DETROIT – With nearly two years into the pandemic, many are dealing with COVID burnout.
Armonique Threatt, a therapist at Western Wayne Family Health Centers, describes it as, “Basically where you reach a point you have had enough of something. You’re tired, you’re frustrated, you feel depleted, exhausted.”
She is seeing clients of all ages struggle with it. The burnout makes it difficult to get through a day at work or even a doctor’s appointment.
“From youngest being eight, dealing with even the oldest, 60s, 70s. They’re so confused, they’re tired,” Threatt said.
Dr. Michelle Riba is the clinical professor in University of Michigan’s department of Psychiatry and co-director of Workplace Mental Health Solutions at the Eisenberg Family Depression Center at the University of Michigan. She said burnout is understandable.
“We’re tired. We were hoping that things would improve by now, but we’re seeing for a variety of reasons that things are not over for us,” Riba said. “If somebody feels exhausted, not feeling like themselves, it’s important to get assessed because it’s really actually difficult to assess it in your own self.”
She recommends getting through it with basic tips like getting enough sleep, exercising, eating healthy, staying away from substances like alcohol, taking a walk, socializing with family and friends over the phone or Zoom.
For some, COVID burnout can come from an overwhelming amount of information.
“It’s important to try to identify with who you trust and try to stick with that information so you don’t get confused and throw your hands up,” Riba said.
Threatt said the 5-5-5 technique can be helpful especially before you go into work or log in when you work from home.
“Breathing in for five seconds, holding it for five seconds and exhaling for five seconds. And during this you are having one hand on your stomach and I hold one hand on my heart and this is something to decrease anxiety,” Threatt said.
She said telling yourself three good things before you head to bed or when you wake up could have a positive impact on your day.
Threatt advised that you don’t have to feel bad to seek the help of a therapist.
Click here to view other resources to help navigate your mental health as it relates to the pandemic.