By: Sara Buxton 

Burn out: you feel a little dead inside but know you have to keep going. The only thing moving one foot in front of the other is the 7th coffee you just downed. You have a test tomorrow that you should probably study for, but if you go to bed right now you could get 3 hours and 26 minutes of sleep. Sound familiar?

It’s real and it sucks.

Burn out can be a slow building weight that just piles up or it can hit you like a train– both feel terrible. Maybe you just procrastinated a little too much this week or maybe your burn out is a little more chronic. In which case I’m sorry and I completely understand.

Oh, you think that little blurb at the top was made up? Hate to say it, but that’s me more often than not these days. And it’s a nightmare.

I am not known for my astounding time management skills. *Gasp* And that unfortunate lack of skills has resulted in a level of sleep deprivation I don’t think I’ll ever return from. On the bright side, I have somehow managed to gain a few things; like this scarily accurate internal clock that wakes me up at 5:30am every morning, no matter when I went to sleep. Meaning I can get on with only a few hours of sleep a night. Or how I can drink eight cups of coffee in a day and not die. (<< Honestly this impresses me the most.)

None of that is healthy. Burn out is not good for your wellbeing, and has a lot of long term consequences. For instance, I have terrible anxiety when my day is not planned out to a T– on top of crippling caffeine withdrawal symptoms. You’re not actually supposed to live like that.

It’s normal to take care of yourself: try it sometime.

School is supposed to challenge you, not send you into a state of panic. Extra-curriculars are supposed to be a break in your week; they’re not supposed to break you. Free time is supposed to be free, it shouldn’t be full of worry.

I still need to work on taking my own advice, but there are definitely some things you can do to help ease some of these feelings.

1) Go to bed a little earlier and wake up at a consistent time.
Consistency is key here. Routine will make everything run so much smoother.

2) Take some time on Sundays and plan out the upcoming week.
This is one of my biggest goals for this school year. Take a couple minutes and write down meetings, assignments and activities for the next week and just see how much less stressful it all becomes.

*Side-note – I love paper planners! I’m currently using the Day Designer for Blue Sky daily edition, but your phone works just as well if you’re techier than I am.*

3) Make time for yourself EVERY day.
It might only be a few minutes reading a good book before bed but it’s imperative to your sanity that you carve out some time just for you. I’m going to shoot for at least a few hours to do some things on my own during the school year. Alone time is what keeps me from jumping down the throats of everyone I know.

These are just a few simple things everyone can pick up to make their lives a little easier and more efficient. Burn out is real and it can ruin a whole day/week/semester. Don’t let stress take over, make it easier on yourself and don’t wait to ask for a little extra help when you need it.

What are some things you do when you feel a bout of burn out coming on?


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