If you’re a hard-working human being, chances are you’ve experienced burnout. For university students, burnout seems to be exceptionally common. Burnout occurs when stress builds up in a person’s life, and they become mentally and physically exhausted. This can cause people to feel isolated, irritable, and unmotivated. As the end of the school year approaches and exams creep closer, it is essential to know how to prevent burnout to remain at the top of your game.
Check in with yourself
One of the best things you can do to prevent burnout is taking the time to check in with yourself long before you become too stressed. It is important to realize how you are feeling both mentally and physically so that you can identify what you need. This can be as easy as simply asking yourself “how am I feeling,” each night before bed, or it may take some deeper reflection with yourself to truly identify what you’re feeling and how best to help yourself. Journaling is one way to check in with yourself, as it allows your mind to free anything on your mind; you may not be able to identify what the problems are until it is written down.
Setting aside time each day to move your body can help break up your intense workload and ensure you take care of your body, even in stressful times. It is important to find a style of movement that is most enjoyable for you; this can be taking a walk, yoga, biking, hitting the gym, or even just taking a dance break!
In busy times, it can be easy to push aside basic needs like eating. Many people get so involved in their work that they forget lunch or breakfast! Without proper nourishment, you cannot perform at your best. This can lead you down a path towards burnout rapidly, as without proper food you will have low energy, and may become irritable. Properly fueling your body is more important than ever when surviving the extreme sport of managing a busy week.
Ask for help
This step may be the hardest for the independent, overachievers out there, but I promise you’ll thank me later! It shouldn’t take you reaching your breaking point before you ask for help. If you’re worried you’ve taken on too much, reach out to a friend, family member or co-worker to see if they can help check something off of your to-do list. We are all human and we all need help sometimes!
Good sleep schedule
As tempting as it may be to pull an all-nighter to finish your work, sacrificing a good night’s sleep is not a good idea. While this may be easier said than done, it is important to get enough sleep so that you have enough energy to tackle the stress of the week without becoming exhausted.
Remind yourself of your goals
The seemingly endless amount of work that plagues your mind can easily become overwhelming and leave you feeling unmotivated. Before this occurs, try reminding yourself of what you are working towards; are you working towards a degree, a dream job? Creating a vision board or posting your list of goals somewhere you will constantly see them is a great way to re-spark the motivation to tackle your projects.
Learn ways to manage your stress
Like it or not, stress is a common part of life, but knowing the best ways to manage it can help prevent an unnecessary buildup. Meditation, journaling, and reading are all great ways to relieve stress.
Change your environment
Whether you’re stuck in an office or working from home, sitting at a desk all day is enough to make anyone bummed out. Finding new places to work, such as coffee shops, parks, or libraries, can be just what you need to put the spring back in your step!
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