Are you suffering with post pandemic burnout?

Nov 18, 2021

Do you ever have those days where you just can't?

I use to get them A LOT when I was depressed, now they are usually few and far between but since the whole panda bear illness thing that we can not mention, they seem to be becoming more frequent again.

So many people seem to be feeling the same way.

Are you?

You want to get things done and be as productive as you were pre pandem but you just can't.

So what's this all about?

Well, my brain wouldn't be my brain if it didn't run off to try and find answers for EVERYTHING.

(Seriously it's like having a toddler inside my head why? why? Why though?!)

In Psychology Today and various other outlets stress that we're facing a bit of a perfect storm.

How so?

The mix of loneliness and anxiety fuelled by digital distractions, poor food choices to try and get that quick energy fix and a lack of social skills from having to connect through screens have caused us a few issues.

Many are calling it post-pandem burnout.

A kind of burnout that has been caused through lack of proper social interaction, disconnection from nature and screen-time-induced anxiety.

The upside of tech in the pandemic was that we could almost continue as normal. We could still "see" our friends and family and work from home.

Business as usual.

Chin up.

Keep calm and carry on.

Is the banana bread ready yet, darling?

The downsides? We've become isolated, exhausted, zoom fatigued, polarised and outraged.

Did you know the brain processes information at about 120 bytes per second?

Listening to one person is about half of that.

Open up a zoom room where you have multiple people, some seemingly talking at the same time, long pauses due to audio delivery and wifi speeds, realising you're on mute and everyone talking 15% louder (yes this is a thing with video calls) suddenly your brain is having to process much faster and therefor gets exhausted quicker.

You're also desperately seeking the usual non-verbal cues we're all used to that help us make sense of interactions.

Things like facial expression, hand gestures, tone and rhythm of the voice alongside body language improve our observations about whether others are trustworthy and you're looking at people who seem disinterested.

You can't see but their dog just started chewing the carpet, maybe their two year old just woke up from their perfectly timed nap that should have lasted the meeting or the doorbell just went and now your worrying whether you come across as interesting and engaging.

And we do these meetings how many times a day?

To switch off and have a break we pop on our favourite social media platform to be met with unabashed outrage. There seems to be little to no space for debate these days. You're shamed for not being up to date on all social causes or knowing the latest news. Richard Cytowic said it best, "Debate becomes foreclosed in a polarized climate, replaced by knee-jerk denouncements by those ready to vent their spleen." This cynicism and polarisation merely make us feel more alone.

So if you're having one of those days where you just can't. Bear all of this in mind.

Be kind to yourself.

Whisper sweet nothings in your own ears.

You're doing great darling.

You're not the only one feeling this way and we've all been through a lot.

But remember. You get to choose.

Let's choose less screen time and more books and creative activities.

Let's choose walks in the park over more Netflix (unless you are a lone woman and it's midnight then maybe choose Netflix).

Let's choose to get our needs met through proper in-person social interactions. Where you feel comfortable and loved.

Let's normalise snuggling up on the couch with our single besties and hugging each other (people outside of long term relationships need platonic love and touch too).

Let's bring back proper lunch breaks. Ones where we go out in the fresh air and get daylight on our skin.

Let's begin to remember who we are outside of the digital realm and reconnect to ourselves and our humanity.

Ah, that's a bit better.

Until tomorrow... Much Love, Rachael


This blog post was part of the Daily Dopamine Download. A daily email I send out to my community. To sign up click the link below. It was originally sent on 18 Nov 2021.


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