Why were we so excited about becoming an adult when we were children? I guess we always want what we don’t have, right? I remember telling my mom – “One day I’m going to become an adult and I won’t have to listen to any of your rules!” I envisioned the excitement and freedom of being an adult…
Now here I am, in full adult mode – with a child, house, car, bills, and demanding job.
How I do I feel now?
I don’t want to be an adult anymore! I don’t want to work anymore! I’m tired!
I’m sure a lot of you are feeling the same way right now…this pandemic burnout is REAL!!!
I must admit that this burnout is at levels that I have never experienced before in my life…
I’m tired of waking up every morning and logging in to work. I’m tired of all of the meetings. I’m tired of continuously being “on”. I’m tired of being responsible for everything and everyone. I’m tired of being tired.
This is not who I am. I am normally filled with passion and motivation, always wanting to be involved and create change. I have always been excited being a mom and being responsible for the success of my growing boy.
However, the experience of the pandemic has left me feeling drained, exhausted, and unfulfilled. Work is exhausting and frustrating. My personal life is equally as exhausting and frustrating.
My son just completed a full year of remote school, which meant while working, I was also being a teacher. I had to help with schoolwork, push him to stay on video during class, wipe his tears and give him hugs during the most frustrating of times, and still work to keep a smile on my face to keep him motivated and driven.
My mom came here for a visit, and she also has her own share of issues and I ended up taking on the role of caregiver. We went on a mini-vacation during Memorial Day weekend and while gone, my mom ended up having a mild stroke. To say that I was completely overwhelmed is a serious understatement.
I am physically, emotionally, and mentally exhausted…
Now I’m on the other side of my personal issues (school is over and my mom headed back home), but work is still here – booming and thriving and taking up all of my remaining brain cells.
So what do you do when you’re experiencing the worst burnout ever???
I’ve been doing a lot of research…maybe a case of misery likes company…I needed to make sure that it wasn’t just me going through these feelings.
Am I just going crazy? Probably.
Do I just need some time off to breathe? Absolutely.
Do I need to find myself and purpose again? Very likely.
Do I need a long vacation? Yes, like seriously and desperately.
As it turns out, soooo many people are feeling the same way!
Indeed recently released the results of a survey on burnout and it’s clear that many people were already feeling this way but the pandemic increased the burnout even further.
The National Women’s Law Center has been reported that women are disproportionally leaving the workplace since the beginning of the pandemic, with over 2 million women leaving the workforce since February 2020. NPR also looked at the disparities between women and men leaving the workforce due to the pandemic, along with other issues.
So what does one do to get out of this funk? This never-ending burnout? This emotional rollercoaster?
Here are some tips that I’ve found that I’m using:
- Acceptance. Learn to accept what you cannot control…I remember hearing these words in my childhood and not understanding what it really meant. As an adult, I finally understand the meaning. Acceptance does not mean that you like what’s happening or agree with it – acceptance is recognizing what’s happening and accepting that it is. I am guilty of not taking the step back and accepting that it is what is.
- Ask for help when you need it…and even when you don’t. You know what’s the single hardest thing for me to do? Asking for help! But being a single mom in this pandemic and feeling so burned out personally and professionally, help is all that I ask for. Micah’s paternal grandmother is definitely a Godsend, and has made asking for help that much easier to do.
- Give help when someone else needs it. Do you have a single mom friend that is struggling? Or a friend that’s going through the worst period of their life? Be there as a shoulder to lean or cry on, talk to that friend when they need it. If you are local, go sit in the backyard with some wine and mimosas. Give that person help when you’re feeling up and they’re down.
- Self-care. I know self-care is the buzz word of the decade, and most people either feel really positive about it or really frustrated about it. It’s definitely much-needed though, in any way that you need. Self-care is just that – care for yourself. That could be binge watching a new show, drinking a glass of wine, sitting in silence, getting a smoothie, driving around by yourself – anything that brings you peace and relaxation. It doesn’t need to be expensive. It just has to bring you a moment of joy.