Burnout - What Is It and How to Overcome It

By: Alana James

I always have this urge to do something. Whether it be learning a new skill, looking for internships, or practicing writing, I find myself adding more and more onto my already exhausting list of things to do.

This leaves me over-scheduled, unorganized, and stressed to the point of complete exhaustion. If you are having similar problems handling your workload, here are a few reminders and tips for learning to work hard while avoiding burn out. 

What is Burnout?

Emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion due to prolonged and heavy amounts of stress. Signs of burnout are constant exhaustion, having a hard time paying attention, frustration, and worsening work performance. 

Overcoming It

Something that has been really helpful for me is realizing that it’s alright to not be busy all the time. Many times students (or working individuals) feel they need to be working constantly in order to assure they are doing a good job. However, working to the point of burn out will only lead to a decline in the quality of your work. So don’t fill all of your weekends and take that extra nap if you need it. The main thing is to treat your body and mind well. 

Ways to Keep Yourself Healthy

A Healthy Diet

If you’re anything like me, you’re a stress eater. But chomping down on those peppermint chocolate Girl Scout cookies isn’t gonna help anyone in the long run...except the Girl Scouts. Eating a lot of sugar will lead to fatigue after the momentary sugar-high — the same goes with caffeine. Be aware of what you’re putting into your body. Constant tiredness will lead to complications when doing work. If you have to pull an all-nighter or work the extra shift, try getting something like a yummy and healthy smoothie before you go!

Learn to Confront Yourself

“You are your own worst enemy” is more than a saying on inspirational Instagram accounts. Learning to control yourself and recognize when you are jeopardizing your own health is the most important thing. Teach yourself to say “no” every now and then to avoid overworking yourself — your health comes first. It’s okay to want to be great and do a good job, but scheduling is everything and that includes penciling in time to yourself. Read a book, make some hot chocolate, light a candle, and put on lo-fi. You’re doing a great job. Don’t second guess yourself. 

It’s not all fun and games

Scheduling also means recognizing when you could be doing work instead of binge-watching the newest season of your favorite show. In order to have a truly organized time-table, you have to be aware of when it’s time to get down to business. This can help spread out your work, so that you aren’t stuck staying up all night if you don’t have to be. It’ll be worth it in the end, trust me. 

I hope these tips were helpful! I’m wishing everyone a happy and healthy new school year.