Let 2022 be the year we give ourselves a break. are alone

You’re reading If This Is the Year, a series of guides to tackling those big life goals that the pandemic has put on hold — with help from experts, we’re breaking things down into more manageable steps to take in 2022 Huh.

In 2021 I had to catch Covid-19 to slow me down. I realized how it felt when I read it back. But when a positive PCR result before Christmas forced me, like so many others, into self-isolation, what could have been tragic for me in 10 days actually came as some kind of relief.

The year had started off intensely at work and didn’t give up, especially as big changes turned my work on its head in the spring. I plowed through the summer in combat mode and thought I was managing until mid-Autumn, I crashed into a wave of work anxiety, so great that it convinced me I was failing at everything. .

This is no unusual story, says Bex Spiller, the founder of The Anti-Burnout Club (ABC), a mass collective that has worked with hundreds of NHS and key workers.

,Burnout is only increasing because we feel like all we have to do is increase,” she tells me. “Looking back 50 or 60 years ago and you’ll find that people’s ‘to do’ lists were much lower than they are now.”

In the digital age, “switching off” isn’t just a metaphor. As Spiller points out, p . combination ofOur fears about health and job security are all magnified along with assurances of work and society (“social media has a big part in this”).

“You can see this even more so during the pandemic when people are literally bringing their work home,” she says. “It seems even harder to switch off in the middle of downtime (‘Oh, I best check my email’). We feel we need to prove that we can work from home too.”

For me, it was a gentle manager who helped me identify and name my anxiety and convinced me to swap my perceived “to do” list for a good one: sleeping and eating properly and more. To give myself a break.

When I checked my vacation allowance, I realized I didn’t take more than a day off between April and September—and burnout was the result. Still, I delayed booking for my remaining days. Then Kovid forcibly raised the issue. But, don’t mind asking our mentors for a break. hHow do we give ourselves permission?

“TeaThat’s usually the biggest part of the fight for most people,” Spiller says. “It’s quite common to get caught up in a mindset of ‘it’s lazy’ or ‘unproductive’ to relax, but it’s actually the exact opposite. Research has shown that our brains are not designed for sustained productivity (or 8-hour work days)), so it’s more productive to design your days around some work and some rest.”

Therefore, breaking your own aversion to breaks is the first step. “I question what your preconceptions are about to relax holding you back,” says Spiller. “Do you think this is lazy or unproductive? We know it’s not true. Do you think you can see an improvement in your well-being on Instagram? Yoga on sandy beaches or a silent retreat in the woods? If so So don’t forget that the social media world isn’t always the real world.”

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