It is already that point in the semester where it feels that there are not enough hours in the day. No matter how much sleep I get, I still feel drained. What is up with that? Assignments are starting to pile up out of nowhere. Seriously, someone explain to me how midterms are already a topic of conversation. If you’re like me, you always feel overwhelmed, and at the end of the day, your social battery is at zero. Well, friends, if you are not careful, you will experience burnout. You may have already experienced it and may not have even realized it. Burnout is defined as a state of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion brought on by prolonged stress. This stress may come from school, work, or even in relationships. Sit back and assess your current day to day life and pinpoint the stressors you are going through. With everything going on currently, I can speak for myself that I have already felt exhausted in all areas of my life. What is important to remember is you have to make yourself your priority because if you don’t, then who will? The first way to avoid burnout is knowing why. Here are three reasons why you’re burnt out and how to prevent it.
- Not enough “Me Time”
I know you’ve heard the term self-care many times. Maybe you think self-care does not work. However, let me tell you that dedicating time for self-care is beneficial to your mental state. People’s first thought of what self-care implies is bubble baths and face masks. But it is more profound than this. These are activities that help you recharge. Different types of self-care consist of physical, mental, social, spiritual, and emotional self-care. At the end of every week, I like to sit down and reflect on how I feel. What areas in your life need some extra love? Are you getting enough sleep? How about exercise? Are you doing activities that help you feel recharged? These are a few sample questions to ask. Challenge yourself and ask more. After that, create your self-care plan. I know there is so much stuff that needs to get crossed off your to-do list, but self-care is necessary. It can be 15 minutes out of your day. I like to wake up early and light my favorite candle as I practice meditation. It can be the most simple thing as long as it is feeding your soul.
- You’ve lost control
This is a big one. After doing some reflection, I had to ask myself why do I feel stressed 24/7? To be honest, it feels as if I am moving through the motions. Day after day, there is always something that has to be done, and at some point, I felt like I lost a little bit of myself. I realized I lost control of my own life. How can that be? Recently, I felt so powerless over my own life. Instead of letting this bring me down, I wanted to make a change immediately. There is so much happening in life between school, work, and other responsibilities, so it is easy to feel like others dictate your schedule. You have the power to take back control of your life. Be firm with others about what you need. Don’t keep your feelings inside because you will explode. Whether these are your friends, professors, or parents, tell the ones you trust what you need so they can support you. Also, leave your work at work. I know this is tricky since most of us are working from home due to the pandemic. but set yourself up where you may work only during a specific time frame. This way, you will have time to relax and recharge.
- You are overextending yourself
Let me be the first one to admit I have trouble saying the word no sometimes. I have a problem saying no all of the time. I am a people pleaser, and it is the root of most of my burnout. But this is not healthy and will leave you drained. What I do is I write down all of my commitments in my planner or Google calendar. This way, I can see what I have to do so I am not overcommitting myself. It is okay to tell people you have to cancel or reschedule. I know it may be challenging, but you will feel so much relief. Don’t forget it is okay to say no!