By Kailey Walters
No matter where you are in life, whether you’re finishing up a semester in college or starting a new job, burnout is real. Especially with a global pandemic going on, the boundaries between work, school, and personal life can often blur, making it difficult to find time for yourself in the midst of your busy schedule. If you feel that you’re experiencing burnout, there are a few ways you can help yourself recover — and hopefully, minimize the amount of burnout you experience in the future.
1. Acknowledge the situation.
The first step in successfully dealing with your burnout is acknowledging that you are, in fact, burned out. Some signs of burnout include forgetfulness and difficulty concentrating, diminished pride in your work, and losing sight of yourself and your goals. Avoiding the reality of how overwhelmed you’re feeling — and continuing to push yourself forward — will only lead to more problems down the road. Instead, take the first step of admitting to yourself that you’re feeling burned out so that you can then give yourself grace for the challenging time you’re going through. Stop being so hard on yourself and acknowledge that it’s okay to be feeling this way.
2. Seek help.
After acknowledging your burnout, it’s important to seek help to deal with it. While getting help can potentially be intimidating, it’s essential to do so if you want to get better and move on from this. There are a few different people or groups of people you can turn to for support. For example, you may want to speak to a therapist about what’s going on in your life that’s causing you to feel so overwhelmed; he or she may be able to offer some helpful advice or tips on how to manage your workload and your mental health. You can also turn to family and friends for emotional support and to have someone to talk to, as they’re sure to be more than willing to lend a listening ear. You can also talk to your academic adviser to come up with some strategies to effectively tackle your workload.
3. Take on less work.
You may initially feel uncomfortable lightening your usual workload, especially because it’s so common in academic and work culture to take on more than you can handle. However, remember that it’s best in the long term to take on less work so you can give yourself a break and a chance to recover. Doing less will require you to take a look at your daily responsibilities and figure out which ones to prioritize and which ones to take a step back from or drop completely. If you find that something isn’t fulfilling or meaningful to you, such as a weekly meeting for a club that you don’t enjoy, it may be best to drop it. You should also take this opportunity to practice saying no to new projects or responsibilities that you simply don’t have time for, as you need to use your precious free time to focus on yourself.
4. Create reasonable goals.
A big part of combating burnout is making sure you’ve set reasonable goals rather than overly ambitious or unrealistic ones. After all, expecting too much of yourself will just lead you to a place of greater burnout. Instead, come up with a few realistic goals that you believe you can achieve so that you have something to work toward without putting too much pressure on yourself.
5. Take care of yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally
It’s extremely important to take care of yourself in every aspect, especially when you’re feeling overwhelmed. To that end, make sure that you clear some time for yourself to rest, relax, and recharge before forging on ahead to the next big thing. This could look like journaling, getting enough sleep, socializing with friends and family, meditating, working out, eating healthy food, and spending time on your favorite hobbies. Doing these things consistently to take care of yourself mentally, physically, and emotionally will help you tremendously as you move forward.
6. Engage in your hobbies.
Speaking of hobbies, it’s important to let yourself enjoy things you like to do simply for the sake of doing them. Whether it’s hiking, photography, crocheting, singing, collecting rare items, or anything else you like to do, make sure that you make time for it. Your life will be that much richer and more fulfilling.
Acknowledging and dealing with burnout can be pretty tough sometimes, but it’s crucial to take steps to deal with it so that you can get better and move forward with joy, peace, and a sense of fulfillment in the work you’re doing. Allow yourself time to rest, reflect, and recharge so you can live a healthy lifestyle and show your best self in any academic or work environment.
By Kailey Walters. From Uloop.com, Online Marketplace for College Life.