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How to avoid emotional burnout

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There’s no getting away from the fact that the last year has been really tough for us all. Although we’re starting to see a light on the horizon, we are still a way off from the normality we have all been longing to return too. For the last year, we have been living in unprecedented times (is anyone else sick of hearing that phrase?!) and unsurprisingly the COVID-19 pandemic has massively impacted our mental health.

The roadmap out of lockdown announcement last week was undoubtedly positive news, however, the many changes and uncertainty of what ‘normality’ lies ahead. For many of us, it can feel like we’re living on an emotional rollercoaster; feeling both excited and nervous about the lifting of restrictions.

These intense emotions have left many of us feeling completely burnt out, but there are things we can do to manage this. Dr Radha Modgil recently spoke to the BBC, giving her advice on how to avoid emotional burnout.

“These days we describe emotional burnout as excessive and prolonged stress leaving us feeling unable to cope with life’s challenges,” says Dr Radha.

So how do we stop ourselves from being overwhelmed by our emotions? Dr Radha explains below…

“Be a compassionate listener to yourself. When someone experiences a physical knock, we tell them to take it easy and we fully expect them to take time to recover. Well, it’s the same for emotional knocks. So start checking in with yourself daily. How are you feeling? Agitated? Tired? Stressed? Rundown? We very rarely take the time to really check in with how we’re feeling. We very rarely stop, reflect and really tune in to how we’re feeling. Set aside time, about 20 minutes, to really stop, tune in and listen to how you’re feeling without judgement.”

“When one area of our lives is undergoing a battering, other areas can help recharge. Focusing on an area that’s going really well and squeezing as much good feeling out of that as possible can really help. Strong relationships are really important for building resilience. So is exercise and doing things that you enjoy. You can think of these as chargers. Make time for these and prioritise them like they matter, because they do.” 

“The American Sleep Association found that adults who sleep less than eight hours a night report higher stress levels than those that get enough sleep. When we don’t have enough sleep or poor quality sleep, this impacts our mood, our focus, our concentration and our ability to deal with challenges. So do whatever you can to get the best sleep possible. Babies are often put to sleep with a lullaby and research has shown that actually listening to relaxing music before bedtime can help us all get more sleep and better quality sleep. Music impacts our parasympathetic nervous system which is all about relaxation.”