How to BEAT out BURNout

Happy Wednesday! Ok, we’ve all been there before, and chances are you are experiencing it today. What’s that you ask? Burnout. Burnout (aka that fatigued, drained, and stressed feeling you feel mid-way through the week). After spending countless hours on Zoom for virtual classes and carrying a busy schedule, it’s no surprise that we are more prone to this frustrating side effect of hard work. However, no need to fret - there are many ways to overcome this icky, unmotivated mindset! Here are my top 5 ways to BEAT out BURNout!! 

1. DECLUTTER your Work and Living Space!  

It is true that a clean room is a clear mind, so if you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed out, consider taking a couple minutes to rearrange and tidy up your space. Especially as a student in this digital age, I find it crucial to keep my dorm room and desk neat to limit distractions and unnecessary stressors. Whether you realize it or not, that pile of laundry building up, or the mess of pens, old papers, and coffee cups on your desk, is adding tension to your life. Organizing and getting rid of unneeded items in your room or on your desk will help you feel more motivated to get your work done and increase productivity as well. Having a new, clear space will make you more inclined to stay awake during your online classes and focus on your work. Try this out and thank me later! 

Computer desktop and laptop on wooden stands on desk Photo by Ken Tomita from Pexels

2. CREATE TO-DO Lists! 

I think one of the most helpful strategies to keep track of one’s daily task is simply making a TO-DO list. Although as a Type-A person I may be a bit biased, this classic technique is highly effective for keeping track of your work and maintaining a sense of organization and control in your day-today life. Creating lists quickly makes even the hardest tasks much more manageable and fosters a sense of composure. I find that on days when I feel the most unmotivated or overwhelmed by the amount of work I have to get done, just taking a few minutes to write down my goals and tasks for the day makes me feel grounded and less stressed out. Visually seeing an outline of your uncompleted and completed daily tasks should boast your mood, keep you organized, and foster mental focus. The best part is when you accomplish each task (no matter how easy or challenging) is the rush you receive from checking the item off your TO-DO list! If self-motivation is tricky for you, trust me and give this one a try! 

journaling Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters from Unsplash

3. SWITCH UP your Routine and Work Location! 

Routines can be excellent for keeping us accountable and comfortable in our day-to-day lives and student schedules. However, studies (and personal experience) have shown that spending too much time in the same environment can cause boredom to build up. As you can imagine, this only adds to feeling burnt-out. To avoid this feeling, switch it up! If you work from your dorm or bedroom typically, try changing up the layout of your desk area, or finding alternative locations to get your work done. My favorite spots include: a library, student center, study rooms, coffee shop, or even a friend’s room. Similarly, if you’re feeling stuck in a mundane weekly pattern that had become unproductive, try changing up your habits. For instance, rearrange the order of some of your daily tasks to add a nuanced flexibility and excitement to your days! 

french press coffee on table Photo by Kris Atomic from Unsplash

4. MAKE TIME for Relaxation and Take Breaks! 

While this one may seem obvious, it is something we too often neglect. As college students leading busy academic and social lifestyles, we are constantly on the go and hard at work. It is all too easy to forget to take the much needed (and deserved) relaxation time for ourselves. I suggest trying to devote an hour or two a few times a week to something that calms you down and takes your mind off your worries or work. Maybe this could be simply hanging out with friends to watch a movie, doing a face mask, painting your nails, meditating, making a cup of tea, or even reading a leisure book. The same applies daily: factor breaks into your school or workday by having a snack, talking to a loved one, listening to a podcast, or even taking a power nap. After taking a break, when you return to work, you are sure to feel that much livelier and more motivated to tackle your daily goals! There should ALWAYS be time for a little self-care each day. 

Max Oetelaar

5. ADD MOVEMENT into your days! 

After sitting in classes, or working for most of the day, it is important to get up and move around occasionally. A great rule-of-thumb is for every hour spent working, move around for 5-10 minutes. Whether you choose to allocate gym session times into your schedule, do some yoga, tune into an at-home workout video, or take a walk outside, the fresh air and physical activity will help improve your mental health and mood. In addition, movement is proven to reduce stress, improve brain function, and  make you more energized. These amazing benefits can only help add to your overall productivity and motivation as well as combatting that burnt-out feeling. Devote at least 30 minutes - 1 hour of activeness into your routine each day to spice up your life and put a pep in your step! 

Workout partner Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels


Hopefully these strategies will add balance and motivation to your life to BEAT out BURNout!