Top three tips for avoiding post-COVID burnout

burnout, fatigue
Stressed business man covering face with hands in office. Working over time or too much. Problem with failing business or confusion with crisis. Entrepreneur in bankruptcy. Burnout and overwork.

Are you like me? Sick of hearing the words “COVID”, “pandemic” and “unprecedented”.

We went through our grieving process and working through the shock of finding our businesses and livelihoods turned upside down overnight. We navigated through closures and restrictions and worked through how we felt about “isolation” and “social distancing”.

Then we moved into the “hustling” and the “pivoting” (two other words I’d like to remove from the vernacular). Our determination kicked in and we rose to the challenge of doing anything we could to “get through it”.

And now, here we are, starting to emerge from our COVID bubble, shifting into a kind of hybrid between “business as usual” and the understanding that life will never truly be the same.

Let’s be honest, the emotional rollercoaster we’ve been on has been wild, and I believe that now is the time we need to be most aware and on guard that we don’t completely collapse.

So, here are my top three tips for avoiding post-COVID burnout:

Tip #1: Find your support network

The last few months have seen us zooming and skyping from dawn until dusk. We’ve been checking in, connecting with one another, and generally being damn good neighbourly citizens.

The danger will be that when this is “over” we forget how great all of that was and we go back to the annual Facebook-prompted birthday message.

Regardless of whether the shops are open and we can once again get a drink at the local bar, the longer-term effects of this are going to be far-reaching. So, make sure you’re surrounding yourself with a trusted community for those times when you need support, advice, inspiration or motivation.

Tip #2: Get intentional about your next steps

Understandably so, we’ve all been in a “just get through” mindset… hustling (there’s that word again!) like crazy to make sales, keep orders flowing, protecting the clients we still have, shifting to new revenue streams and generally doing whatever it takes.

Not only is this pace unsustainable, but it will leave us utterly exhausted as we start to come down from the adrenaline high.

One way to protect this crash is to start getting really intentional about our next steps.

Now is the time to revisit the vision for the business, reassess that strategy and get really clear again on the goals. Although we don’t totally know what the #newnormal will look like, we can at least start to bring a more considered approach back to our planning.

(bonus tip: make sure you have an accountability buddy, group or community to help you keep on track and forging forward)

Tip #3: Plug into your energy source

It’s very easy in challenging times to simply keep going, and going and going, pushing through in the hope that we can emerge on the other side. However, just like our phones and laptops, we do need plugging into an energy source to recharge.

We all have different energy sources, yours might be spending time with your family (or not!) getting out in nature, curling up with a good book, catching up with friends, perfecting that new sourdough recipe. Whatever recharges you – make sure you schedule in time for that.

The temptation is to now ramp up even more given that some sense of normality is returning, but the danger is we’re simply going to hit total burnout and crash, just like our devices do.

So, give yourself permission to take a break and plug into your best recharge source. Doing this will bring you back clearer, more motivated and ready to tackle whatever the world throws at you.

Kerry Dover, Founder, The Momentum Architects