As we close in on the last quarter of 2021, we’re still battling the COVID-19 pandemic – and the highly contagious Delta variant. Add in the hurricanes, wildfires and smoky air, and busy holiday season and it’s a recipe for burnout.
You may be feeling a little bit of that burnout.
Forbes reports more than half of respondents to an Indeed survey are experiencing some form of burnout, up from 43 percent who said they felt that way pre-COVID-19.1 Among those respondents, millennials seemed most affected. The 2021 Forbes article reports:1
- 59 percent of millennials report experiencing burnout
- 58 percent of Gen-Z reports feeling burnout
- 54 percent of Gen-Xers report feeling burnout
- 31 percent of baby boomers reported feeling burnout
With the seemingly constant stress of the past 18 months, it’s important to practice self-care as we close out 2021.
Some ideas for self-care you can engage in to alleviate burnout, according to Psychiatric Times, are:2
- Meditation: Close your eyes and practice deep breathing. You can also utilize various free and paid apps to help with guided meditation.
- Self-compassion: Treat yourself with the same kindness with which you’d treat your loved ones.
- Maintain work-life balance: Find some separation between work and your personal life by setting boundaries.
Cooking as a Form of Self-Care?
Cooking can also be a form of self-care, according to Bon Appetit magazine. Another simple joy is learning new recipes from different cultures.3
Among the staples in Mexican cuisine is enchiladas. According to D Magazine, enchiladas date back to the Mayans in the 1800s.4 Historical writings found the Mayans filled corn tortillas with meat or fish dipped in chile sauce. But, today, enchiladas are filled with many things, including veggies, beef, pork, seafood, beans and cheese, and other food choices.
The word Enchilada comes from the Spanish word enchilar, which means to season with chile peppers.4
If you’re feeling adventurous and want to try a new recipe, try this one for chicken enchiladas (if you’re vegetarian, swap out the chicken for a veggie of choice!) from Mexican chef Marcela Valladolid.5
9 tomatillos, husked and rinsed
1/2 medium white onion
1 serrano chile
1 yellow chile (guero)
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, loosely packed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup vegetable oil
6 six-inch corn tortillas
2 store-bought rotisserie chicken breasts, skinned and shredded (to yield 1-1/2 cups)
1/2 cup Mexican crema or sour cream
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Put tomatillos, onion, serrano chile, yellow chile, and 3/4 cup water in a medium, heavy saucepan.
Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover and boil until the tomatillos turn olive-green color, about 10 minutes. Transfer the tomatillos, onion, and chiles to a blender. Add the garlic and cilantro and blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
Heat the oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Fry the tortillas until golden but still pliable, about 10 seconds per side. Transfer to paper towels to drain.
Put the tortillas on a work surface. Divide the shredded chicken evenly among the tortillas and roll up each like a cigar. Spread 1/3 cup of sauce in a 9” x 13” glass baking dish. Arrange the enchiladas, seam-side down, in one layer snugly inside the dish. Pour the remaining sauce over the enchiladas.
Drizzle with the Mexican crema and sprinkle the cheese all over. Bake until the cheese melts and starts to brown in spots, about 30 minutes.
The Importance of Gratitude
Maybe cooking enchiladas isn’t going to lift you from the depths of burnout but offering gratitude might.
Harvard Health Publishing notes offering gratitude can actually make you happier.6
In one study from two psychologists – Dr. Robert A. Emmons of the University of California and Dr. Michael E. McCullough of the University of Miami – found writing a few sentences about the things you’re grateful for just a few times a week could lead to being more optimistic and feeling better about life.6
Expressing gratitude can also make your firm a better place for you and your employees, according to the Greater Good Magazine from the University of California at Berkley.7
Gratitude can also be a “gateway” to other emotional skills that create a positive workplace culture in the modern business world, including empathy, compassion, and forgiveness.7
It could also create a more trusting and collaborative environment, Forbes reports. Karl Sun, co-founder and CEO of Lucid, states: “Individuals become more trusting with each other and more likely to help each other out.”8
Forbes also reports most leaders genuinely feel grateful for their employees, but don’t always communicate it effectively.8
Here are some ideas to communicate to your employees and colleagues about which you’re grateful:9, 10
- Recognize big and small things. Give thanks to the colleague who helped another colleague or another who spent some of their free time decorating the office for a holiday.
- Create gratitude channels. If your team uses Slack or Teams, you could have a channel specifically for gratitude and recognition.
- Offer perks employees want. If you are in a leadership position you can show your gratitude by offering something like flex time or more PTO.
- Give surprises. Bring in treats your colleagues might enjoy. Or, if your office is still working in the virtual environment, and if you have the budget, send them something to their home office.
What Do You Know About Gratitude?
Now that we know gratitude can help in both your personal and professional lives, let’s see what you know about gratitude by taking this brief quiz.11
- Where are people less likely to express gratitude?
b. At work
c. With friends
d. At church
- People who expressed gratitude had which of the following outcomes:
a. Better sleep
b. More motivation to exercise
c. Made more progress toward their goals
d. All of the above
- You can overdo gratitude. True or False?
- Gratitude has which the following impacts on health:
a. Higher good cholesterol
b. Lower bad cholesterol
c. Lower blood pressure
d. All of the above
- B – At work
- D – All of the above (Better sleep; More motivation to exercise; and Made more progress toward their goals)
- A – True
- D – All of the above (Higher good cholesterol; Lower bad cholesterol; and Lower blood pressure)
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