What happens when your mind says go, but your body says no, no, NO?
As college students, we want to get the absolute most out of our time here. We join as many clubs as possible, try new things every week, meet new people everyday, and accept every opportunity that comes our way. Some of us even take on double and triple majors. But sometimes there comes a point when we take on too much.
Two internships, a part time job, a social life, and a full course load? Sure, it may sound manageable at first, but after so long of pushing our bodies to their limits, it’s okay to say enough is enough.
When It Happens to You
Before you get a chance to cut back on your obligations, however, your body might make that decision for you. This is called burnout. According to Psychology Today, burnout is a state of chronic stress. It’s more than just a freak out session, it’s a sign that your body is protesting against your over-achieving ways. Symptoms include, but are not limited to: chronic fatigue, insomnia, forgetfulness, impaired concentration, aches and pains, increased occurrence of illness, changes in appetite, anxiety, depression, pessimism, and apathy.
Burnout manifests itself differently in everyone. For me, it meant all of the above but I didn’t know I was nearing the edge until one day I overslept, through all eight of my alarms, and did not wake up until 6pm. I missed an entire day at my internship, putting my grade and my reputation in jeopardy. Halfway through the semester, I had reached an ultimate low.
But for me, it was a learning experience. It’s okay to cut back a little, which I did. It’s not a sign of weakness, in fact it’s a sign of maturity and strength. Pick yourself back up, take responsibility for your actions, and move forward with your head high. Knowing your limits will work in your favor in the long run, because you’ll be a healthier and happier version of yourself. Not only that, but the quality of your work will be so much better and you’ll be able to take those strides in all the right directions.
Stress is a common problem for students, but it doesn’t have to be yours. Here’s some tips from Psychology Today to help reduce stress and avoid burnout:
- Remember the Basics. Sleep, eat, drink, repeat—don’t forget it, and certainly don’t replace them for unhealthy alternatives. Energy drinks cannot replace sleep, and sweets cannot make up for a well-rounded plate.
- Relax. Don’t push the things that make you happy and peaceful out of your life in exchange for a busier schedule.
- Don’t Be Afraid to Say No. As long as you do it respectfully, it is
- Exercise. This will help strengthen your body, keep your insides working properly, and overall give you a foundation of success.
- Remove Negativity from your Life. This is a big one. If someone or something is stressing you out, either fix it or nix it.
And finally, only you know what helps your body. Light a candle, read a book, spend a day out with friends. Do whatever it takes to keep the balance, because burnout is real and it’s scary, but it is 100% avoidable. Good luck!
By Caleigh Gran