The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
I am nearing the end of my first semester of college, and I am so happy that it is almost over. Don’t get me wrong – I loved my first semester – but I miss being home and being with my family. I also miss not being tired all the time.
Burnout can be described as a “physical or mental collapse caused by overwork or stress”. It is usually related to a person’s job, but in my and many students’ cases, it can also relate to school. At first, I didn’t realize that I was going through burnout, I honestly thought that I was just really tired and that it would pass if I just rested, but it persisted. I would take naps and breaks, but it still continued. I could not focus on anything. I was irritable and anxious all the time. Sometimes, I thought that I was literally shutting down – physically and mentally.
It wasn’t until I talked to my mom and told her what I was feeling is when I learned what burnout was. Ever since then I tried to find and figure out ways to help relieve burnout. Here’s what I have learned.
Talk and interact with other people
What I learned that is probably the most helpful tip is that talking and just being with other people can help relieve stress and burnout. Opening up to my mom really helped relieve a lot of the stress and anxiety that I was feeling. She helped me with talking about it, finding solutions, and reassuring me that everything would be okay. Being more social with your friends and coworkers is also really helpful. You don’t have to go out and go on crazy adventures, but it can be something small like going and getting coffee or getting lunch or dinner. Anything that can take your mind off of work is helpful.
For those in school, joining a club or organization is also really helpful. It makes you get out and take a break and it also can help you make new friends. It might feel like this is an added stressor but it really does help.
rest, rest, rest. and more rest.
I know I said before that napping didn’t really help a whole lot while I was dealing with burnout, however, it did help sometimes. Taking naps is actually really helpful, in fact for me, taking 20-30 minute power naps was really helpful! However, take longer naps if you have to, whatever you think is right for you, do it.
Resting does not only mean taking naps. Resting can honestly be anything. For me, sometimes just laying down in my bed is helpful. Meditation and yoga are also other ways that people can relax, although they are “active”. They do help, though, because they activate the body’s relaxation response which makes the body go into a more relaxed state.
Much like rest, exercise is a broad topic and can really mean everything. So, if you don’t feel like doing a grueling exercise routine, simply stretching or taking a walk can help relieve stress!
Rhythmic exercise, also known as moving both your arms and legs, is one of the best ways to relieve stress. Some examples include walking, running, swimming, dancing, and even martial arts. A 30-minute exercise can really help lift your mood, sharpen your focus, and relax the mind and body.
Exercise is probably the last thing on people’s minds when dealing with burnout, but it is really helpful. If you are feeling nervous about going to the gym or just don’t want to exercise alone, ask a friend!
Get better sleep
Not getting enough sleep is a big problem when it comes to burnout. Feeling tired can make burnout worse and can cause someone to be irrational. So if you’re making yourself stay up all night trying to get work done, stop because it is just making things worse for yourself.
Here are some ways to help improve your sleep:
- Stick to a sleep schedule
- Be mindful of what you eat and drink
- Make a restful environment
- Reduce blue light exposure
- Don’t drink coffee (or any caffeine really) late in the day
- Try to sleep and wake up at consistent times
- Take a melatonin supplement
just know that it is going to be okay
Burnout can make you feel overloaded and this feeling is inescapable, but it is not. Recovery time for burnout can vary, but the important thing to know is that you can work through it. The advice is not all there is, if you feel like you cannot get out of the hole you are in, I highly encourage you to seek professional help. Therapy can be very helpful no matter what is going on. Burnout can creep up on you, it is a gradual process. It is important to know the signs and how to relieve them.