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How To Gain Control Over Burnout, The Other Epidemic

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As we continue to deal with the news geyser known as COVID, we’re left with the opportunity—no, the need—to take a closer look at our own lives. On one hand, science has triumphed. On the other hand, we feel as though we’re in a disaster movie, standing in front of a massive fire that is about to engulf the entire world in flames. 

We may move forward but there are still hints of shock around us as we instinctively blame the pandemic; there is fear mixed with hope. From frontline workers worried for their physical safety, parents who struggled to balance online learning with working from home to those who lost their job or a loved one, there is a heaviness that won’t be eliminated by a couple of shots in the arm.

Yes, it’s tempting to blame the pandemic for most of what ails us these days. Health organizations, however, offer a different perspective—the pandemic has exacerbated a problem that has been around for years.

It’s called burnout. 

The pandemic has done something truly remarkable—it’s exposed how thinly stretched and worn down many of us are and have been for a while. This has only made burnout a much worse problem.

Burnout was rearing its ugly head long before we were hit by the COVID shitstorm.   The pandemic was merely an accelerant. A 2018 study in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings found that the rate of “overall burnout” among the general U.S. workforce was 28%. 

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