As we finish up the last quarter of 2021, we’re still battling the COVID-19 pandemic – and now flu season. Add in the storms, wildfires and smoky air, and busy holiday season and it’s a recipe for burnout. You are likely 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. Among those respondents, millennials seemed most affected. The 2021 Forbes article reports:

• 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 21 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 meditation and deep breathing, self-compassion, and maintaining a work-life balance. Another great method, and one of my personal favorites, is cooking! I know this doesn’t sound appealing to everyone, but it can always be worth a shot.

Try learning a new recipe and making something from scratch for the upcoming holiday. One of my favorite recipes is homemade Spaghetti Carbonara with homemade spaghetti noodles. This year my family will be having an assortment of Italian dishes for Christmas dinner, so I will be making this for everyone to enjoy.

Here is the recipe if you want to give it a try:

Spaghetti Carbonara with homemade noodles (serves 6)

Noodles:

• 3 large eggs

• 2 cups of flour + additional for dusting

• 1 teaspoon of olive oil

• ¼ teaspoon of salt

1. Create a nest with the flour on a clean, flat surface.

2. Crack the eggs into the nest and add the salt and oil, careful not to let the eggs run out of the nest.

3. Use a fork to carefully whisk the ingredients together in the nest while gradually working the flour in.

4. Using clean hands, incorporate the remaining flour to the mixture to create a shaggy dough.

5. Knead the dough for 10 minutes until it becomes smooth. If the dough seems too dry, sprinkle a very small amount of water on the dough and continue kneading.

6. Wrap the dough ball in plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.

7. Divide the ball into 4 pieces.

8. Roll each piece into a flat oval.

9. Use a pasta roller to roll the dough to your desired thickness or use a rolling pin to do the same.

10. Cut each sheet of dough in half to create shorter sheets and dust each side with flour.

11. Run each sheet of dough through your desired pasta cutter to create noodles.

Carbonara:

• 1 tbsp olive oil

• 6oz of pancetta or thick cut bacon, chopped

• 4 egg yolks

• 3.5 oz of freshly grated parmesan

• 1/3 cup of pasta water

• Salt and pepper to taste

1. Bring a pot of water to a boil, add salt and fresh noodles. Boil noodles for about 3 minutes or until al dente.

2. Collect 1/3 cup of pasta water and strain the noodles. Set aside.

3. Meanwhile, Heat olive oil in deep skillet and add chopped pancetta or bacon, stir occasionally until cooked.

4. While noodles and pancetta/bacon cook, beat the egg yolks in a medium bowl.

5. Add parmesan cheese to the bowl and mix thoroughly. Set aside.

6. Once pancetta/bacon is cooked, add cooked pasta to the pan. Remove from heat.

7. Add egg and cheese mixture and pasta water to pan and stir well until a sauce forms.

8. Add salt and pepper to taste.

If cooking isn’t quite your style, then hand the recipe off to someone else and just enjoy the delicious meal.

To maximize the benefits of self-care and give yourself a break from the burn out, do something that you enjoy and relaxes you, whatever that may be. By doing so we can step into 2022 ready to take on the world!

Have a wonderful holiday and a Happy New Year!

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