An Elemental article by journalist Tara Haelle introduced us to the idea of surge capacity as it relates to our ability to respond to and manage stressful situations. Haelle defines surge capacity as a “collection of adaptive systems—mental and physical—that humans draw on for short-term survival in acutely stressful situations, such as natural disasters.” 

This article from the SEI Women’s Network annual #HERSTORY magazine examines how the past few years have had a big impact on our surge capacities. We raise this topic not to get you down, but ideally, to accomplish two things: 

  1. We hope you feel a little less alone if you’re experiencing burnout and a little better being able to put a term and definition to this feeling. 
  2. While we can’t totally halt the stressful events for you (though we wish we could!), we wanted to offer some suggestions for building your surge capacity back up, even if it’s just for a few minutes at a time.

Your mental health matters, and you deserve to feel like your best self! Read the full article  to learn more about the topic of surge capacity and ideas on how you can refuel.

Read the article

Interested in learning more about #HERSTORY or the SEI Women’s Network? Email us at