This post is all about 12 ways to avoid burnout in college.
Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet constant demands.
As a college student, it is more than likely that you or someone you know has experienced burnout. It is also possible that you or someone you know is experiencing burnout right now.
Burnout is nothing to play with. Don’t get it wrong, college can be a wonderful experience, but it can also cause you to spin out of control if you do not take the necessary steps to try and avoid it.
Some people underestimate the constant struggle students face. Desperately wanting to get good grades, while juggling a job and sleep deprivation. Some students can handle the stressors of college with ease. Others, not so well. There’s nothing wrong with seeking help if you feel like you are experiencing burnout.
That’s the purpose of this post, we want to help you avoid burnout all together. While understanding and acknowledging what burnout is, you will be more equipped and prepared to handle the random things that may be headed your way.
12 ways to avoid burnout in college
1. Recognize that you are doing too much. The main cause of burnout can be stretching yourself too thin. Learning how to say no and how to journal to avoid stress can be key. Sit down with yourself and recognize where you can cut back. Is there a meeting that you can miss for the sake of taking a nap? Can you practice ways to be more efficient with your studying schedule? Make a list of things that are really important and can’t wait and the things that can wait.
2. Prioritize what needs to be done now. Obviously you can’t say no to everything and certain things have to be done no matter what. Make a list of what needs to be done at the start of everyday. This way, you can look at everything that needs to be done with a clear mind. Now that everything is written out in front of you, put the most important things at the top of the list and work your way down.
3. Give yourself a pat on the back. If you need someone else to say it for you, here you go: you are doing amazing and you deserve a round of applause. A little pressure is good because it keeps you going and makes you strive hard for a brighter future. But, stop beating yourself up. You are trying when most people sit around and do nothing. Understand that you are absolutely doing the best that you can do. Let no one take that from you, ever.
4. Talk to a friend. For some reason, we wait until everything around us is going up in flames before we reach out and talk to someone. Surely you have someone or people around you who care about your wellbeing and who are willing to listen to you vent. Even when things start to feel slightly uncomfortable, reach out to a friend or family member. Make sure it is someone you trust. Repeat after us, you do not have to wait for things to come crashing down before you reach out to a friend.
5. Exercise. Keep that body moving! Believe it or not, exercising releases all of the feel good hormones. Those hormones make you feel good while triggering a positive feeling in the body. Doing something as simple as walking for 30 minutes a day can instantly put you in a better mood. Get creative, you do not have to work out in the gym, get outside with the trees and take in the fresh air. It’s good for you!
6. Stay social. Hang out with friends and co-workers. During burnout, people often isolate themselves and deal with the issues by themselves. This may be the worst thing you can do. Human beings are social creatures, we naturally want to feel connected to people. Simply hanging out with friends can keep your mood up.
7. Get creative. If you always find yourself going to school, working and going home, switch up your routine. You can hang out with friends like we mentioned earlier, or you can take yourself on a date. Go for a bike ride, take a candle making class, you can even visit your nearest crafts store and pretend to be Picasso for the evening. The point is, monotony can lead you down a path of burnout. So, switching up your routine makes you a little less likely to feel those feelings.
8. Be nice to yourself. Some of us make one mistake and instantly count ourselves out. We’re human, we’re going to make mistakes. The good thing is, you recognize that you made a mistake. The next thing you can do is find a way to correct it. Beating yourself up does not have to be a part of the plan.
9. Sleep, sleep, sleep. A nap does the body good, doesn’t it? Lack of sleep can definitely put your emotions in a spiral. You cannot function at your best when your body hasn’t been well rested. We know, you probably feel like, you just need to do one more thing. Do yourself a favor and get some sleep. Even if it is just for an hour, rest up.
10. Speak positive words to yourself. We love affirmations over here. They literally help you to rewire your brain to think more positively. Check out our post on 55 positivity affirmations that actually work and 53 life changing affirmations. If you are consistent in speaking life into yourself vs belittling yourself for the mistakes you’ve made, you will see a dramatic difference in your life. Be nice to yourself, like we said earlier and say good things to yourself. You have no idea the internal damage you are doing to yourself when you talk to yourself with harsh words. Speak life into yourself and you will see a change.
11. Stop depriving yourself. Are you the type of person that will deprive yourself of things you want because you don’t feel like you deserve it? If you want that purse, those jeans, those boxing gloves, whatever it is, buy it for yourself! You work so hard; you should benefit from the fruits of your labor. Stop thinking like that, treat yourself to something nice. There is nothing worse than working super hard day in and day out and not feeling like you’re getting anything in return.
12. Take a break. From everything. Turn off your phone and relax. How do you expect to be any good to anyone else when you don’t even treat yourself well? If you have obligations, try to fulfill them as early as possible and then let people know that they will not be able to reach you after or between certain hours. If you have no idea what to do, here are some things that you can do during that time: take a bath, meditate, light a candle and read your favorite book, stretch, try out a new recipe and doing absolutely nothing is also an option.