Are you feeling that your life is falling apart or you feel like you are falling behind on life in general? Society likes to call this term burnout. It is completely normal to feel this way, and almost everyone has felt it at some point in their life. But how do we get past that burnout feeling? How do we get back onto the path of productivity? Keep reading for 5 ways to overcome stress and burnout and change your mindset for the rest of the semester!
1. Rediscover your 'why.'
One of the main reasons that students begin to feel exhausted in the middle of the semester is because they lose motivation. Maybe they're not doing so hot in their classes or have already failed an exam. These negative reinforcers make our initial motivation at the beginning of the semester fade away leaving us thinking, "What's the point?"
But here's the thing. You're only halfway through the semester, so you still have time to get that A in the class and finish strong. One tactic that I believe will help change your mindset is rediscovering your 'why'.
Your why is exactly how it sounds. Why are you taking these classes in the first place? Why do you want to get an A in this class? Why are you here? What is your end goal? Taking time to reflect on your initial motivation is crucial to understanding who you are as an individual so you can make that last step towards your goal.
For example, my why is that I want to graduate with a specific GPA, and in order to achieve that goal, I have to end this semester with all As. Having this goal in the back of my mind is the reason that I manage my time so I can excel in my assignments and classes. If you are working full time, you can also discover your why. Do you want to get promoted? Are you hoping to get a future job and this current job is the only outlet? Focusing on your end goal is a key way to change your mindset so you can be more motivated and continue the momentum that you had at the beginning of the semester.
2. Take some time for yourself.
If you are one that has 15 million things going on and you feel like you can't take a break, this is most likely leading to physical and mental burnout. Not only are you physically exhausted from working all day, but you may also be mentally exhausted from having to do homework or even keep a customer service attitude all day. I find whenever I get home from work, I am beyond tired because I feel like I have to put on a smile at work and can't take it off until I'm home. It can be super draining when you feel like you don't have any time for yourself.
So with that being said, take some time to yourself. Whether that is going to the beach to watch the sunset, going to the pool to relax, or even soaking in a bath, you've earned it. Don't be afraid to say no to your coworker that is asking you to take their shift for the 12th time just so you can have a day off. Put yourself first and don't feel selfish from it!
3. Reevaluate your relationships
Sometimes, external stressors in your life can be the cause of your burnout. Toxic relationships and friends could be causing you much more anxiety than you realize. I strongly encourage you to look at your friendships and relationships and see if you are putting in more effort than you are receiving. If this is the case, ask yourself is this the type of friendship that is adding value to my life. If not, then it may be best to not engage as much in that relationship. I'm not saying to cut that person out of your life completely, but it's okay to not talk to someone for a couple of weeks and then reach out to catch up.
If they are a person that truly cares about you, they should understand that you are a busy bee and need time to recharge. I go days without talking to my best friends and there isn't any tension because we understand that the other may be exhausted. If you have a friend that is getting angry because you didn't text them back, they should have the maturity to realize that sometimes you just need a day to yourself. It's nothing on them, you just need time to be alone and not talk to anyone. This goes back to the previous point of putting yourself first. Don't feel like you have to text someone back because they deserve an answer.
I promise you, they will understand that you are burnt out and will support you through it.
I wasn't too sure about putting this one in here, but I truly believe that being still and present in the moment is very impactful when it comes to recharging. Taking 5-10 minutes to just sit in silence and focus on your breathing is much more effective than you think. In this day in age, everything is so fast-paced and it seems that we can't keep up sometimes. Practicing mindfulness and meditation, especially in the morning or at night is awesome because it starts or ends our days on a positive note.
When is the last time you got to be still and observe everything that is happening around you?
I personally love waking up at the crack of dawn to watch the sunrise. Sunsets are beautiful, but sunrises are so different because everything is quiet. The whole earth is slowly waking up and something about it makes it so much more peaceful. If you're not a morning person, I recommend sitting in a quiet place in your room, lighting a candle, and focusing on the flame. Little things like a candle's flame are something that we often pass by, but have you ever truly focused on the colors or the way it moves?
Practicing meditation and stillness will help us live in the present moment while also teaching us to not take things for granted.
5. Let your emotions out
I'm the type of person that bottles up all of their stress, anxiety, anger, and sadness and then releases it all at once through a good crying session. If you're like this too, this can be a good way to release all of the tension and pressure that was in your head and help you clear your mind.
A few weeks ago, I was not in a good frame of mind and everything seemed to be a nuisance. After I got home from work, the power in my apartment complex went out. This felt like the tip of the iceberg because I was already so angry and I had an assignment due that night as well. I tried to keep my anger in, but I found myself not even 30 minutes later hysterically crying and screaming in my car in the middle of a Target parking lot. I eventually found a place to do my homework and got it done, but the point is, is that the next morning, I woke up and felt this weight lifted off my shoulders. This week has been much better and I swear it's because I let all of that stress and anxiety go.
So, find something that helps you release your stress and anger. Whether that's doing intense cardio, cleaning, or even hysterically crying, letting go of your internal anger and stress may be another potential way for you to alleviate some of your mid-semester burnout.
I hope these 5 tips help! Remember that burnout is a part of everyday life. It is completely normal to feel like you aren't keeping up with life or that you're not enough. If someone hasn't told you recently, you are capable of everything and I am proud of you! Now let's kill the rest of the semester!
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