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Burnt Out in Lockdown

Who’s feeling a bit “meh”?

12 weeks or so into lockdown and many people are feeling a bit “meh”. A bit hollow – almost akin to a feeling of boredom. It could be burn out.

In some ways, whether we enjoy lockdown or hate it, we have become accustomed to it. As humans, we tend to do this – adjust to a situation in order that we can cope with it.

In addition to that, little surprises that lockdown offered have begun to wane. The people we are living with are beginning to drive us a bit mad. The home-schooling / work juggle has become a monotonous routine. And the repeated food delivery or queuing at a supermarket even less appealing.

But besides that, I wonder if we are experiencing a come down after the highly adrenalised past couple of months?

Burn out Image

Since the middle of March (or even before), our systems have been working in overdrive to process this global pandemic – this collective trauma. Changes to our routines, loss of purposes, living with the same people, not being able to go out much, worrying for our health and the health of loved ones, loss of loved ones, scrambling for food, scrambling for jobs, working much more, working much less… This has all required an enormous amount of our energy.

Stress Response

Stress, via adrenalin, pumps us up. But we can’t remain pumped up forever.

…What goes up, must come down.

This feeling of burn out, this hollowness, is our bodies exhausted from this roller coaster of traumatic conditions and extreme emotions that we have been experiencing the past weeks. What if we actually supposed to be feeling a bit “meh”, in order that we can rest our central nervous systems? What if this feeling of burn out, the slight lowness of mood, is a part of the grieving process?

Can we allow ourselves to be feeling “meh” until it changes into something different again?

Where to go from here?

We can only start from where we are. Accepting exactly how we feel at any one moment is the perfect place that we’re meant to be. Feel the feeling. Feel where it is in the body. What effect is it having on our body – do we feel open, closed, constricted. Once we notice that we can allow the feeling – or feelings – and accept them. Once accepted they often begin to move and we can process whatever is going on.

Moving our bodies gets the emotions – or the numbness – processing. This is great if it feels right.

And if nothing is shifting, perhaps it’s time to connect with others. Call a trusted friend and talk about how we feel.

Lucinda Gordon Lennox

Author: Lucinda Gordon-Lennox

Trauma Specialist MSc (Reg MBACP, FDAP Accred)

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