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Wellness > Mental Health

How I’m Dealing with Burnout as a Student and Freelancer

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UWindsor chapter.

We’re officially at that point in the semester when all those final projects are due, exams are on the way, but you just so badly want it to be summer. I’m finding this year, in particular, I’m taking my 2023 spring semester burnout hard. This could be since I have a heavier workload this semester, the fact that I launched my own freelance social media business (@marketwithmya on Instagram if you want to follow), or the fact that I just really want a break from my daily life. Lately, I’ve been finding myself procrastinating, lacking on the organization front, getting easily distracted, and being constantly tired or stressed. With freelance and student work combined, I don’t have a consistent weekly schedule, making it challenging to stay persistent each week. While I’m finding it challenging, here are a few things I’m implementing into my lifestyle to make burnout more manageable.

Having a Dedicated Reset Day

While I’ve found it challenging as of late to have time for reset days, I’ve been doing my best to make them a priority. Typically, I try to do a weekly reset each week, which allows me to reflect on the past week, plan for the week ahead, and give myself some TLC. On my weekly reset days, I like to have a self-care shower (wash my hair, exfoliate, shave, lotion, etc. etc.), plan for the week, tidy my room, do my laundry, and schedule any content I have ready for the upcoming week. I like to consider these reset days like a reward at the end of the week for all the work I did. I also find them to be productive as I’m able to focus on things that aren’t related to school or work. When I don’t have these reset days, I find myself to be super scatterbrained and I burnout quicker during the week.

Prioritize my Routines

I find on the days that I do my morning and night routines I feel a lot more balanced, focused, energized, and calm throughout the day. I will admit, there have been many  days where I get out of bed 30 minutes before I have to leave the house and I stay up until 10:30pm staring at my studies and work.  I need to remember that by prioritizing myself, I’ll be able to get a lot more done during the day. As for my morning routine, I try to journal, eat a filling breakfast, and listen to music or a podcast while I’m getting ready or during my commute to school. In the evening, I try to reflect on the day, do my skincare, plan for the next day, and maybe even read (which I’ve been slacking on… I won’t lie). With both routines, I also try to have minimal screen time (which I struggle with – more on that later) because I find that it helps me feel less anxious. Doing my routines allows me to have moments for myself before I start the day and when I wind down at the end of the day.

Less Screen Time

I will 1000% admit that as someone who is not only a 3rd year university student, but also a freelance digital marketer and content creator, I am always glued to some sort of screen 90% of the day. But I’ve been finding as of late that my phone has been starting to bring me a lot more stress, and I’ve been starting to identify it as a source of procrastination. There are a few ways I go about giving myself less screen time. First, I have Downtime set on my iPhone so that every night from 9pm to 8:30am the next day, my phone blocks me from entering any scrollable social media apps like Instagram and TikTok. The only apps that remain open are ones that will bring me joy, such as my self-care app Finch, and my I Am affirmations app. If I attempt to open any of the apps that are blocked, my phone will prompt me that my limit is on which will then remind me to close the app. There are definitely some days where I’ll bypass this using the lock me out in 15 minutes option or the ignore for today option, but for the most part, when I see that blocking, I ultimately will close the app and find something else to do. I also set my phone on Do Not Disturb each night, which prevents any notifications from specific apps after 10pm. When I’m not using Downtime, I follow an influencer on Instagram named Caleb Duplain (@cmduplain) who creates content that literally reminds you to close the app and stop scrolling on your feed. My brain has now become accustomed to the fact that when I see Caleb on my feed, I know it’s time to close the app.  These sources on my phone have not only assisted me in minimizing my screen time, but have also given my brain internal reminders that I have better things I could be doing with my time.

Brain Dumping

Throughout this past semester my brain has been filled with all sorts of thoughts, reminders, ideas, and feelings, which have  been causing a lot of stress. Due to this, I’ve found that brain dumping has been helpful to organize my thoughts. I often do this in my notebook or on my laptop or phone, depending on what I’m doing at that moment. These brain dumps also typically include rants, To-Do lists, reminders, and reflections, as well as self-love and affirmations to keep me in a positive mindset. They are also especially useful when I’m stressed, angry, or upset, as they let me flood out all my emotions which always make me feel a lot better. Along with brain dumping, I find using my journal to reflect on things that have happened or something I’m anxious about happening has allowed me to think through them better and help me find possible solutions.

Embracing Nature

Due to the cold weather, I haven’t really been outside much. But when I do go outside, I make the most of it. Whether I’m outside walking to class or filming content for an eco-conscious client I have, I really take this time to immerse myself in my environment. When I’m outside, I try to look at nature, and be grateful for the weather outside that day. I’ll also breathe in the fresh air, and take everything in. When I take the time to do this instead of just rushing I find that it grounds me and makes me realize how great it is to get to live where I live, and do the things I have the opportunity to do each day.

At this point, I just can’t wait for the semester to be over and for summer to finally begin! But until then, I plan to try and prioritize these five things to avoid consistent burnout.

Mya Bezaire is the Co-Campus Correspondent at the Her Campus UWindsor Chapter. She is responsible for overseeing all administrative aspects of the chapter, from member onboarding to article scheduling. Prior to this, Mya was the social media director (2021-2022), and she currently still helps with posting on social media. She also is a writer who’s content typically focuses around career development, entertainment, and self-care. Beyond Her Campus, Mya is a freelance digital marketer for her own business titled Market with Mya. As a freelancer Mya has worked with small-to-medium business clients based in Canada & the US to help elevate their digital presence through content creation, social media management, and design. Currently, Mya is a Senior at the University of Windsor in Communication, Media, and Film, with a minor in Information Technology. Mya is also the president of the Communication Student Association, where she oversees all marketing & events efforts to create a vibrant space for Communication Students on campus. In her free time, Mya loves immersing herself in TV and Film. She’s a reality TV junkie but also loves a good romcom or thriller-drama. She also loves prioritizing her wellness, and you can often find her journalling, listening to her fave podcasts & YouTubers, or going on a hot girl walk.