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Battling Burnout: Well-being during the ‘COVID winter’

UTM administrators, faculty members, librarians and students are sharing the many ways they are dealing with pandemic-related stress in a series of videos launching today.

The new year still presents many of the same challenges that existed last year, with a new state of emergency declared in Ontario and an increase in case numbers overwhelming area hospitals.

“It turns out that a change in calendar doesn’t necessarily mean a change in situation,” says UTM Vice-President & Principal Alexandra Gillespie.

“We know that there are vaccines and we know the rollout is happening. But the road is long, and we don’t know quite how long and that’s tough,” she continues. “We need to do the things we are able to do, that are within our power to do.”

Right now, that means staying home, wearing a mask, washing hands, keeping physically distanced, and isolating and quarantining as required.

It also means turning to one another, making time for well-being and finding individual wellness strategies that work.

In the coming weeks, members of the UTM community are stepping forward to talk about how they’re dealing with pandemic-related stress in a video series called ‘Battling Burnout.’

The series kicks off with a short video from Gillespie, where she shares some of the ways she and her family have been coping with the difficulties the pandemic has brought. Some of her strategies include getting outside every day, cooking together or keeping a gratitude journal.

“This is tough, but we can do it, you can do it,” Gillespie says.

The university also offers a number of mental health resources for students, faculty, staff and librarians. A list of available resources can be found on the UTMTogether site.