Beyond Burned Out

What you’re feeling is grief

Stephanie Schroeder, a writer and peer support specialist, has been working 35 hours a week at a New York City homeless shelter for most of the pandemic. Schroeder spends her days up close with vulnerable populations — including homeless women with a “lifetime” of trauma and mental illness, she says — who are feeling some of the harshest effects of the virus.

AMERICANS ARE REACHING A NEW LEVEL OF PROFOUND COLLECTIVE GRIEF, FOR THOSE LOST AND FOR AN ENTIRE WAY OF LIFE

Nylah Burton

When her days are done, she returns home and tries to decompress by talking with her sister on FaceTime, listening to music, scrolling through social media, or eating dinner with her partner. But, she says, “I do lie on the couch and stare at the ceiling a lot.” These days, she’s “totally burnt out” and experiencing a lot of secondary trauma. She’s grateful for the privileges she has, but trying to get through the pandemic has proven challenging…

Chronic stress was rampant even before the pandemic. Leaders can’t ignore it any longer. by Jennifer Moss

Beyond Burned Out

In our always-on world, burnout has long been a threat. But in 2020 burnout became rampant, seemingly overnight. Within weeks millions of people lost their jobs and faced financial and food insecurity. People working on the front lines worried for their physical safety, and those in health care put their lives at risk every day. A third of U.S. employees started “living at work” — with the kitchen table as their new pseudo-office. Over the year acute stress would become chronic stress. And it shows few signs of abating.

Today’s level of burnout is the result of an existing problem made exponentially worse. Yet despite how massive the problem is, it’s never too late to fix it. Combating burnout may feel like an overwhelming and herculean task, especially after months of emotional fatigue, but if you’re armed with the right tools, it can be easier than you might think. And ready or not, we can’t ignore the urgency — we are in the midst of a burnout epidemic…

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