By Sydni Whitfield, Staff Writer
November 14, 2022
As the weather grows colder and the Christmas spirit is in the air, you may be facing what many college students frequently experience: burnout. Burnout is a state in which an individual can be experiencing emotional or physical exhaustion. The smallest assignment can seem daunting, social events may start to feel overwhelming and you may feel like you are working on overdrive.
If you think you are dealing with burnout, it is important to recognize it and turn to friends or family members who may be going through the same season. Acknowledge that it is normal and acceptable to be feeling overwhelmed and overworked. Even still, this is not a state of life you want to grow accustomed to as negative emotions can deteriorate your health. So what can you do to overcome burnout?
Quiet time is a pastime that many college students unintentionally neglect to include in their busy schedules. Having a designated hour in your schedule dedicated to relaxation rather than accomplishing another homework assignment or rushing to a social event can help you to reset and feel rejuvenated. Journaling your college experiences, emotions and thoughts is a great way to spend this hour. Music is another way to help you work through thoughts and emotions. By going on a drive or a walk and listening to music, you can empty your mind and reflect on your busy day.
Along with quiet time, you may not be getting enough sleep. If this is the case, set the goal of emphasizing your sleep schedule for the next week. Not getting enough sleep can cause us to feel exhausted and irritable. Starting the day off with a lack of sleep will make you feel overwhelmed before you even start the day.
Instead of overwhelming yourself by thinking through every assignment you have to do and how your homework is starting to add up, make a list and focus on one assignment at a time. By accomplishing one assignment, you will feel a sense of achievement that will motivate you to start another assignment.
Burnout can make it hard to remember what brings you joy, and it can be hard to focus on the exciting things in your day. While it can be easy to sit in these negative emotions, it is important to think of your long-term goals and to reflect on gratitude. If you have a hobby that you used to love, but now you just don’t feel as though you have the time to enjoy it, try to make time in your schedule. Hobbies are an important part of life and help us feel a sense of joy.
Finally burnout may be a sign that you are overcommitting. Learning to set boundaries and saying “no” is not only an important skill in your college years, but in life. There will always be social events you can attend, and it is necessary to listen to yourself and your needs, so you can best decide if that is an event you need to attend.
While burnout can seem like an emotional state that you will never escape, this feeling will not last forever. By making time in your day for things that bring you true joy, emphasizing time for rest, and accomplishing one assignment at a time, burnout will not be a feeling that will linger forever.