As the school year's curtain rises once again, the hustle and bustle of life swells to fill our days. The excitement of new beginnings intertwines with the silent weight of mounting responsibilities, often taking a toll that goes unnoticed – until it’s too late.  In Chapter Eight of Dr I Rosenberg’s book “90 Seconds to a Life You Love” she discusses loss and grief.  Yet within this chapter, a bridge emerges that weaves together the themes of burnout and grief, illuminating a profound connection that resonates deeply. In this journey of academic pursuits and personal growth, we encounter a familiar yet elusive companion: burnout. But what if I told you that sometimes burnout is not the villain, but rather a veil concealing another formidable adversary? Join us as we navigate the labyrinth of back-to-school burnout, unmask the disguised grief within, and introduce the enlightening "Grief Reset Protocol" – a path toward rejuvenation and resilience.

Unmasking Disguised Grief
Imagine a maze where feelings of overwhelm, exhaustion, and detachment cloak themselves in the guise of daily stressors. This labyrinthine experience is often underscored by a more profound sentiment: disguised grief. Disguised grief emerges when we encounter transitions or changes that tug at the strings of our heart, yet we dismiss these emotions as mundane stress. Back-to-school season, with its academic adjustments, social reconfigurations, and the passage of time, becomes a fertile ground for such hidden grief to take root.

It might be the farewell to a summer that held cherished memories, a transition to a new grade that feels like the end of an era, or even bidding adieu to the simplicity of a previous routine. These shifts are not merely surface-level adjustments; they carry a weight of emotions that, if overlooked, can manifest as burnout. The key lies in recognizing these emotions as signals rather than mere background noise.

The Grief Reset Protocol: Illuminating the Path
In the heart of this labyrinth, where burnout and disguised grief intertwine, we discover a guiding light: The Grief Reset Protocol. Picture it as a map, offering us a way to navigate the concealed terrains of our emotions. The protocol isn't about erasing grief; rather, it's a means to acknowledge and process it, transforming it into a catalyst for growth and strength.

Step 1: Recognize the Veil
Before embarking on any journey, we must recognize the path we tread. When the veil of burnout shrouds disguised grief, take a moment to pause. Reflect on your emotions and their depth. Are you simply overwhelmed by tasks, or is there something deeper at play? Identifying the presence of concealed grief is the first step to unlocking the potential for healing.

Step 2: Embrace the Emotion
Disguised grief often wears a mask of denial, demanding us to move forward without acknowledging its existence. The Grief Reset Protocol invites us to defy this façade. Lean into your emotions. It's okay to feel sadness, nostalgia, or even anxiety. Embracing these emotions allows us to honour our journey and pave the way for genuine healing.

Step 3: Express and Share
Just as a labyrinth is easier to navigate with a companion, emotions are lighter when shared. Engage in conversations with friends, family, or professionals who can offer a listening ear. Verbalizing your emotions not only lessens the burden but also opens doors to insights and perspectives you might have missed in solitude.

Step 4: Rituals of Release
Rituals hold a remarkable power to transform emotions. Create personal rituals that symbolize the release of disguised grief. It could be writing a letter to bid farewell to a chapter of life, planting a seed as a symbol of growth, or simply lighting a candle in remembrance. These acts provide closure and allow you to move forward with renewed energy.

Step 5: Cultivate Resilience
The culmination of the Grief Reset Protocol is the cultivation of resilience. Just as a labyrinth tests our navigation skills, the journey through disguised grief strengthens our emotional resilience. We emerge with a deeper understanding of ourselves and a newfound ability to face life’s challenges head-on.

A Journey of Healing and Growth
As the pages of the back-to-school chapter turn, we find ourselves standing at the threshold of an emotional labyrinth. Burnout and disguised grief are intertwined threads in this intricate tapestry of life. By unveiling the latter and embracing the Grief Reset Protocol, we embark on a transformative journey.

Let this school year be more than just a sequence of tasks; let it be a chapter of healing and growth. Remember, you hold the pen to your narrative, and each emotion – be it disguised grief or the burning light of resilience – has a role to play in crafting the masterpiece that is your life's story.

Madison is a Psychology Assistant; Digital Marketing Assistant at Eckert Centre. She is a university student majoring in psychology at the University of British Columbia. She is our blogger in residence, and we are grateful she is sharing her writing skills along with her mental health journey. May her young wisdom help all of us grow our “Wise Self.” For more information or to book an appointment, visit or email our team at info@eckert-

Works Cited
Rosenberg, Joan I. 90 Seconds to a Life You Love: How to Master Your Difficult Feelings to Cultivate Lasting... Confidence, Resilience, and Authenticity. Little Brown Spark, 2020. Apple Books,

Madison Stevenson

Madison Stevenson

Digital Marketing & Psychological Assistant

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