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[LISTEN] Year End Burnout: Identify and Combat the Symptoms

2 min read

24.11.22

15H45

Umm Muhammed Umar

fahmida@radioislam.org.za

Radio Islam spoke to Sister Nazia Salejee, the owner of Lifetime Wellness, about end of year fatigue, a phenomenon that affects many people in the last few months of the year.

Sister Nazia said that fatigue was experienced as a result of being overworked and stressed, for example, in the case of students undergoing examinations. She said that circumstances, too, had changed since the COVID pandemic, and that people’s mental wellness had been affected. Sister Nazia said that mentally and physically and emotionally, people were just “hanging on, and it’s just exhaustion, and feelings of helplessness, with demotivation.” She said, “you start neglecting yourself, and you see that you don’t have energy for the things you would have otherwise had (the) energy to do, and it is literally an effort to do the smallest things, especially when it comes to self-care.” She added that while people were able to be functional in other areas of their lives, they were neglecting themselves.

According to Sister Nazia, burnout affects all areas of a person’s life and it manifests itself differently with different people. People might feel like sleeping all the time, or a constant lack of energy. Some people might become aggravated or irritable more readily, others might just be listless, and unable to make plans. She said, “So you find yourself being withdrawn, or you find yourself wanting to isolate more and you feel ‘I need time to be by myself’, and ‘I’m seeing that I’m not giving 100% in all areas, as I normally would be’. These are all major signs of burnout. Sister Nazia added, “You know yourself. If you are becoming forgetful, irritable, low on intolerance with your loved ones. If you are unable to complete tasks, you’re not completing them on par with the way that you normally do, you just finish it for the sake of finishing it.”

Many negative lifestyle changes occurred, post the pandemic lockdown. People have become a lot less active. Sister Nazia said, “With people being so cooped up at home, it has become difficult for people to find the motivation to make the lifestyle adjustments needed. For example, exercise: a lot of people are struggling to get themselves back into the exercise routine.” She said, “ A lot of people picked up weight during lockdown, and that has contributed to medical conditions arising after that.” She added that there were various reasons that contributed to that feeling of fatigue, such as a lack of sleep, stress and anxiety. She advised that it could be manged by firstly identifying what was causing one’s fatigue – was it a mental issue, a physical health issue or a lifestyle that needed changing? She said one should ask oneself if more physical activity was needed, or, perhaps, more sleep. If one had lost loved ones, and was not dealing with the grief, that also added to fatigue, or burnout. Once we recognize the situation that we have found ourselves in placed in, we can begin taking steps to changing it.

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