By Rachel Peck
Here in Maine, we’ve soundly turned the corner from fall and are heading steadily towards winter. While we’d typically be preparing for the holidays, regrouping after a busy event season and prepping for mid-winter shows, this year is, of course, very different. The sunny and dry summer and fall months afforded us some sense of normalcy, making it easy to get outside, dine outdoors and be socially distanced but engaged. However, we’re now a few days into November and, between an increase in COVID-19 cases worldwide and the 2020 presidential election – we’re willing to bet many people here in Maine and beyond are already feeling exhausted and burnt out.
Though the current state of affairs is taking its toll, we must remember this is a marathon and not a sprint. An increase in stress and anxiety can lead to lower productivity levels, as well as a drain on the creative process. Sometimes, your best offense against burnout is to log off and focus on the quality of work over quantity. Here are a few tips from Eclipse Media Group on how to manage burnout:
Take five (or a whole day)
I’m sure you’ve read many blogs and articles about the importance of taking breaks – we’ve even written one or two that mention it – but it really is a vital component to our new workplace environment. Chances are, most of us are still working from home, at least a few days a week, and though we’ve learned to manage, it hasn’t become any easier nor have the distractions (such as at home learning) decreased. You should focus on taking multiple screen breaks throughout the day – even if it’s just to listen to a podcast while you make your lunch, or take your Monday morning meeting mobile and go walking. Additionally, taking breaks can mean taking a long weekend to just unplug and recharge. Taking personal time is more important than ever.
Actively search out new things to try
The monotony of this “new normal” is sometimes stifling to the creative process. Try to actively shake things up to avoid getting stuck in a routine rut. Don’t just wake up and log on right from your bed – try starting the day with five minutes of meditation, or yoga. Take an online cooking class, or bake a new dessert each week. For work, spend an hour each week researching a new trend, or testing out a new program or writing style. Whatever it may be, make a concerted effort to step outside of the comfort zones we’re finding ourselves in and do something (anything) different.
Get creative at work
Similarly to trying new things, sometimes a boost to your creative process can go a long way, especially if you’re a communications professional. Maybe you’ve been wanting to test out Instagram’s Reels for your brand or a client – or maybe you’ve been thinking about adding in more visuals to your content plan. Maybe you’ve always been interested in starting a podcast, or devoting more time to your personal brand, but haven’t had the time. Now could be a good time to take a step back, reevaluate and inject some new ideas and energy into your content.
No matter what your profession, we’re willing to bet you’re feeling the fatigue of 2020. We still have many months to go before things drastically change in 2021, so it remains important to focus on taking care of yourself. Consider this blog as a reminder to take a break and go spend time with your pet, take a walk, plan a themed dinner with your family or just take a day to relax and read a book. Whatever it is, take the time to unplug and reset, so you can continue to show up for yourself, your clients and your community.