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It’s More Than Exhaustion: You’ve Reached “Surge Capacity”

After eight months of pandemic-related self-isolation, illness, and disruption of daily life, it’s no surprise that many of us are feeling especially rundown.  

Natural disasters occur over a short period, even if recovery is long. Pandemics are different: the disaster itself stretches out indefinitely.” — Tara Haelle, science writer

The lack of focus, energy, and patience you are experiencing means you’ve reached ‘surge capacity.’

It’s what science writer Tara Haelle calls the mental and physical adaptive systems that help us during short-lived emergency situations. 

Surge capacity is a collection of adaptive systems — mental and physical — that humans draw on for short-term survival in acutely stressful situations, such as natural disasters,” Haelle says. “But natural disasters occur over a short period, even if recovery is long. Pandemics are different: the disaster itself stretches out indefinitely.”

Halle has recently written about her own struggles with reaching surge capacity for Medium.

Click the player above to hear Haelle and CultureShift hosts Amanda LeClaire and Rob Reinhart discuss what you can do to help overcome the stress of 2020.   

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This post is a part of Coronavirus in Michigan.

101.9 WDET, Detroit’s NPR Station, is committed to providing accurate, up-to-date information on coronavirus, and it’s related illness COVID-19, in Michigan. 

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