’s a biological reason for it. 

 

How Does Connection Factor Into Stress?

 

Social isolation can lead to a major decline in mental health. 


As humans, we are wired to feel and connect to our community, friends, and family. We can certainly benefit from some alone time to sit with our thoughts and feelings, but mandatory isolation can come at a cost. 


The pandemic has required many of us to remain alone for prolonged periods of time, and that has shown marked consequences. 


Social activities seem like a thing of the past for some people, and prolonged isolation can lead to new nervousness when planning to engage in an event. Some people may even cancel plans because they dread the idea of being around others after being alone for so long. 


Continued isolation may even result in a lowered immune system and other health risks. A lack of social interaction may even be a risk factor for cardiovascular dysfunction


This shows how influential human connection is to our overall well-being.  


If you still feel uneasy about being out in public with people, we get it — there are other ways to connect that don’t involve in-person interaction. Now is the perfect time to use the internet as the impactful tool that it can be. 


Virtual exercise classes, meditation experiences, virtual therapy, and religious or cultural events are available online. Zoom, FaceTime, and Skype are options to pick up the phone and chat with a friend who you’ve been meaning to catch up with or a family member that has been waiting for a return call. 

 

How Can I Recover From Burnout?

 

We know burnout can feel complex, but it doesn’t have to be permanent. Here are just a few strategies that may help you combat your feelings of stress.

 

Unplug 

 

While the internet can be a helpful tool during isolation, we all need a break from the media sometimes — especially when we are attached to technology during the workday. 


Taking some time to look inwards and check in with our own mental and physical state is an essential form of self-care. 


Give yourself breaks from your phone, computer, and television. Instead, try some yoga or another physical activity, engage in hobbies, or simply take some time to rest. In the end, you will be grateful that you did.

 

Rest More

 

When someone is stressed or burnt out, rest and relaxation are key for the nervous system to calm down. The body can process and heal when you are sleeping, so allow yourself to rejuvenate on this deep level. 


A heavy workload, tough boss, or unrealistic deadlines are just a few common stressors, but stress may also come from areas of your life that are unexpected. No matter what is causing your stress, rest is crucial to recharging.


If you feel that resting and preparing for sleep at times can be difficult, ASYSTEM can help. 


Our Complete Calm Sleep Gummies feature healthful ingredients like clinically-proven Safr-Inside™, Chamomile Extract, and Melatonin to help you wake up feeling refreshed. Simply chew one gummy about 30 to 60 minutes before bed to support a good night’s sleep. 

 

Book a Vacation 

 

Take a break and change up your scenery. You can go somewhere that’s been on your bucket list or visit a place that you know provides the peace and serenity you need. 


Stress can make us feel like we don’t have time for a break, but the truth is that if we don’t take time for ourselves, we won’t have the proper energy and capacity to complete the tasks at hand. Your cup must be full in order for you to pour yourself into a project.

 

Seek Support

 

If burnout has become normal or you feel the early stages of it, seeking mental health support can help you work through it. 


In today’s day and age, you can even complete sessions virtually over zoom, as therapists have worked to expand their reach over the last few years. This makes it even easier to find someone that is compatible with you. 

 

Volunteer 

 

Sometimes, giving back to your community can reignite a sense of passion and hope. Whether it is working with kids, feeding the less fortunate, or playing with puppies all day at your local shelter, many opportunities may be the spark you need. 

 

Be Joyful 

 

When stress and burnout take over, we might forget to be grateful for what we have. Find joy in the little (or big) moments, and try a gratitude journal to focus on the good things in life. 

 

Movement 

 

Exercise helps the body process stress and release energy. Whether you want low or high-impact exercise, any kind of movement can support your body in expending old energy and making space for new. 

 

Creative Outlets 

 

When we are stressed, it becomes easy to forget how to have fun.


Creative outlets and art therapy can be powerful ways to remember what it is like not to take things too seriously. Whether you sit down to paint, play an instrument, or make a vision board, the act of creating aids us in releasing built-up tension that is not serving us anymore. 

 

Job Crafting  

 

If your workplace is a major source of stress, it may be because the demands do not match the resources available to get the job done well. 


Job crafting can put the power back into the employee, allowing them to take inventory of their responsibilities and see what can be modified to create more efficiency in their work life. A key here is that managers are supportive and open to any necessary changes highlighted by their staff. 

 

Supplements 

 

Sometimes, lifestyle changes might not feel like enough. If you need an extra helping hand during times of stress, ASYSTEM’s De-Stress Gummies may be a great addition to your routine.


Ingredients like Lion’s Mane Extract, Rhodiola Extract, and Panax Ginseng work to enhance your mood and ease feelings of tension. We prefer to take one gummy in the morning so that it supports us throughout the day. 


Believe it or not, the act of chewing itself can even work to soothe feelings of stress temporarily. 

 

Summary 

 

When burnout strikes, you can start slowly introducing strategies to decompress — you don’t need to immediately implement various new techniques into your life. Go easy on yourself, try out a few different methods, and find what works for you. 


A solution may naturally come into your life and be the perfect fit for you. No strategy is one-size-fits-all. 


Identify the triggers, reevaluate what is and is not working in your life, and determine what will help you find more peace and serenity in your life. 


Burnout during the pandemic is real, but there are ways to enjoy relaxation and balance once more. 

 

Whatever you may be struggling with, ASYSTEM is here to support you.


Sources: 

6 Ways to Support COVID-Weary Employees | HBS Working Knowledge 

Understanding the Effects of Social Isolation on Mental Health | Tulane

How to cope with the stress of social isolation | NIH MedlinePlus

How to manage stress and avoid work burnout during the pandemic | American Institute of Stress

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