How to Practice Self-Care Even When You're Completely Burnt Out

I think everyone has reached the point in the semester where their brains desperately just want to shut off. To be completely honest with you, I’m not convinced I know how to read anymore. If you have also reached the point of total burnout this semester, whether you’re taking classes or working, here are some ways to take extra care of your mind. 

1. Sleep 

Make sure you are getting enough sleep. Staying up late to finish an assignment is usually not the best way to ensure that you turn in your best work. If you feel your eyes starting to melt out of your face, shut the computer off and crawl into bed. Sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself is give in to your body when it’s telling you it needs rest. If you wake up one day and feel like you need a nap later, then take one! 30-45 minute naps during the day can help to recharge your body and help you get through the rest of the day.

2. Eat your favorite snack 

Even if cooking a meal sounds difficult, nourish your body and mind by eating your favorite snack. My personal favorite is Ben and Jerry’s in the “Americone Dream” flavor. Eating your favorite snack after a long day is something that can give you something to look forward to. It can act as a reward for getting through a particularly boring class or finishing a small assignment! Be kind to yourself and your body when your mind feels exhausted. 

3. Watch your favorite comfort movie. 

Over quarantine, I fully and unapologetically regressed back into my 2013 Twilight phase. Whenever I was feeling burnt out, I put on that movie and allowed myself to get lost in the rainy, evergreen drama of Bella Swan. That movie brings me so much comfort and nostalgia for simpler times, it helps me so much when I am stressed. Watching a comfort movie is such a helpful way to escape the real world for a short amount of time, and I can guarantee you will always feel better after. 

4. Take a shower 

Taking a shower is such an easy way to get your body feeling refreshed, even if your mind is a little behind. Whenever I’m feeling mentally gross, I find that taking a shower can help me reset my day. Showering is a good way to feel accomplished after a task, so it can help motivate you to do slightly more difficult tasks later on in your day. 

5. Go sit outside and get fresh air 

Getting some minimal exercise is a great way to clear your head. I personally love going for walks around Clemente field—the park at dusk (I carry pepper spray, of course) is so peaceful. Sometimes, I even stop to watch a softball game. Getting some distance between myself and my apartment with some fresh air can help ease my restless mind and take it off of the things I’m stressed about for a while. When I return from my walks, I’m usually feeling much more hopeful about the possibility of completing my homework. 

It is easy to feel guilty when practicing self-care. You may feel as though you don’t have time to give your body and mind a break—but I assure you it is never a bad idea to take some time away from your computer screen and recharge. I wish you luck finishing out a tough semester, hang in there; go get your favorite snack and put on Twilight <3