Tell me if this sounds familiar to you. You’re sitting at your desk or in your room looking at all the tasks you have to complete by the end of the week. You become angry, flooded with stress, it’s another week of...this. Again. You wonder when this will all end, when the workload will ease up, when you can start feeling accomplished for what you’ve done. Congratulations, you’re burned out or in medical terms you are in a chronic state of stress.
So, how did you end up this way? You probably can’t remember when this heavy, pessimistic feeling took over your life. You’ve stopped calling your friends, you joke to your mom about getting “only 2 hours of sleep last night,” you use coffee as a meal replacement, and you can’t remember the last time you smiled. This all happens over the course of a few weeks, sometimes months depending on how stressed we are. It happens because as college students we’re balancing 15 hours a week of classes, jobs, extracurriculars, all while trying to keep ourselves fed, hydrated, and sane.
It’s okay. Burnout is manageable. Of course while therapy might be the first option you think of, it could become another stressor that you have to make time for; not to mention therapy might not always be accessible for everyone.
You could try this method that makes you take inventory of the stressful tasks in your life. Literally, take inventory. Make a list of everything in your life that causes you to feel this sense of burnout, whatever comes to mind. After, go down the list and decide how you can do one thing during your day or week to reduce this stress. As you begin implementing your stress relievers into your week you will start to notice what tasks are actually a priority and which ones are self assigned to be more stressful than they actually are. Burnout is incredibly real. It can turn glimmering ideas into dust. It can turn you into a disillusioned shell of the person you used to be. So before you put your education or your job first, just remember those things wouldn’t be a reality without you. Take care of yourself.