6 Healthy Habits To Help You Avoid 'Pandemic Burnout' As Covid-19 Marches On

The constant, ongoing pandemic stress is creating an epidemic of burnout worldwide.

woman with eyes closed beton studio/shutterstock

Everyone has pandemic burnout and fatigue right now.

Our brains are in a constant state of high alert and exhaustion. Experts tell us to "Hang in there!" just a little bit longer, but with a full year of it under our belt already people are exhausted and experiencing burnout.

Burnout isn’t fun. It sucks and will change your life, and not in a good way, if you don't implement your own changes.

If you're concerned that you're heading that way, what can you do to avoid burnout?


RELATED: Recovering From Burnout: 3 Subtle Signs You Need To Recharge

Here are 6 healthy habits to help you avoid pandemic burnout as Covid-19 marches on.

1. Rebuild a solid routine.

Set your alarm and make your bed on weekdays. Just the act of a consistent routine will help bring normalcy and efficiency to it. You will feel less stressed and have clearer thoughts.


Plan your meals, limit your scrolling time, and stick to an agenda.

Be conscious of your boundaries when building that new routine. When you have lots of gaps in your schedule, procrastination kicks in and nothing gets done.

Tighten up your routine so you have the right space not just for work, but for self-care and family time, calls with friends, etc.

2. Schedule everything in your calendar.

You may not have as much to schedule in your calendar these days but do it anyway.

This is another way of ensuring you are respecting your boundaries by allowing you to get a bird’s eye view of how you spend your time and prevents you from being caught with your pants down when things do start to pick up again.


What happens when you suddenly get busy and you are not organized? Chaos!

Calendar your self-care, the dog walk, your virtual games, and happy hours with friends. Do the same for your meal planning, which nights you will be cooking, and which nights you want takeout.

Also, calendar when to run essential errands and when to exercise.

Had you always color-coded your appointments to differentiate personal from work before this? Keep up that great habit!

Besides already being a fantastic, enviable habit, it will allow you to see when things pick up again professionally and it will feel really good to see those colors changing in your calendar.

3. Make a "Big Think" list.

Making lists is different than scheduling in a calendar. We make lists when we plan to go to the grocery store or are packing for a big trip.


Yet, we rarely make lists when we're having a big think about life. Now is a perfect time!

Is your life going the way you planned? Are you living your life aligned to your values? Do you even know what your values are? You can use this time to revisit your values (foundational!).

You can contemplate what your goals were when you started out in life, how on or off course you are to achieve them, and what goals you want to continue to move towards. This is an excellent use of your time!

Bonus: If you feel like you’re drawing a blank on this and want to dig a little deeper into your past and future goals, you can download a very cool and fun exercise that will give you not one but four valuable lists of information about yourself you probably didn’t even know.


RELATED: 12 Signals You’re Struggling With Burnout & Need A Break ASAP

4. Move your body!

Exercise is key to avoiding burnout. No matter what sort of physical shape you are in, get your body moving.

Exercise is not only good for your physical well-being but your emotional and mental well-being, too. Take care of all of you!

You haven’t put on sneakers in a long time? That’s OK, grab your favorite pair of flip-flops or sandals and just walk.

When I started my fitness journey after I went through burnout, I couldn’t even touch my toes. YouTube has a ton of great options for all fitness levels where you’ll be sure to find one that's right for you.


5. Get yourself schooled in a new way.

Stop scrolling on your phone, it’s a fishbowl for misinformation and a time sucker. This is the perfect time to learn something new, improve on an existing skill, or even get certified in something you’ve always wanted to but never had the time for.

There are so many free classes available online right now it’s insane.

In 2020, I took a Brene Brown "Dare to Lead" leadership course (mind blown!) and I'm still in the process of becoming a certified Mental Fitness coach with Shirzad Chamine (game changer to my own emotional well-being and my coaching toolbox!)

6. Learn to say "no" and love it.

I have to close with this one as it's so very important to have boundaries — and this probably the number one area my clients really struggle with.


Learning how to say "no" is a lot like starting to clear the clutter from your life and not being able to stop because it truly is that impactful and feel-good freeing.

With the work-from-home environment and no prior experience for many, there’s a lot of boundary lines being crossed. And we're allowing it. Why? Because this is yet another first we're dealing with.

The close quarters require all of us to create new boundaries but so many have no idea how to do that.

The reality is, creating a boundary begins with respecting yourself. It starts with a conversation and a clearly communicated request.


In a work environment, an example of this would be letting your supervisor know you will not be responding to emails after 7 p.m. Or, communicating with your kids when it's acceptable — and when it's not — to interrupt you during the workday.

Or, requesting your spouse to take over the dinner duties a couple of nights a week so you can attend an online yoga class. Make sense? Boundaries. And it starts with a conversation.

You might get stuck on taking the first step but you're tired and it’s been a hell of a year!

None of you are in the best place in your heads right now and many are either at risk of or already in burnout — not a good place to be.

But, I promise you will feel so much better than how you do right now, even on your first day of trying some of these tips and working them into your life.


As a reminder, our fear response system was not designed to handle all this ongoing constant stress we have in our lives right now, this is adding to epidemic levels of burnout worldwide.

It will be up to you to make that shift to get started taking care of yourself in new ways — and it's doable! Sometimes, people simply need extra support to get started.

RELATED: 5 Simple Tips For Staying Successful While Working Remotely

Rachelle Stone is a burnout-prevention coach who specializes in supporting clients in avoiding burnout by managing their stress and energy for expanded capacity, better relationships, and increased monetary success. Opt into Rachelle’s newsletter here or for more information about burnout coaching, visit her website