Since COVID-19 restrictions were removed, many people started experiencing an overload of social and professional pressure. Requests and invitations came flooding in, and with that, a looming and unrelenting feeling of being overwhelmed. To start, please understand that this is completely normal, and nothing to feel ashamed of. Many people are experiencing varying degrees of anxiety coming out of isolation, and this is not necessarily due to the risk of infection – but instead, the risk of overstimulation.
Advanced Home Care Solutions is a health staffing agency specializing in community care support, travel nursing, as well as acute and residential care staffing. We are highly aware of the role that mental health plays in our overall physical health and wellbeing. And when talking about overwhelming social interactions, it’s easy to see how this post-restriction dynamic has impacted our collective mental health and put many of us on the path to burnout.
If left unaddressed and untreated, pressure and stress can be a slippery slope leading directly into the beginning stages of burnout. This can show up as mental and physical fatigue, emotional distress, dissociation and isolation, abandonment of healthy habits, lack of nourishment, or even physical issues like headaches, pain, heart palpitations, dizziness and more. Obviously, this is not a place you want to live in for any amount of time, but if left to persist, this can easily turn into extreme and long-term burnout – which can be even more difficult to treat and overcome.
The Antidote to Burnout Is Boundaries
The same way you would treat a bacterial infection with antibiotics, you treat early-stage signs of burnout seriously and swiftly by listening to your body, implementing rest, and most importantly, boundaries. This might seem like a difficult thing to do depending on the circumstances (we don’t all have the luxury of putting our jobs on hold to take rest), but there are attainable and impactful ways to set boundaries and protect your mental health.
To start, assess your current number of monthly social engagements with friends and family. Circle those that you feel are not absolutely necessary to keep, and ask for a rain check. This can be done respectfully by suggesting a later date, or asking if you can revisit the conversation at another time.
Don’t underestimate the power of transparency. You might think you’re the only one experiencing this kind of anxiety – but rest assured – you’re not. If you feel there are certain people in your circle with whom you can be honest about why you’re requesting to reschedule, do so. This kind of heartfelt honesty can actually bring friends closer together – and you might even discover that they, too, are going through the same thing (and are relieved to reschedule!)
Ultimately, read your body’s physical and emotional cues – this means getting in touch with your needs and respecting your own limits. Set aside time to yourself, and above all, practice being kind to yourself. This might mean that you devote a certain part of your day to self-care activities, or screentime-free periods. Whatever your version of self-care looks like, prioritize that.
From all of us at AHCS, we hope you feel uplifted and supported knowing that you are not alone, and that your feelings are valid. Thanks for reading!