Counseling Center staff speak with BDN about dealing with pandemic burnout

The Bangor Daily News interviewed Kathrine Butler Hepler, a psychologist at the University of Maine Counseling Center, and Jessica Browne, staff clinician and co-coordinator of outreach and prevention at the center, for the article titled “How to deal with pandemic burnout.” Helper said anyone experiencing mental fatigue from the outbreak of COVID-19 should try “a little self compassion” by reaffirming who they are or how they feel by meditating, journaling, or talking to themselves in the mirror in an affirming way. She also recommended establishing small daily goals and celebrating when they are completed, participating in outdoor activities, limiting time spent on social media, and finding new ways to connect with people.   “We need other humans,” Helper said. “Find ways to do that and grow that in your life, even if it’s a little unconventional. Get creative.” Browne said people should stop “engaging in comparative suffering and struggling because that leads to invalidating our own experiences.” She also encouraged setting boundaries for news consumption, engaging in other media like books that provide a calming effect, and trying new things. “This is new,” Browne said. “We don’t have a handbook on how to handle or navigate a pandemic. Things are hard and confusing. Be gentle with yourself.”