You may have heard friends or colleagues complain of feeling burnt out from the pandemic. So many of us are working from home, cooped up in the house with restless kids instead of them staying busy at camp or school.
Maybe you've even wondered if you yourself are on the brink of burnout, too.
The World Health Organization describes symptoms of burnout as being feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion, increased mental distance from or feeling negative about one's job and reduced professional efficacy. Couple burnout with the stress and anxiety many people are currently facing, and daily life can become a struggle.
In fact, one-third of Americans have experienced high levels of psychological distress at some point during the pandemic. And almost one in five Americans say they have a physical reaction when they think about the pandemic. Seventy percent of Americans have said that the economy is now a significant source of stress, according to the American Psychological Association.
Exercise helps with burnout
Given the distress and uncertainty the pandemic has caused, exercise may feel like the last thing you want to do. However, research has shown that cardiovascular exercise was found to increase well-being and decrease psychological distress and emotional exhaustion.
Resistance training was also noticeably effective in increasing well-being, personal accomplishment and reducing perceived stress.
But you don't need to engage in an intense workout program or a long exercise class to reap these effects. Only about five minutes of aerobic exercise is needed to begin to stimulate anti-anxiety effects, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.
Each of the exercise moves in this routine are designed to combine both cardio and strength training so that you can complete the workout in as little as five minutes and feel more empowered to carry on with your day.
Plus, for each movement in this workout, you'll get to do a motion — like stomping, kicking or punching — that'll help you visualize actually crushing burnout and getting rid of it. Syncing your mind with each movement will allow you to be more focused, present and maintain proper form.
Squat kick and punch
First, let's start with the correct starting position for a squat. Stand with your feet as wide as your hips. Pull your naval in toward your spine.
Hold onto a pair of light dumbbells (1 or 2 pounds) at your chest. Bend your knees so that your glutes go back as if you're sitting into a chair. Then press down through your heels to stand up and kick your right leg to the right as high as your hip.
As you stand up and kick your right leg to the right, punch your right dumbbell to the right with the palm facing down to work the upper arm and shoulder. Repeat with the left arm as you kick to the left.
Perform this for 60 seconds or count your repetitions and do 20 total squats and 10 kicks to each side.
High knees and presses
Hold onto the dumbbells just above your shoulders. Stand with your feet as wide as your hips and lift your right knee up as high as you can.
While you lift your right knee up, press the arms up overhead into an overhead press.
Place the foot down and then lift the left knee up as high as you can while pressing the arms up. Alternate between right and left. To step it up you can add a bounce as if you're running in place with high knees.
Perform this for 60 seconds or count your repetitions and do 30 overhead presses.
Skater and modified weighted reach
Hold onto your weights in the palms of your hands. Pretend that you have ice skates on. Glide to the left by stepping on your left foot and reaching your right leg behind your left.
Then switch sides and extend the left arm.
Perform this for 60 seconds or count your repetitions and do 30 total skaters (so 15 to each side).
Crisscross abs with weights
Lying down on the ground, bend your knees and lift your feet off of the ground coming into a tabletop position. Hold onto the weights in your hands and press them together at the center of your chest. Curl up with your head, neck and chest, and engage your abs.
Reach the weights to the outside of the right knee as you extend the left leg. Then bring the legs and weights through center as you switch to the left side. Extend the arms and weights to the outside of the left leg as you extend the right leg.
Perform this for 60 seconds or count your repetitions and do 30 total (so 15 to each side).
Modified push-up with knee press
On your hands and knees, walk your knees back so they're a few inches behind your hips. Pull the naval in toward your spine and make sure your shoulders are over your wrists. Then bend your elbows and lower down into a push-up. Press up.
Then lift your right knee off of the ground, keep the leg bent at a 90-degree angle and press the leg up as if you're trying to kick the ceiling with your foot. Lower the knee down, repeat the push-up, then press the left leg up.
Perform this for 60 seconds or count your repetitions and do 20 total push-ups.
Go through this exercise routine every other day to allow your body to recover on the days off.
Stephanie Mansour, host of "Step It Up With Steph" on PBS, is a health and wellness journalist and a consultant and weight loss coach for women.