Overcoming Burnout: 3 Proven Strategies to Try

Find your spark again.

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Maybe it’s that time of the semester or maybe you’ve been feeling it all school year, but chances are that you’re feeling burned out right now. Whether it’s from college, your internship, your family or part-time job, your stress levels may be at an all time high.

If you’re feeling tired and overwhelmed in every way (emotionally, mentally, physically, etc), it’s time to take a break. While a break may feel impossible (especially as finals season approaches yet again), if you need one, take one.

Not sure where to start? Here are three strategies for overcoming burnout:

1. Do two things that directly benefit your physical needs.

Overcoming burnout: Strategies for fighting burnout include rest. Photo of a bed

To start things off easily, let’s just focus on your physical needs. Depending on your level of burnout, you may have shunted your physical needs aside in favor for more time to do more “important things.” However, seeing that you need to be physically ready and able before you can do anything, you’re just sabotaging yourself ultimately.

So, the first step to overcoming burnout is to go back to the basics with your needs: eating and sleeping.

Let’s be candid: the first thing to go when you’re burned out is sleep time, be it by pulling all-nighters or getting up way too early to get things done. Repeat after me: work can wait. Sleep cannot. Actually let yourself rest when you’re tired: even if you don’t end up sleeping, just taking some time to lay down and close your eyes without focusing on your stressors can ease your mind and body just a bit more.

Also, don’t forget to eat! Working through your lunchtime or just living off of snack bars and energy drinks is no way to live. Take the time to schedule at least two meals each day where your focus is solely on the food and your body’s needs. A well-fed body is an energetic body!

2. Now, meet a need that satisfies you both physically and emotionally.

Delving a little more into Instagram’s definition of self-care, take a moment to pamper yourself. While primping and pampering may seem like a waste of time, it’s also a good way to get in touch with what makes you feel better, as well as give you a concrete mini-solution. For instance, by taking a bath, you’re fulfilling a physical need (staying clean) and also an emotional need (validating and treating yourself softly/specially). 

While you may have a different way of doing this (face masks, massages, exercise), just take a moment to get in touch with yourself and take care of yourself in more than one way.

3. Soothe yourself both mentally and emotionally.

Now that you’ve met some physical needs, moving onto your mental and emotional needs is next on the list. Sometimes, burnout manifests itself in mental and emotional stagnancy or being overwhelmed on both fronts. Depending on the kind of stress you’re feeling on yourself, your solutions for overcoming burnout may look a bit different.

For instance, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, you should try taking a quiet moment to yourself. Whether its enjoying a hot drink by yourself or being guided through meditation by an app like Headspace, getting a moment where it’s just you and your space in the universe can be soothing if you feel like you’ve been bombarded with social responsibilities.

Likewise, if you feel like you’ve been isolated from your social life or like your mind hasn’t been challenged properly in quite some time, seek out times and places that you can fulfill those needs. A trivia night with friends may be in order, or spending time with your family may be all you need.

What do you think?

With burnout being so rampant with college students, you probably already have some ideas on how to combat it. Care to share those solutions? How do you recognize burnout? What are some things plaguing your day-to-day life, and how can CF help? Let us know in the comments!

1 thought on “Overcoming Burnout: 3 Proven Strategies to Try”

  1. If only this had been around when I started to burn out in January. Well, I’ll be prepared for my upcoming semester if it starts happening again!


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