The end of the year rolls around again and we feel the changing of the season – children beginning summer holidays, Christmas approaches with the family and work party expectations, borders opening and restrictions changing again! We pause to reflect on all that 2021 has bought to our lives – and we note some of our friends and family members seem stretched to their limits, tired in a way a holiday can’t or won’t fix.
‘Covid fatigue’ joins the list of phrases new to our world – and yet necessarily so. People across all professions, economic positions and cultures are noting that some people have ‘hit a wall.’ This is characterized by a pervading sense of tiredness, exhaustion and inability to flex and pivot through another change. People in caring professions (which includes ministry workers) can be especially hard hit by this version of fatigue or burn out.
If that sounds all too familiar to you, please reach out for help. LCA employees and eligible family members can access the EAP Converge service for free counselling support. Taking time to make an appointment with your GP, or talking to a friend about how you are struggling can be a good first step to breaking the silence. If you have noticed changes in your family members or friends in mood, energy or withdrawal, reach out and ask if they are okay.
We know that the last 2 years have been difficult as we have navigated many changes and restrictions. We also know that the new year will bring more changes as our borders open, the virus continues to mutate and people we know and love may become infected.
As 2021 draws to a close, we give thanks for the many frontline healthcare workers who have served through the pandemic. We acknowledge those who have had to stop working in this field, due to fatigue, burnout or vaccine refusal. The World Health Organization declared 2021 the International Year of the Health and Care Worker – and we would not be where we are today without them. Many globally have given their lives by serving Covid patients in their dying hours, and then succumbing to the disease themselves. You can watch a promotion and acknowledgement of their service here https://youtu.be/qwwPnjzIXbQ.
As the year ends, we pray for rest and refreshment for those in care professions. We pray for wisdom and strength as people determine what more they can give in service of others. If you would like to offer a gesture of encouragement to a health and care worker, we encourage you to write a card or give a small gift to someone you know who has worked in this field. Saying thankyou and acknowledging the role our health care workers have played in the last 24 months is something small we can do as they prepare for the challenges coming as our borders open.
If your church would like to celebrate the various carers in your community (including volunteers), you can access the resources provided by the LCANZ at www.lca.org.au/ccs or contact Anna Kroehn, the project officer for Christian Care Sunday at firstname.lastname@example.org. There are certificates of appreciation and thankyou card designs available for download on the Christian Care Sunday site.
Thanks Anna! While we’re on the topic … LCA Church Worker support provided the following links in its most recent eNews:
- We’re all exhausted but are you experiencing burnout? Here’s what to look out for an interesting and informative article from UNSW Sydney
- How to foster resilience & prevent burnout – the Center for Creative Leadership