Are you finding it harder than before to find an ounce of care for your classes? Is going back to bed at night what you look forward to most throughout your day? Do you feel so overwhelmed that you allow school and work to take precedence over taking care of yourself? Were you depending on our now-cancelled fall break to rejuvenate your spirit enough to carry you through the rest of the semester?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, I will send a prayer up for you this midterm season.
Burnout is real and not something reserved for those working full-time, “real-world” adult jobs. Between class credits, club meetings, intramural games, part-time jobs and projects, burnout is common and very much prevalent within a college atmosphere.
Don’t discredit the idea that you may be burnt out just because you’re still a student. Even if you’re studying what you are truly passionate about, it doesn’t mean you are immune to the side effects of overworking yourself. Maybe you’re not studying something you feel called to do, and that is making everything even more unbearable.
If you find yourself at this point, you’re not alone. When we see our peers breaking their backs to meet deadlines and fill their schedules to the brim, it’s difficult not to feel like we should be doing the same thing. Like we’re not doing enough. Like everyone else is somehow going to leave you behind.
Give. Yourself. A. Break.
It’s not too late into the semester to change the way you are feeling. You don’t need to wait until next year to make things different and take better care of yourself. Take a step back and check your priorities.
- Go to bed.
If everything in your body is telling you to sleep…go to sleep. You will thank yourself in the morning when you don’t completely dread waking up and actually have the energy to understand what the chapter you’re studying is talking about. Prioritizing sleep will save you time during the day when you would otherwise be struggling to focus in the first place.
- Learn to say no.
If you’re questioning whether or not you can fit another responsibility into your schedule, you probably shouldn’t be trying to. By overloading yourself even more, the quality of your other work may suffer, leading to more stress if you’re not producing the standard you uphold for yourself. Say no. Use that time to take care of yourself.
- Fuel your body at the start of the morning.
I started eating breakfast every morning (even if I’m not super hungry) for the first time since probably middle school, and I’m never turning back. This habit has given me more sustainable energy through nearly every morning class this semester than any cup of coffee. It doesn’t need to be big, but it should be something.
- Use your rest day to actually rest.
I only started actually practicing the Sabbath this summer, and it changed my life. Reflect on what the day really means to you. Take the day as a chance to exist as a human being unattached from any academic or work responsibility, and allow yourself the freedom to recognize the bigger picture and tap into the ultimate journey we are all on. Find peace in the fact that we are designed to have a day off.