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Episode #260 Escaping Burnout By Redefining Rest, With Marissa McKool


On This Episode Of The Public Health Epidemiology Conversations (PHEC) Podcast


How do we move away from the false idea that rest has to be earned, and productivity defines our worth? In this episode, we are joined by public health coach, Marissa McKool. With a history in public health, Marissa shares her story of using her knowledge and experience in public health to build her own business, McKool Coaching. Marissa mainly coaches early to mid-career public health professionals. By doing this work, she is helping them make their jobs more sustainable, by supporting them to discover how to control their mental and emotional experiences. Marissa helps us understand why we need to challenge our narrative around rest and how to shift our mindset in order to detach from toxic productivity standards. Burnout, stress, overwhelm, and exhaustion are just some of the symptoms that Marissa aims to combat by reshaping our definition of rest, and how we believe we need to earn and justify having it. You will hear about how you can have more rest, more time to do things that bring you joy, and more opportunities to thrive in your career. From freeing yourself from internalized societal bias and unrealistic workplace expectations to creating a life you love, Marissa is here to be your guide!


Meet Marissa


Marissa McKool, MPH is a former public health leader turned career and life coach who helps public health professionals eliminate their burnout without quitting their job. Marissa received her MPH from Emory University and held several leadership roles in government and academia working on sexual violence prevention and reproductive health, before finding herself burning out. Through coaching, she was able to eliminate her stress without anything outside of her changing and now helps others do the same. She is also the host of the Redefining Rest Podcast for Public Health Professionals, where she helps listeners reduce their workload, create more time, get more rest, and feel better.


Listen To This Episode Of The Public Health Epidemiology Conversations (PHEC) Podcast

Conversation Highlights


  • How Marissa realized she was close to burnout during her career.

  • How going to mindset coaching changed her life and made her want to pursue it as a career.

  • Marissa’s journey with public health.

  • The importance of universities providing a bachelor’s degree in public health.

  • Marissa’s passion for helping, supporting, and developing the public health force.

  • McKool Coaching: one-on-one coaching with burning/burnt-out public health professionals.

  • Why we need to be able to define what rest means to us and integrate it into our daily life.

  • How Marissa defines her ideal clients for McKool coaching.

  • How Marissa’s understanding of public health has helped her serve the community.

  • Understanding how systems within public health care impact public care workers.

  • How a quantitative focus impacts mindset.

  • The biases within the public health care system.

  • Marissa’s advice for people interested in the work she does.

  • Challenging the truth of our thoughts around our worth, trusting ourselves, and our mindsets.


Marissa's Career Advice To Public Health Students and Graduates


“The thoughts your brain offers you are not necessarily true.” — Marissa McKool

Keep In Touch


McKool Coaching

Marissa McKool on LinkedIn

Marissa McKool on Instagram

Redefining Rest Podcast


Episode 212 The Downstream Impact Of Burnout, With Sumana Jeddy, MPH


Episode 217 A Human Level Approach To Addressing Burnout, With Dr. Jacqueline Kerr



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