Let's Stop Glamorizing Burnout!

What is burnout? Have you ever been so utterly exhausted, that your brain turns into fog, your body into mush, and you totally breakdown? Have you ever felt so emotionally drained that you can no longer get simple tasks done? Dreaded the thought of waking up and doing the same thing all over again? This is known as burnout. It not only affects our mental health but also our physical health. Sometimes you don't realize a problem until you are removed from it, and if there is anything pandemic has taught us, it’s that we were all burnt out. We rarely take the time to slow down, smell the flowers, and do absolutely nothing. Unfortunately, this isn’t so easy. 

Productivity Rules All We live in a world where productivity is the epicenter of our daily routine, and how much we accomplish in a day has become a measure of our self-worth. This especially manifests itself in college. We romanticize filled-up planners and mile-long to-do lists. But..why? Why are we so concerned with taking time off to relax or spend quality time with others. It’s simple; when we talk about school or work, they both manifest themselves as measures of “success”. Working harder in school means getting a better job. Working harder in your job means more money. More money means more success....right? Wrong. 

“Living to work” We should not be living to work, we should be working to live. Our days should be comprised solely of to-do’s to check off, and sacrificing our own mental health to meet other people’s needs. Yes, there are always going to be things we need to do that we don't like. However, we often neglect making time for simple joys like sitting outside on a park bench or climbing back into bed on a Saturday morning. Sleeping in has become synonymous with “lazy” and time unplugged from our screens is unimaginable. 

Preventing Burnout  The key to preventing burnout is balance. When we think of “time management” we often equate it to work - when and how we are going to get things done. In reality, we should be managing our time much more holistically. We should be scheduling in time for rest and setting reminders to take breaks in the day. We should be making sure we leave large chunks of time dedicated to nothing but self-care.

Though success is often measured in monetary forms, it can be defined in many many other ways. You can have success in your relationships, you can be a successful parent, and the list goes on. At the end of the day, feeling so overwhelmed and exhausted that you can no longer function is not successful...or productive. Rest is productive. Taking care of your mental health is productive.