The COVID-19 pandemic has put our routines on its head, leading to stress, anxiety, and frustration. One of the most direct results of this situation is burnout. We see the term discussed everywhere in the context of work and study. But people forget that burnout affects athletes too.
What Is Burnout?
According to the American Psychological Association (APA), burnout is a state of “physical, emotional, or mental exhaustion accompanied by decreased motivation, lowered performance, and negative attitudes toward oneself and others. It results from performing at a high level until stress and tension, especially from extreme and prolonged physical or mental exertion or an overburdening workload, take their toll.”
It’s easy to see how the pandemic has caused burnout levels to spike everywhere. And the use of the word “performance” twice in a single definition makes it plain that athletes (the ultimate performers) may suffer pandemic burnout too.
How Does Pandemic Burnout Affect Athletes?
In many ways, pandemic burnout affects athletes the same way it affects non-athletes. You may suddenly adopt a cynical attitude, lose interest in activities you previously enjoyed, or become irritable. Other symptoms include lack of satisfaction, difficulties with concentration, changes in sleep habits, and low energy levels.
While the effects may be the same, athletes experience burnout due to a different set of stressors, compared to non-athletes. These factors include postponed competitions, lack of spectators, loss of income, and the implications of the lack of training on one’s performance.
How Can Athletes Face Pandemic Burnout?
Athletes facing burnout can take a series of measures to regain a sense of confidence and purpose. Some of the options you may consider include making sure to get enough sleep (seven to eight hours every night), taking time away from sports, and seeking professional help. This last step is particularly important, as athletes tend to underreport burnout. If you feel overwhelmed emotionally, don’t hesitate to turn to a mental health professional for assistance.
New Tech Outreach: Empowering Individuals and Changing Lives
At New Tech Outreach we assist athletes at all levels and the public at large with counseling, coaching, life skills training, and financial education. We aim to change lives by empowering individuals to achieve the goals they have set for themselves.
We work with clients in Washington, Arizona, and all over the United States. Contact us today by email (email@example.com), telephone (202-412-4768), or through our social media accounts on Facebook and Instagram.