How to Deal With Mid-Semester Burnout

We have officially made it to one of the worst parts of the semester. Whether it's mental health, extreme stress, relationships, or the pandemic, almost everyone is struggling with something. The addition of complicated Zoom college courses makes all these problems a little bit worse, and it can be easy to lose motivation. Here are some tips on how to finish up the semester strong and avoid burnout!

  1. 1. Appreciate Yourself! 

    This is such a tough time we are living through, and no one has the solution to all this uncertainty and stress. But, what you can do is recognize that you are trying your best. That being said, don't forget to take time for yourself every single day, and be proud of all that you have done. Whether your self-care takes the form of exercise, journaling, spending time with friends, or lying in bed for hours watching TikTok (my preferred method of relaxing), spend some time doing things that make you unapologetically happy to avoid feeling burnt out! Working too much, no matter how busy you may feel, without giving yourself a rest, will 100% lead to mental and physical exhaustion.

  2. 2. Organize Your Work (as much as possible)!

    Journaling

    For me, I get easily overwhelmed when I feel like I have a million things to do, but I don't even know where to begin. My suggestion is to use a planner, or any method of organizing your thoughts, to write down exactly what you need to get done, and when! I normally order my tasks from easiest and quickest to finish to most time-consuming. That way, I can quickly check-off small tasks and feel accomplished, and then focus on the assignments that are going to take a lot of my time. Planning out your work can also help you realize you might not have as much work as you think, and make your goals for your classes more tangible!

  3. 3. Do your Work with Purpose and Gratitude!

    A guaranteed way to feel burnt out with your work is to not have a sense of purpose or not know exactly why you are doing what you're doing. Remind yourself of the bigger picture. Why are you working for your degree? How will this help you live your dream life? What can you learn from this class? In my classes, if I ever have the freedom to pick an essay or project topic, I always pick a topic that I am passionate about or one that I have always wanted to explore. This way, I can get my schoolwork done and actually enjoy what I'm researching. Most of my motivation comes from studying what I love, and thinking about how I can use this knowledge to help people in the future. :)

  4. 4. Switch Things Up!

    3 women working on computer at table

    Doing online classes can make you feel like you're living the same day over and over, and can cause you to hate the forced routine. Switch up your work space to avoid burnout by doing class outside, working in a different room in your house/apartment, or grabbing a coffee at a café to work in a new environment. Even sitting in a different part of your room you normally don't may be just what you need as a change of scenery. You may just feel more creative and productive in a new work space!

If you feel overwhelmed and stressed this semester, know that you are not alone. We are all just trying our best, and that's all we can ask of ourselves! :) Remember to relax, give time to yourself, and remember what you're working towards!