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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
Spoons Offline
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Dealing with burnout - January 18th 2021, 04:13 PM

I’m not sure burnout is the right word giving the situation but here goes.

I am a Covid contact tracer. Basically I make calls to people who are positive or are a contact of a positive and check in and contact trace. Normally I have an okay time doing this. However, yesterday I found out my uncle is in the hospital with Covid related pneumonia and I’m having a hard time motivating myself to continue working. How do I gain the motivation back?

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Re: Dealing with burnout - January 18th 2021, 04:34 PM

Hi Dez, I think it's understandable you don't really feel up for working your job as a contact tracer with your uncle being ill and experiencing a covid-related illness. It's stressful enough as it is! Do you think you could let the agency or medical center you're contracted with know about this and ask for temporary leave? I don't know how that works with contracts; but, I don't recommend doing it unless absolutely necessary.

Thinking of you and your family.

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Re: Dealing with burnout - January 18th 2021, 09:51 PM


I can definitely understand why this news is impacting your motivation to work right now. I'm not sure how this works, but does your job have a contact you can talk to who might be able to offer you some sort of support? If so, I would try and see if you can take advantage of this and possibly take a little bit of time off if possible too. If you have holiday time to take, you can always request this if unpaid/paid leave is unavailable through other means. If this isn't possible, remind yourself of why you are doing this job - it is a very important role right now and you're helping millions of people to keep others and themselves safe. I know it doesn't help your current situation, but it's something to still feel good about.

Most of all though, remember that sometimes you just can't force motivation to appear. Be kind to yourself. With what you've found out, it's understandable that this is going to be hard. Don't be too tough on yourself if you're having a hard time dealing with it all. If you can and you feel able, reach out to friends or family and try and give yourself a network of support outside of work hours. Set up some zoom/skype calls, do things that take your mind entirely off of covid when it's not necessary to think about it all. It might not change the motivation aspect of things, but it will give you a break from the covid related issues you have for a short period, and you should try to maintain some sort of balance for this if you can.

I'm sorry your uncle is so sick. I hope he makes a good recovery soon. If there's anything we can do for you please feel free to let us know.

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The things you don’t need to live—
books, art, cinema, wine, and so on—
are the things you need to live

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Re: Dealing with burnout - January 19th 2021, 06:24 AM

Hi Dez,

I'm so sorry to hear abut your Uncle and I can understand as well as to why it would be difficult to find the motivation to attend work, especially as it's affecting you the way that it does. I would feel the same. I really do hope your Uncle gets better soon and I'll be thinking of you and your family.

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Re: Dealing with burnout - January 19th 2021, 11:14 PM

The best place to start is where your loss of motivation began. You mentioned that your uncle has Covid-related pneumonia. This I feel, is the start of where your dip in motivation began. Your mind is elsewhere and you cannot focus on your job. I don't think it would matter what job you were doing, even if you're content in doing it. A member of your family is going through something serious and you worry about them very much. It's human nature to have your focus split. Emotionally you're concerned for your uncle, while practically, you're trying to keep up with every day life which happens to be your job. It's not easy to focus when something in life throws you a ball like the one you've been given.

I agree with Hollie. See if your workplace offers some form of support, or perhaps somebody you can chat with. It's better to let your colleagues (and potentially your boss) know what's going on rather than to stay silent and keep everything inside. If you discuss it with them, they may be able to offer additional solutions, or at least give you a bit of space and/or take away some of the slack during work hours.

Is there any way that you can get in contact with your uncle and see how he's doing? Sometimes it can be helpful to know how our loved ones are doing, for better or for worse. This eliminates any time wondering what's going on and thinking about how they're doing. The more you know, the better you may be. I think the obvious downside of this, is to find out his condition has worsened, but whether you would prefer to know either way, is something only you can determine.

Have you considered chatting to any family and/or friends about what's going on? They can offer additional support and may be able to help in one way or another.

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Re: Dealing with burnout - January 23rd 2021, 03:45 PM

Hey Dez

Our maman got burnt out so acutely that she gave up modeling for many months. Worried for her, Julie and I talked about how we could help her find motivation, so we drew up a list. Easy stuff. And as you relax as you've been trying to take stock, here are some suggestions that may help you like it helped maman find her life again.

Connect: Reach out to those who enhance positivity and optimism in your life. These could be your social support system like family, friends, buddies, even neighbours you like to talk to.

Disconnect: Stay away from people who sap your energy, stress you out, pick your faults, judge and criticise you adding to your worries and apprehension. It only lowers your mood and outlook.

Find meaning: Choose a hobby; maybe a charitable cause, volunteer for animal charity or a medical charity, whatever feels close to your heart, though will keep you safe during these covid days. When you give, the vicarious meaningfulness you observe in another’s happiness uplifts your mood. When we saw how our maman reacted so happily, we knew she was improving, though we gave her lots of time and treats, like homemade chocolate truffles or a bunch of pretty freesias. Even having flowers around your home will brighten your mood with their delicate aroma and colours.

Time Out: If something is not working, take a short break from it. Be it your routine in building or your relationship, or even children (if its possible to have a relative or friend watch them.) This does not mean running away from responsibility. It simply means you need to replenish your energy in that little time to feel rejuvenated again.

Seek novelty: Do something you haven’t done before. No not drugs or anything illegal. Pick a new hobby, sport, game, music, dance, fitness regime or comfort food. Anything novel stands a chance of releasing dopamine or the happiness chemical in the brain and makes you feel better. Or even a weighted blanket. We have one and it is wonderfully comforting. We bought one for maman to help her sleep. And it really did!

Heal Yourself: A healthy mind resides in a healthy body. So a good antioxidant rich diet such colorful raw foods, juices, coconut water, smoothies, nuts and fruits should make space in your plate. Not forgetting a nice mug of good tea. Also sleep enough, exercise a few times a week to suit yourself, and maybe if you are able, practice some yoga, meditation and a relaxation ritual.

Burnout is not the end of the world. You just have to believe that with a little time and committed effort, your feelings gradually get better.

“Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” - Thomas A. Edison.

Thomas Edison tried over two thousand times to invent the lightbulb.
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Re: Dealing with burnout - February 28th 2021, 06:54 PM

When a friend of mine had sort of occupational burnout only sabbatical leave helped him a lot. No meditation or other kinds of relaxation worked.
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