Monday Motivation: Managing Burnout

By Loralyn Mears PhD Loralyn Mears PhD has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team
Published on October 12, 2020

Monday motivation, we need it, stat! If you’re feeling like you’ve been burning the candle at both ends and you have no wick or wax left, this is for you. So many of us are just waiting for 2020 to be OVER with a capital “O.” Here’s a pick-me-up to launch your week on the right foot. Studies show that your morning mood affects your productivity all day. Grit Daily is here to get your work week off to a good start. Pump your fists – it’s time for Monday motivation!

How to Manage Burnout

As we enter Month 8 of “the new world” here in the mid-COVID era within the US, many people that I’ve been in contact with are citing fatigue. Not the horrible kind associated with the coronavirus – the other kind – the mental fatigue of dealing with so much uncertainly for so long. And no perceptible end in sight. The toll on our mental health is being tracked by the CDC and the numbers are the highest ever reported. So, you’re far from alone.

Today’s Monday motivation deals with the need, and challenge, of digging deep. For months now, our weekends have blurred into our weekdays, our kitchens look more like offices than the heart of our homes that they once did. Much has changed since mid-March. For many of us, it’s been too much change for too long. Over the weekend, October 10th specifically, we marked International Mental Health Awareness Day, so it’s fitting that today’s Monday motivation column continues the theme.

Monday motivation tips to regain control and reset

Of course, this speaks to resilience, which is something that we’ve covered numerous time before. Despite having great coping skills, you may simply be feeling overwhelmed and just burnt out from the combination of a grueling pace and the all-pervasive uncertainty of 2020. Take the time that you need to regroup. Monday motivation wants you to pause long enough to reflect on what’s happening, and then pause long enough to regroup and reset.

#1 – see yourself through your family’s eyes

If you’re hearing comments like, “You’re not yourself these days,” take heed. Your family is trying to tell you something. Perhaps they’re having difficulty articulating what has changed but it could be that your mental health is showing signs of fatigue. Depression, greater anxiety and other emotional experiences that you’ve been trying to hide may be surfacing. Take note, talk to them, identify what’s changed and then take action.

#2 – do some mental housekeeping

Make a list (yes, we all know that I like lists!) everything that is spinning around in your mind. If you have a bunch of “maybe-one-day projects,” add them, too. In order for the mental housekeeping exercise to be effective, you have to be ruthless. What can you punt to the “not anytime soon” list? Look at what’s left on your list – can you assign a definitive end date to what’s left?

Anything that will be ongoing with no end in sight, add that to another list. By the end of this exercise, which you’ll need to conduct a few times, you should have a “don’t worry, not anytime soon” list, an “ongoing list” and a list of “stuff that’s almost done.” This will help you compartmentalize what you have to manage – and what you don’t.

#3 – take some of your days and nights back

That’s right; I’m not advocating taking sleeping pills but, think of what you need to do to get at least three consecutive nights of good sleep. Wind down off electronics one hour before you head into bed. Have a warm milk or hot chamomile tea. Listen to some soothing sleep sounds or calming music. Get into the headspace where you’re going to rest peacefully.

In the middle of those three nights, take one full day away from work, electronics, social media – everything! Just tune it all out and make the day about mental health. Take a bath or a walk. Meditate. Do something creative or artistic – anything that doesn’t look like work. And just chill…

Extra bits of Monday motivation

Join Loralyn Mears for this weekly podcast

If you like podcasts, well, wouldn’t you know, we’ve got those, too! Three of them, in fact: 1) Like a Boss with snappy insights; 2) wine down and chill; and 3) Monday motivation. All three are available on all streaming channels including Apple, iHeart Radio, Spotify and more. Tune in! Finally, if you like my writing, check out my new novel, The Battle for Humanity, it’s a thriller you won’t be able to put down.

Have a fabulous week and remember, you’re not alone!

Photo by Mateusz Broniek from Pexels

By Loralyn Mears PhD Loralyn Mears PhD has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team

Journalist verified by Muck Rack verified

Dr. Loralyn Mears is a Columnist at Grit Daily and a podcast host (The Grit Files, which aims to shine the spotlight on female founders). She is a content marketer, founder of the WORKtech startup, STEERus, specializing in personal and professional development to address gaps in soft skills - communication in particular. In her consultancy practice, she helps clients with content and strategy. Loralyn spent over a decade playing with mosquito DNA, got her PhD, decided she would rather market science than be at the bench and has never looked back. Along the way, she’s wined and dined her way around the globe. She's authored two books, including the 2018 Gold Medal Indie Book award-winning, One Sip At a Time: a Memoir and the hard science thriller, "The Battle for Humanity: How Science Saved Us." 

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