Our twenties are supposed to be the best times of our lives. The ups, downs, and everything in between are made worth it by our blossoming goals and annoying setbacks that make us who we are. In reality, our twenties are spent behind a computer typing research papers and studying for exams, barely pulling ourselves out of bed the next morning just to do it all over again the next day. Then we hit the graduation stage, curating job applications, moving out, and living independently. When we are constantly on the go, overworking ourselves, and caught in a monotonous rut, we can easily feel burnt out.
This common burned out feeling is often followed by feeling unmotivated and restless. When you are backed into a wall and completely exhausted, it doesn’t allow you to see the light at the end of the tunnel. This forces us into survival mode, completing tasks one after another, just hoping to find some small fraction of relief. In times of uncertainty where we do not know what will come next are when we feel the most alone and the most vulnerable. The feeling of burnout is inevitable because there will always be another task to complete so what can we do to combat these negative feelings? The two main ways to combating burnout boil down to either avoiding the burnout or dealing with it head on.
In these times, practices of self-care and relaxation can be the best tool in your arsenal for beating the burnout that follows with our twenties. This kind of self-care isn’t just the stereotypical facemasks with friends and remembering to drink water everyday but also activities that distract from the more rigorous portions of your life. I recommend something more tangible yet something that doesn’t involve strenuous mental activity such as exercising or listening to a new podcast, whether funny or self-help. The point is to take your mind off what is ailing you and focus on recharging and resting. Make time to enjoy what life has to offer, reach out to your friends for a coffee date, get lost in a hopeless romance novel. Whatever it may be, do what makes you happy and doesn’t cause you undue stress.
Lastly, when losing focus of what your goals are and if you can complete them, think about why you started in the first place. Remember why you chose that class, why you chose that major, or why you applied for this job. When you remember the reasons for starting, those initial feelings of wonder and joy will be triggered. Those ambitions will soon be sparked, and your work will no longer feel like work, it will only be an extra encouragement to keep going.
You are exactly where you need to be for a reason. Enjoy the journey and focus on what it means to you. Your journey is yours and no one else’s and that is something to be proud of.