With only a few weeks left in the fall semester, burnout is back and better than ever.
As stress heats up, there are several ways students can cool down and get through the final sprint of the semester feeling both accomplished and healthy.
In order to understand what’s making you feel bogged down, you must first evaluate what’s causing these feelings.
Stress can show itself in many ways, and sometimes we don’t even fully realize all of the tension that piles on us until it comes crashing down.
With this, I advise you to take a moment to relax and trace your stress back to its source — a specific exam, time-management issues, toxic relationships. Once you can understand the conduit of your burnout, you can squash it more effectively.
Personally, whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed, I like to dump all of my thoughts into a journal. This way, I can work through my feelings and ideas in a judgment-free way and map out where my stress is originating.
Journaling can also be a great way to look back on how much improvement you’ve made in life. I often enjoy flipping through my old journal entries to motivate myself.
Reaching out to close family and friends can also drastically help with destressing and building a support network.
Sometimes just a quick phone call with my mom can immediately flip my mood and give me that extra push to get through a daunting task.
Water, food and sleep
The Three Musketeers.
It’s so easy to forget to fuel our bodies, especially with the hectic nature of college.
To be honest, throughout high school I was able to follow a wacky routine of staying up late and drinking maybe one bottle of water every day. But, when I got to college, that didn’t work well for me.
Meal prepping salads or basics such as PB&J sandwiches can be game changers for fueling your mind and body while saving time and money.
I also can’t emphasize snacks enough. Apples, carrots, pretzels and crackers are some of my favorites.
Carrying a water bottle throughout the day is also a great way to keep your body and brain healthy. Water bottle refill stations are scattered all around Penn State’s campus, and taking advantage of these is beneficial for both your health and the environment.
Lastly, having a regular sleep schedule can have a positive impact on your energy levels and emotions. If you’re having trouble falling asleep, try using blue light glasses, or limit your screen time before bed.
Crank the tunes
If you’re like me and spend about 70% of your day listening to music, playing some of your favorite tunes can serve as an escape from burnout.
I often begin and end my day with music — finding relaxation and serotonin in specific songs. For others, listening to music can also help with getting work done and focusing.
Explore new playlists on your favorite music platform, or create your own list of happy, energetic songs to boost your mood and motivation.
Exercise and explore
When listening to music, I often like to go on walks to relieve my mind of tension.
Taking in some fresh air from the surrounding world is a natural and beautiful way to destress as well as get a change of scenery.
Getting outside to explore and move your body through running, walking or biking is a great escape from work — and it can often help to inspire new ideas and gain new perspectives as well.
Treat yo’ self
Burnout is a draining feeling, so don’t forget to treat yourself as you push forward.
Personally, I like to create reward systems in my brain when I’m feeling unmotivated.
For example, I like to reward myself with a treat from Irving’s bagels if I get through a stressful assignment or score well on an exam. This system has never failed me.
Sometimes, simple rewards such as watching a favorite movie or going to dinner with friends is just what we need to get us through a stressful period of burnout.
If you can have the power to harness positivity amid the temptations of stress and negativity in life, you can dodge burnout.
Make it happen
Write down your goals, and you’ll accomplish them. I have always sworn by this.
Even if a task seems unreachable, write it down and reflect on it every day. If you can visualize your goals, you have a higher probability of achieving them.
Take a breather, self-reflect and trust the process. You’ve got this. The journey is worth it.
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