Burnout Culture: Why You Need More Than A Face Mask For Self-Care
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Burnout Culture: Why You Need More Than A Face Mask For Self-Care

We were taught to work hard our entire lives, but at what cost?
Burnout Culture: Why You Need More Than A Face Mask For Self-Care

Maybe it all started when you were half asleep at your kitchen table, insisting to your parents that this pre-algebra test was going to kill you. Your parents would try and calm you down, insisting that if you just study hard, good things will come.

Maybe it didn't set in until later, in high school, when the constant reminder that college and your entire future would be sniffing around your report cards for any possible reason not to accept you. Maybe that's when you decided that eight hours of sleep was a little greedy.

For myself, the culture of working until your body was physically burnt out started in middle school. I would study too much and throw myself into projects and homework because, for a while, it worked for me. Until it didn't anymore.

The first time I pulled an all-nighter I was a senior in high school. I was studying for an exam that I can't even remember the subject of now, but I remember how satisfied I felt knowing that I had nothing left to give this test because I put my health and well-being second.

And that thought carried on with me throughout college, as it did with many of my peers. Caffeine was more valuable than water when finals week rolled around, and all of my friends' attempts at keeping their GPAs high just left them with dark under eyes and physically exhausted brains.

Burnout culture is a topic that people discuss, but it's so normalized that no one realizes how dangerous it really is. When the work is submitted and we're done for the day, our bodies forget how to relax. Our brains just turn the wheel again and begin to stress over the next item on our to-do list and then the next one until we're right back where we started. We have to schedule in times for ourselves to even breathe.

This era that we live in now where there's a constant need to be as productive as possible doesn't appear to be going away anytime soon. The stakes will only become higher as we get older, when our classes and part-time jobs turn into serious careers and a possible family.

But one of the most helpful things we can do for ourselves is to know when to take a step back and let ourselves breathe. As great as it is to do it all, the most important thing to know is that wedon'thaveto. It's impossible for a single person to do everything all the time and be able to do it all well. While we can't change the culture we live in, we can change how much pressure we put on ourselves to be these unstoppable machines that never quit moving.

Don't burnout this year. And don't just buy a face mask. Take a nap. Call your grandma. Paint a picture. Watch a movie.

Doing something that isn't productive every once in a while doesn't make you unproductive. Sometimes a little R&R is the perfect recharge we need in order to face all the many tasks we have to do.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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