Before Burnout Hits
Congratulations! You’ve gotten through almost two months of school this Fall, coming right out of a year of pandemic virtual interactions and mass confusion. It is no surprise that burnout is setting in for a lot of students right now. Times are hard and we’re working even harder to move past a lot of obstacles in order to be in person and safe. Before getting into general ideas for self care, here are three starting points to jumpstart your process.
First, assess what people, events, and tasks throughout your day have been especially draining or stressful. Are there people you know to avoid when you need time to recuperate? Is there a way for you to ask for help in any part of your day from a friend, staff, or stranger?
Second, always be hydrating and getting a minimum of seven hours of sleep a day. Take a gulp right now. If you haven’t already, investing in a reusable bottle so you can keep track of how much you drink everyday is key. Hydration is a top priority for allowing your body to get back to some sort of equilibrium. Healthy body, healthy mind.
Lastly, let people in your life know what you’re going through. Email professors about how you’re feeling if the workloads are too much. They’re human, they want to help you in your endeavors to be who you want to be! It’s much healthier and eventually easier, once habits have been established, to recognize when you’re about to burn out, and take that needed time out to tend to your needs and rest, rather than burning out every several weeks and patching it up by moving quickly past the hard days.
Here’s some possible ideas for what can be done to release tension and give your mind a moment to digest all its been learning:
- Breathwork through yoga or leisurely body movement (zumba, rolling around laughing, etc.)
- Put your favorite music on and dance, draw, or sing along
- Help someone else. Burnout tends to be from constantly tending to our own obligations, but going out of your way to help someone not out of necessity, but out of servitude, can help alleviate stress! Compliment someone today. Invite someone new to lunch. Offer help with homework to someone you know is struggling. We care for ourselves by caring for others
- Next time you catch yourself endlessly scrolling on social media and it makes you feel uneasy, take a break.
- Make it an effort everyday for a week to see the sunset, even if just for a bit. It helps schedule out time purley for your own enjoyment and peace.
- Make sure you’re eating consistently, with as few processed sugars as you can manage, and not eating right before bedtime.
- Journaling, self reflection, talking to yourself about your experiences, just a little bit as often as you can stand, can go a long way. If you don’t know where to begin, start with some basic questions: what is something you can do for yourself that you know will guarantee stress relief? Why does that bring you release and joy? What are ways you can encourage yourself and others to keep showing up for themselves everyday?
Your health comes first. School is secondary, remember that!