With everything being in person again, it’s become increasingly easier to be overwhelmed and stressed by anything and everything. Burnout refers to stress and fatigue caused by work and duties. It is becoming more and more common, especially on college campuses. Although it can feel never-ending and as though you’re stuck in a box, there are definitely ways out, and ways to avoid burnout.
- Make to-do lists
Having tons of things to do can feel overwhelming and even impossible. There is, however, something about having it all written down into a list that makes it all seem doable. Rank your tasks in order of due dates or priority so that you know what needs to get done first.
- Do not be afraid to say no to certain requests
If you already have a pile of work to complete, it might not be the best idea to add to that pile. So, if someone asks you to help them finish a project, you might just have to say no because you have so many deadlines to meet. It’s okay to say no sometimes, especially if you’re already stressed and busy.
- Use Google Calendar
Google Calendar can help you plan your day down to the very minute. This can give your day some structure and seeing it all organized into colorful little blocks on your laptop screen might even make you excited about the work you have.
- Go to therapy or find a place to vent
Most colleges offer therapy for free, especially if you have insurance. In general, it is good to take advantage of this, but it is even better to take advantage of this when you’re stressed. It’s always good to find a way to let your stress out by venting or by talking to a professional. If you’re uncomfortable with the idea of therapy, call a friend up and vent to them. They might even give you helpful suggestions.
- Practice mindfulness or meditate
Taking a few moments every day to practice breathing and mindfulness can actually work wonders. Taking a moment to clear your head can help you start every day with a clean slate by letting go of yesterday’s stress. You can download apps like Headspace or Calm, or even just do self-guided meditation and start your day off on a calm note.
- Make sure you’re getting 8 hours of sleep
8 hours of sleep is perhaps the last thing a typical student gets and this is perhaps the reason why we find it hard to stay motivated. While coffee is a good short-term solution, nothing beats the feeling of waking up after getting sufficient sleep. Try utilizing the ‘bedtime’ feature on your iPhone in order to build a sleep schedule that works for you.
- Eat all 3 meals – do not skip breakfast!
It might be really easy to roll out of bed and eat a granola bar or drink a coffee on the way to class, but it has a bigger negative effect on your mood than you think. I know this suggestion requires waking up early for breakfast, but it will be worth it, I promise! Doing something as simple as making some scrambled eggs for breakfast or eating a balanced meal for dinner can help you feel more energetic and ready for the day.
- Make time for your social life
People almost always feel the need to sacrifice their social life in order to get work done or in order to meet any deadlines. There are, however, other ways around this. Humans are social animals and isolating ourselves in our rooms in order to finish work can leave us feeling tired, sad, and down. Try combining your social life with work by forming study groups or studying/doing work with your friends.
- Get a change of scenery
It might be nice and quiet to work in your room, yes, but it can also get old really fast. Studying outdoors or in a library seems to always get people motivated and excited about studying and doing work. Try making use of all the places available on your campus and maybe even make an outing of your study session (a study picnic outside, even!) in order to stop dreading your work.
- Go on walks or workout
Humans are sometimes glorified plants but we do, in fact, need enough water and sunlight. So make sure to get some sunlight or even some activity in. Make sure to also stay hydrated while you do so!
While most of the things on this list are easier said than done, it is always important to remind yourself that your mental and physical health is more important than any work or deadline. You have to feel your best in order to do your best work so make sure you do these things, avoid burnout and meet those deadlines while feeling like your best self.