Author offers tips for tackling burnout during pandemic

By: Tammy Lindsay Schneider, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter,  Kincardine Independent
Pine River United Church welcomed author, speaker, entrepreneur, podcaster, award winner and happiness expert Jennifer Moss to the virtual podium on May 16, to address how stress and burnout are changing our lives and actionable strategies on how to minimize stress and anxiety during these trying times.
Moss first spoke at the church in 2018, after the release of her first book, Unlocking Happiness at Work, a how-to guide on increasing psychological fitness for a happier, healthier, higher-performing personal and professional experience.
Her latest book, The Burnout Epidemic, The Rise of Chronic Stress and How We Can Fix It, speaks to the core causes of burnout and how organizations must develop a strategy to stop the stress cycle that affects so many of its employees.
Moss took the principles of her book and, in front of a Zoom audience of almost 100 viewers, explained how these same philosophies can be applied to individuals who are feeling stress during the pandemic.
Unintentionally but timely, Moss began writing about burnout before the pandemic struck, but soon found the lessons applicable as changes to work life, home life, online learning and more screen time, caused by the pandemic, became the norm. She updated data to make it relevant to people suffering stress.
During the presentation, Moss described the model of happy, healthy and high performing people – HEROGEM – people who have hope, efficacy, resilience, optimism, gratitude, empathy and mindfulness.
Moss says “the pandemic has changed our habits and behaviours” and that chronic stress made us feel less motivated and in what she calls a brain fog – characterized having difficulty making decisions, losing focus quickly and the feeling that small tasks are now enormous.
She advised that a number of tools can be used to fight stress and burnout, including getting enough rest, scheduling time for outdoor activity and stepping away from technology. She also suggested that people hold fast to the relationships that are meaningful to them, including friendships and church communities and nurture those connections. Moss said “this past year we haven’t been able to form those connections in the same way.”
The Burnout Epidemic, The Rise of Chronic Stress and How We Can Fix It, published by Harvard Business Review Press, will launch on Sept. 28. It is available for pre-order through Amazon, Indigo, Barnes and Noble as well as other distributors.