The pandemic has been disastrous for the American workforce, especially women. When I saw the statistics, I was shocked! I knew America had a workaholism problem but I could have never imagined that our burnout statistics would shot up to 62% for working women and 52% for men. America, we have a MAJOR problem.

Prior to the pandemic, we were already one of the most stressed workforces in the developed world but the stressors of lockdowns, child care, homeschooling, and the blurred boundaries between life and work have left profoundly challenging marks on our collective well-being which will likely take us decades to resolve.

If we define trauma as a state of overwhelm in response to a life-threatening and/or persistent threat from which we can not escape, then it is quite clear that the pandemic is a mass traumatizing event. To add insult to the injury, our access to many of our healthy regulating resources (community, adventure, nature, friendships, and hugs to name a few) were severely or completely limited so most of us did turn to the lowest common denominators (media, substances, food, and work) to distract, numb, and cope. Let me be very clear, there is NO SHAME in that! When we are in a state of overwhelm and don’t possess knowledge or access to effective tools to self-regulate and co-regulate, we turn to addictions and compulsions in a desperate effort to survive but sadly, there are consequences.

Our productivity and result-oriented culture promotes and rewards hard work above all. While substance, media, and food addictions are easier for us to identify and seek support for, workaholism is unfortunately often rewarded by our society. This is how mass burnout has taken root in our lives and many of us aren’t even recognizing it as a problem let alone invest time and resources to address it.

Burnout in essence is a boundary problem; when we don’t have clear, defined, and strong boundaries around our work and life balance, we are easily lured by the rewards of overworking; higher pay, bonuses, promotions, acknowledgment, and prestige. What makes this even more challenging is that we can easily overlook the early signs of burnout until it’s too late. In fact, most individuals don’t recognize that they are experiencing burnout until they…

Anahita Anais | Integrative Mental Health

Integrative Trauma Healing Practitioner, Resilience Coach, and Microdosing Expert. Follow me for tips for resilience, mental health, and Microdosing.