The exponential Growth of COVID 19 in few months have brought the mighty countries on their knees in a very short time span. The consequences are many fold, it has not only affected the health system but also the people in quarantine at their homes or in Covid care centres apart from Hospitals.
With a high rate of mortality and morbidity, COVID-19 has induced many psychological problems of depression, fear, anxiety and unending stress and most seriously burnout.1 Burnout is a well-described state of physical and emotional exhaustion, usually seen in professionals but COVID has extrapolated to people in home quarantine as well. Uncertainty related to the COVID-19 and the duration of staying at home has caused significant changes in our daily life routines. Even a recent research has also shown that people quarantined are more prone to psychological breakdown due to stress and fear of illness and sometimes job insecurity leading to frustrations and irrational behaviour.2
Stressful life situations and fear of COVID 19 have significant adverse effects on the mental health and psychological functioning of a person. Possibly the burnout crisis will heighten people’s sense of interpersonal relationships with the society as being COVID positive is seen a social stigma at many places. Alternatively, the distress and anxiety during the pandemic, along with the loss of colleagues and loved ones, may lead many normal persons to become disillusioned or to despair.
The paradigm of burnout as a psychological syndrome is a three dimensional response to interpersonal stressors. It includes emotional exhaustion, cynicism and decreased personal accomplishment.3 The emotional exhaustion refers to wearing out, loss of energy, debilitation, depletion, and fatigue. The Cynicism refers to negative attitudes toward society with irritability, withdrawal, and loss of idealism. The reduced personal accomplishment is responsible for poor morale, and an inability to cope with stressors. This three-dimensional model of burnout highlights the importance of individual stress experience and one’s conception of both self and others.3
To cope with such psychological problems be in health sector or non-health sector, it is important to delineate the key factors responsible for this. At this stage, understanding the importance of character strengths like Resilience also called as bounce back adaptability can buffer the adverse effect of stress on burnout. Psychological resilience is the one’s ability to cope mentally or emotionally with a crisis or to return to pre-crisis status quickly by adapting to surrounding changes for protecting self from the potential negative effects of stressors. In addition, resilience refers to the “ability to bounce back” quickly from stressful situations, and flexible adaptation to a new situation.4 It is an inside personal strength that can contribute to the positive functioning in emotions, thoughts, and behaviours.
Emotions are contagious. Given the levels of anxiety and negativity, many feel right now, there is something liberating and life giving about sparing oneself from the constant comparisons, complaints. Whenever you feel stressed up to the level of brink …Ask yourself:
What will you do and how be a role model for others if you have to lead from front with courage not fear, self-trust not self-doubt? Notice how that shifts your outlook, emotions and actions towards life. If it improves your day, even just a little, do the same tomorrow and persuade others for the same.
Pandemics of this scale will come repeatedly but what we have learnt from them over the years is still lacking in delivering a proactive planning to address these events. Whatever the future brings, start by establishing dynamic planning processes that will enable you to unlock the big moves required to come out of your depression anxiety and burnout of COVID psychology of left alone. This is going to happen again, and it is our choice to ‘Live or Perish’….