Avoiding Burnout: Your School Survival Guide
Is your head spinning yet?
This time of year is hectic (to say the least), and your batteries are already running pretty low. Staying level-headed is nearly impossible, but it can be done. Taking care of yourself before the end of the school year is the only option for retaining your sanity during an insane burnout month. Summer is coming!
What is burnout?
There isn’t a textbook definition, but we all know it when we feel it. Symptoms can include, but are not limited to:
- Feeling tired, even when fully rested
- Increased frustration
- Ongoing anxiety or stress
- The urge to hide in bed with Netflix and junk food all day
What can you do about burnout?
We have all been there before and made it out alive. It can be done. It just takes diligence, focus, and a personal assistant. (Just kidding with that last one.) Here are some tips that will assist in making this unbearable home stretch of the school year slightly more manageable.
- Keep a regular schedule. Whether you prefer an iPhone or a day planner, just make sure to write down everything you have to do on a daily basis. This will help you stay focused on one task at a time, and crossing each of these off of your to-do list will help you feel that much closer to finished.
- Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize. Maybe you have five things to finish today, but is it life or death to finish all of them? Probably not. As long as you make time for the most important and time-sensitive tasks, you will be okay. You have all summer to finish those lower-priority projects. For example, you may have wanted to find a new outfit for one of those end-of-the-year banquets at school, but you also have a test coming up. Wear something you already own. You won’t regret extra studying, and your report card will thank you.
- Take breaks. Your mental and physical health can both suffer when you spread yourself too thin. Watch one of your favorite mindless reality shows. Have lunch with some friends in between study sessions and promise not to talk about anything school-related. Head outside for a long walk and soak up some sunlight. Vitamin D from the sun is a natural mood booster, and tearing yourself away from stress, even for just an hour, can provide the clarity you need to tackle responsibilities quickly and effectively. Can’t commit to an hour? At the very least, give yourself five minutes to check your phone, stretch, and get a snack for every hour of work you put in.
- Keep your goals in perspective. You may have decided that you NEED an A on that final paper, but one paper isn’t worth putting your well-being in jeopardy. As a matter of fact, if you feel you need an A on the final in order to save your grade, it may be too late to stress yourself out over one assignment or test. Learn from the experience and get yourself off to a better start next year. You can’t change the procrastination that already happened, but you can make sure you never put yourself in this position again. In the meantime, do the best you can without agonizing over the things you can’t control.
There’s no easy cure-all for burnout, aside from a beach vacation that almost no one has time for this month. Put on your game face and do the best you can, keeping in mind that rest and relaxation are mere weeks away. You’ve got this!