Feeling exhausted after socialising? You might have post-lockdown burnout

Before the pandemic, going out and socialising would leave you fulfilled. But, post-lockdown, you may find yourself being more tired than usual.

Coronavirus has wreaked havoc on both the world’s physical health as well as our mental health. With endless lockdowns forcing us to become acclimated to a quiet life, our post-lockdown routines have left us all feeling rather worn out.

This is known as post-lockdown burnout.

What is post-lockdown burnout?

As the lockdown restrictions lift in the UK, we can finally visit our friends, drink in bars and go on holiday. But, trying to make up for last year’s lack of outings has resulted in an increase in social hangovers and feelings of exhaustion and anxiety.

Clinical psychologist Dr Julie Smith told Newsbeat that post-lockdown burnout should come as no surprise, explaining that our home-lives have become our new comfort zones:

What you do every day becomes your comfort zone. So when you do something that is new and different, your brain is set up to give you a little spike in stress.

Essentially, after months of limited interactions, your brain is saying: ‘we haven't done this in a while, stay alert and be careful. That's just your survival response.’

It’s not just an increase in activity that’s making us feel so wiped. A recent survey by Anxiety UK also found that out of those feeling anxious about the return of normality, 46% felt that the pressure to socialise was their biggest concern. Another 30% stated that they were anxious to go to a shopping centre, while a further 23% were concerned about using public transport. Additionally, just over 20% were also feeling nervous about having to go back to work.

Certified life coach Alisa Kay also revealed to Tyla that the reason we may be so burnt-out is that we have to think so much more:

The fact that we now have to think about extra things that our brain has stopped thinking about - from where to meet to what to wear and what to talk about - also creates over-thinking and over-analysing which is scientifically proven to burn us out more.

How can we get over post-lockdown burnout?

Just because we feel a little tired or anxious about our lives post-lockdown doesn’t mean we want to live inside forever. But how can we get over post-lockdown burnout?

Dr Julie revealed that the key to getting back your pre-lockdown momentum is just to keep going; it won’t last forever:

Action creates energy. So once we start to do more, we will feel the energy that goes with that. But, bringing yourself to that point can be quite difficult.

In the meantime, try to enjoy some normality and if you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, communicate openly with your friends instead of cancelling.

And, when you return to the safety of your home, try to practise some self-care. Whether that’s meditation, reading a book, having a quiet cup of tea or even watching some mindless tv, taking downtime when you need to will help replenish your energy. And don’t forget to get a good night’s sleep can do wonders to recharge your system.

Try optimising your mental health with 'mental hygiene' tips Try optimising your mental health with 'mental hygiene' tips