Ever since the pandemic spread like wildfire throughout the world, people have been facing problems and even suffering from mental exhaustion from spending their time in isolation. One of the most affected groups is the academic scientists, who were put in a situation where they had to continue their duties through the use of remote working and virtual meetings, alongside their childcare obligations.
Once the stress begins to pile up, it morphs into physical exhaustion alongside mental exhaustion. This is called burnout. Though burnout isn’t technically considered a medical condition, WHO has recognized it as a syndrome. The symptoms of burnout include energy depletion, mental strain, negative sentiment towards work or daily tasks, and the inability to focus.
The Mental Health Survey
Burnout is usually caused by intense work, long hours of commitment, and emotional stress. These symptoms are now being noticed and diagnosed in some higher-education institutions in a survey conducted in the United States of America and Europe. The poll indicated that around 70% of the participants felt stressed in 2020, which is double the percentage of people in the year 2019.
A good number of people also stated that they were seriously considering switching careers or opting for early retirement. The situation gets even more dangerous once the gender is observed separately – around 75% of women reported to be stressed in comparison to 59% of men.
It is also observed that around 8 out of every 10 women have to deal with increased workload since the pandemic, while for men, it is 7 out of every 10 men. Another shocking observation demonstrated that around 3-quarters of the female faculty members had an imbalance in their work and personal life in 2020, while on the other hand, only two-thirds of male faculty members made the same complaint.
US academics are not alone, as a similar survey conducted in Europe displayed the horrific state of the academic’s mental health, showing an abrupt increase of mental health issues in the academic workforce. Apart from the career uncertainty that the pandemic has brought, academics have to also deal with burnouts now.
How to Counter a Burnout
Though there are no quick solutions to a burn, there are tips that anyone can use in order to keep themselves grounded and protect themselves from burnout.
1. Burnout is Not Your Fault
Many people are under the impression that being subjected to burnout or mental health issues is because of their lacking. Subsequently, they consider it their fault but, burnout can happen to anyone and at any time. You must remember that at all times.
2. Find Ways to De-stress
Stress can easily lead to burnout, so one must find ways to de-stress before it takes a toll on their mental health. The best way to curb stress is through engaging in activities that can help the person relax, have fun, and be able to step out of stressful environments.
3. Talk It Out
If someone is feeling stressed, the best thing for them would be to talk about it or share it with a friend or a partner. This can help them get some stress off their mind and even catch up with someone they haven’t spoken to.
Sometimes, situations can be tough, and you might not help but get stressed. However, you must learn to be happy with what you have and learn when it’s time to take a break.