Our take: You’re exhausted and that’s ok

Feeling a little exhausted?

You’re not the only one. We wanted to start this Wrap by telling you it’s OK if you’re tired, and maybe need to start your holiday a little earlier this year. 

2020 was a shock to our system, what with lockdowns and a once-in-a-generation pandemic. But 2021 was arguably worse as the pandemic dragged into its second year and we had to deal with all kinds of loss, economically and personally. You may have lost loved ones and your job. We’ve all lost our ability to connect freely. Even if you got off lightly, the changes wrought in the last two years will have taken a dramatic psychological toll. 

Consider this stat: The number of people reporting symptoms of anxiety or depression in the US nearly quadrupled over a single year after Covid hit. More than 42% of people surveyed by the US Census Bureau in December 2020 reported symptoms, up from 11% the previous year.

It would be similar – or worse – for us here in SA. Locally, the October 2021 Salary and Wage Movement survey showed that the leading reason an employee left employment between April and October 2021 was resignation (60%). This reflects international trends – people are burning out after being asked to do more and more, often for less pay, and are simply resigning. 

We hope that gives you permission to go easy on yourself. If you need to keep working, try to simplify other areas of your life and don’t feel guilty about saying no a little more often. If superstar athletes like Naomi Osaka and Simone Biles can step away from huge sporting events to tend to their mental health, so can you. 

This article appeared as part of The Wrap, 18 November 2021. Sign up to receive our weekly updates.