Back-to-school is almost here! That means late night study sessions, job fairs, club meetings, and a whole lot of stress. So, before you overbook yourself and take on too many projects/classes, it's super important that you don't take on more you can handle or you'll be at risk of burning out.
So, what is being burnout?
David Ballard from the American Psychological Association describes it as "an extended period of time where someone experiences exhaustion and a lack of interest in things, resulting in a decline in their job performance." Here are a few signs you are more than just exhausted:
You can't think straightGiphy
You find it hard to concentrate and think straight. When I get too stressed, I usually can't concentrate on anything to save my life. I find myself looking at the wall for long periods of time or resort in taking a nap because I just can't get any work done. You may also start to make irrational decisions like trying to quit your job or buying random things you don't need. Solving problems and remembering things have also become more challenging.
Most people nap for 30-minutes to an hour. However, I am unlike most people. I take naps for 4 to 5 hours at a time and even after that much sleep I still feel incredibly exhausted. Exhaustion can be emotionally and mentally draining too. You get tired doing little things and seeing your loved ones is as equally draining.
Lack of motivation & productivityGiphy
When you have too many things you need to do and too many prior obligations you've already promised, it starts to become hard to do. You start to find yourself lacking the motivation to do anything. If getting up in the morning has become harder than usual or you finishing an email looks like a lot of work, there's a good chance you may be experiencing burnout.
You're alienating yourselfGiphy
Sometimes hanging out with your friends and family can be exhausting but when you start to see that you are less willing to hang out, you're probably burnt out. You begin to alienate yourself and others start to alienate you. It's not because they are the problem either.
This symptom is a huge warning sign that you should all be on the look out for not just for yourself, but for the people around you. In the early stages of burnout, you may see yourself starting to self-medicating to numb the pain you're experiencing. This can be in the form of not only drugs, alcohol, or sex but impulsive spending or overworking. Someone who is burnt out will turn to self-medicating rather than self-care so be aware!
If you find yourself experiencing any of these symptoms, don't be scared to ask for help. You can also take preventative steps to mitigate these symptoms by taking time to get your life organized, getting plenty of sleep, and take a break. You can always say no if you see yourself taking on too many responsibilities and even ask to take a break.