Leaders: You Are Not Alone

Shawnee Love   •   June 26, 2020

If you are feeling mentally and emotionally exhausted, you are not alone. Many people who were steady and calm in the beginning of the pandemic are nearing the ends of their proverbial ropes.  In fact, one counselor I spoke with said it was the people who took charge in the beginning, the formal and informal leaders who stepped up to deal with the pandemic, who are struggling the most now.

The promised long weekend is not coming to fruition either as Canada Day falls on a dreaded Wednesday, the worst day possible for a stat holiday unless you are taking the whole week (in which case you happily only need 4 vacation days instead of 5).

How I became convinced people are feeling burned out is because for the last two weeks, the primary issues I am getting called in on include outbursts (angry and tearful), conflicts (from disagreements to harassment allegations), and health concerns (can’t sleep or eat or thinking about suicide).  These issues are arising from all sources (employees, managers, and customers) and across all industries (including those that grew their revenues during the pandemic), so I believe we have a fairly representative population of those employed when I draw this conclusion (although as always, I am very excited when people challenge me with additional insights and perspectives).

Additionally, as an HR person and Psychological Health & Safety Advisor, I have experience recognizing the signs of unhealthy situations within organizations, so it isn’t a stretch to connect the dots across organizations and industries.

Once aware of the overwhelm, the important work is what to do about it.

Personally, I think it helps to know you are not alone and that others are experiencing the same thing. (We are.  I am too!)

It also helps to know what tools and resources are available to assist you. Last week I blogged about how to help struggling employees, so I hope you click the link and try the tools we included.

And having the self care practices and support network in place to de-escalate your state of overwhelm will enable you to more effectively leverage the tools and resources available to gain needed perspective and get back your mental health.

For the do-it-yourselfers, a great book which I re-read often is “Your Oxygen Mask First” by Kevin Lawrence.

Gaining perspective is difficult when you are already immersed in the problem. We hope some of this helps.