It’s been several weeks since the new semester started back up for us college students. We’re past syllabus week and now we’re back to stressing, dwelling and being booked and busy. Saying that we’re booked and busy often seen as a state of accomplishment or staying on top of things, and don’t get me wrong it is. However, we tend to forget that burnout exists as well. If you’re feeling emotionally, physically and mentally exhausted, you may be (unfortunately) experiencing burnout. Using myself as an example, I love to stay busy when I’m going through something as a means of distraction, constantly stacking things on top of things to do until I become altogether exhausted. As a result, I feel myself slipping away, my identity and self-worth included.
It took me a minute to bounce right back and balance my grind but also take care of my mental health. Looking out for yourself is extremely important to emphasize, especially if you’re a college student like the majority of us. We’re constantly juggling so much and we keep forgetting to take care of ourselves.
Slow down and take a breather.
Every time I even have the thought of just sitting down and relaxing for a second with my phone on “Do Not Disturb,” just to get away for just a quick moment, I get anxious. I got so used to constantly doing things that the one time thatI’m not doing anything, I just feel like I’m wasting time. That shouldn’t be the mindset at all, and it took me a couple tries to drill that into my head. It could be as simple as dedicating 1-2 hours to yourself to rejuvenate and gain back that lost energy. You also have to learn to be patient with yourself, try not to overwork yourself and, again, regain that energy you desperately need. Impatience only ever makes you more anxious and that is not the way to go. Take that d*mn nap!
You come first, always. Set those boundaries.
It’s a statement that we don’t say as often as we should. I always put everyone else before myself and that eventually turned out poorly. Realize that taking care of yourself includes that, while it is a good deed to help others, you must help yourself first. Don’t put your mental health to the side for someone. Trust me, it’ll only get worse from there. You should always set boundaries with others too, because you’re human and you have your limits as well. Let others know that, although you’re willing to help, nobody should take that for granted. Also remember that time is priceless, and we don’t need people to take ours for granted.
The takeaway from all of this is simple: it’s okay to chill for once. The world is going to continue to keep moving even if you stop for one second. It’s okay to put yourself inside your packed planner. Practice taking care of yourself daily and look out for you. It’ll only go up from there.