The Democratic Representative was praised for her actionable tips at a time when hundreds of folks are experiencing burnout.
In an email sent out to her constituents, Democratic House Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez shared her tips on dealing with burnout (that is, a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress). While many expected the email to be a generic clickbaity way to gather donations, readers were pleasantly surprised to find that the tips were, in fact, well-researched and helpful. Many reported that they felt validated as a result of the Congresswoman's email, as it noted how anyone who was overworked was susceptible to burnout. The email has since spurred a discussion about the topic on social media platforms.
The New York progressive said she received a question about burnout during a social media livestream.— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) October 21, 2021
She wrote that having experienced it herself, she wanted to "share some of the tips I’ve learned here about recovering from and preventing burnout."https://t.co/Eg9hnp8eah
"Burnout, especially in these times, seems to have become extremely common," the email (personally written by AOC herself, it appears) reads. "When there is so much happening in the world around you and in your direct sphere of influence, it can be especially overwhelming. That's why I wanted to share some of the tips I've learned here about recovering from and preventing burnout." She goes on to apologize to those who are currently experiencing burnout, explaining that it can be difficult to identify that one is burnt out in the first place, and second, what to do about it.
Received an email from @AOC with information about avoiding burnout. That’s it. No fundraising ask. No policy. Just a message with some helpful mental health advice. I really needed this information today. Thank you Representative Ocasio-Cortez— Ross Ghoulters (@RossGrooters) October 20, 2021
The Representative's tips encouraged readers to create healthy environments and compassion for themselves, nothing that it takes time and effort to recover from burnout. She assured, nonetheless, that recovery is possible. Ocasio-Cortez also highlighted that burnout is a result of several contributing factors, not just work. She writes, "Think of your whole self as a cup. Participating in activities that are physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally demanding means you're pouring from your cup. There may be activities you choose and even love, but you're still pouring from your cup to participate in them." She discussed how a healthy balance involves both filling and pouring from one's cup.
Most notably, the Squad member clarified the need for indulgence as well as strong boundaries. On indulgence, Ocasio-Cortez explains, "If you're spiritually/mentally drained, then you need to write a list of things you selfishly want to do just for you... And start prioritizing them. Put them on your schedule. Cancel other things so you can do these, because if you don't start refilling your cup, things will only get worse." Finally, with regard to boundaries, she recognized how women and other marginalized genders are programmed to ignore their own boundaries, leading to greater propensity to burn out in comparison to their male counterparts. "If you continue to say 'yes' and you betray yourself to pour more from your cup, eventually your body will say 'no' for you—you could get sick or have an accident," she states. "Your health is more important."
.@AOC sent out a lengthy campaign email a bit ago talking about how she deals with burnout + offered some tips she's learned on how to get past it.— Jennifer Bendery (@jbendery) October 20, 2021
It doesn't ask for $ or anything (tho there is a "donate" button at the bottom).
What an... unexpected and nice thing to read. pic.twitter.com/EeDj8ZUNXV
The email came as a surprise to those who received, particularly because it did not include a call for donations. Peter Sterne, the managing editor of the independent newsroom New York Focus, posted on Twitter, "So [Ocasio-Cortez] just sent out this email with the subject line 'My tips for burnout.' I assumed it was one of those thinly-veiled fundraising emails with a faux-informal subject line that tricks you into opening it, but nope. It really was just an email about dealing with burnout." Senior politics reporter at Huffington Post Jennifer Bendery called the email "an unexpected and nice thing to read." Another Twitter user shared, "I recently had a burnout moment and AOC’s email was relieving. In a time when I doubted myself, it was nice to see I am not alone. Every day is a struggle, but it’s okay to feel this way. So thank you, AOC! You rock and I will bounce back from this!"