Nearly two years into a drudging, dragging pandemic, each crumb of news about the Omicron variant can feel like too much to process.
Burnout, the psychological terms for an all-consuming exhaustion and detachment, floated around the popular lexicon in reference to work for years, but became even more of a buzzword as it seeped into all corners of people’s lives during the pandemic.
“When you’re dealing with long unending uncertainty and trauma, there’s only so much you can handle,” says Thea Gallagher, PsyD, clinical psychologist at NYU Langone Psychiatry Associates and clinical assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry, in The New York Times.
In the aftermath of natural and manmade disasters, says Dr. Gallagher, acute stress often leads to exhaustion and hopelessness over time. A sign of “worry burnout” is when you start to avoid the news. “You might feel like you can’t handle another ominous headline or hear one more update on the virus,” says Dr. Gallagher. She herself felt this recently when she stumbled on a news broadcast and immediately changed the channel. “I was like, I’m going to find a Seinfeld rerun instead.”
Experts suggest starting a meditation practice—even just a few minutes a day—to tap back into our emotions and feel present.
Read more from The New York Times.