How to Stay Strong (and Avoid Burnout)
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Health and Wellness

How to Stay Strong (and Avoid Burnout)

From someone who's starting to feel the burn

How to Stay Strong (and Avoid Burnout)
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At the beginning of the year, as a freshman entering a prestigious dance conservatory, I was completely ready to work, prepared to do long hours of dancing in the day and studying at night.

As the year has gone on, though, the work has gotten more challenging, and my body has become tired, and I now have begun to understand why teachers and other students warned us against burning out. But what is it? Burnout is defined as a mental, or physical, collapse due to stress or overwork.

This is common among artists due to the long, seemingly fruitless, hours put into work that may or may-not be worth the effort, however, other students suffer from this as well. Hopefully after reading this, you will be able to recognize the symptoms, and self-care for yourself in order to rectify the imbalance in your life.

If you’re feeling extremely stressed, or continuously anxious, you could be on your way to burning out. It’s normal to feel stress in your life occasionally, especially when tests, essays, or even big events are happening.

What isn’t normal is when you feel stress on a daily basis for things that do not need to have stress, such as buying food, or even just showing up to class. In order to combat this symptom, it is a great idea to meditate, drink tea, or take calming walks. It will give you a chance to think peacefully and to breathe.

Another indication of burnout is becoming disinterested in your specialization, or getting distracted by unimportant things. If you’ve stopped showing up to your classes, cannot hold a conversation for very long, or haven’t been able to sit down and study for your favorite class, that is a problem. Taking a few days to sit by yourself and rest may be a good way to fend off full-on burnout before it is too late.

Sleeping too much, or not sleeping enough, can be a sign of burnout as well. If you find yourself tossing and turning all night, unable to rest, or alternatively, having trouble getting up in the mornings, you should put measures in place to regulate your sleep schedule.

One idea is to exercise at night in order to tire yourself out, go to bed earlier to ease waking up. Again, tea is great for stress relief and so is yoga! Another strategy can be organizing your thoughts in an agenda or planner before going to bed so that you don’t lay awake thinking about what you need to do or to ensure that you don’t wake up in the morning in a befuddled state.

Finally, if you feel a diminished sense of accomplishment, or feel as though your work is worthless, that is definitely a wake-up call to a burnout. If you are doing your best work, then it is definitely worth doing.

All you need to do is think about how to be your best self, then execute what you think you need to be doing. Turning to vices, such as drugs, alcohol, or caffeine, shouldn’t be what gets you through the day. Every time that you are alive and enjoying your life is worth the effort.

Burning out can be scary, but I hope to avoid it by mentally and physically taking care of my body. I hope you are able to do the same.

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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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