Follow these tips to avoiding burnout

According to Merriam Webster’s dictionary definition 2a of the word, burnout is “exhaustion of physical or emotional strength or motivation usually as a result of prolonged stress or frustration.” Others names for it are exhaustion, weariness, and for those of us graduating it is best known as senioritis. We have all been feeling it; even the best students are already starting to slip, and there’s no wondering why. A global pandemic, societal and familial pressure, all on top of already crumbling mental health. Our day to day caseload is seven classes, which equals up to eight hours of busywork on average. Then our jobs and clubs take up hours of valuable time after school, and even more we are then expected to use whatever time we have left after work and such to do homework, spending more time on putting our noses to the grindstone. 

In the end, the average high school student puts in upwards of 50 hours a week on just work and school that’s not including study time or clubs. If we add in clubs and studying, that can come up to almost 60 hours a week. For reference there are only 168 hours in a week, meaning that on average the majority of a student’s time is spent exploiting our minds. With only 108 hours left in the week and most of those being used for sleeping, students have no free time and this causes burnout, but if you’re reading this you probably already knew that; what you’re looking for, however, is how to beat it, so here are some tried and true methods of beating out burnout. 

Admit you’re burnt out. The easiest way to get out of burnout or more correctly to start getting out of it is to admit you’re taking on too much. It’s easy to brush off burnout as laziness or just being tired, but it’s something that can really hurt you and your productivity, so if you start to notice the signs of burnout in you or a friend, don’t sweep it under the rug. Acknowledge the problem or it will get worse. 

Make time for a break. Do your homework during class, put off unnecessary projects or things that don’t require immediate attention and do anything you can to lighten your load outside of school. You’re not letting others down by doing what you need to do. 

Don’t take on new responsibilities because you feel a duty to others. Seriously, it sounds obvious, but think about it. How many times have you done too much for a group project in case others didn’t do enough? How often have you worked harder than your coworkers to make sure you closed on time? If you said anything other than “I dunno, maybe like twice” you need to stop doing that. You’re burning yourself out. 

Use your free time to be free. Stop using your weekends to get ahead on homework and to take extra shifts at work. The weekend should be used to reset so that you stay at 100. Use them to sleep in, bake, binge your favorite shows, play Animal Crossing, whatever you like. It is your relaxation time, not your catchup time. That’s what study halls and power hour are for. 

Talk to someone. Yeah, burnout is mainly a mental health thing, so the best way to get out of it is to see someone. If you can’t afford a professional or don’t have the time for a physical appointment, there are free online resources and school counselors. Remember not all hotlines are for suicide. Try TheRecoveryVillage depression hotline numbers or The crisis text line if you are interested. 

These are not the best ways for everyone and they might not work for everyone either, but they are some suggestions and I hope they help.

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