Life has been moving pretty fast lately, and it seems that every week of school is just another routine of submitting assignments by Sunday at 11:59 pm. The online school environment has been draining because of the amount of work given and the lack of social interaction with peers. Personally, I have felt drained since last August. I reached a point in my life where I became extremely unmotivated, sad for no reason, and unconcerned about school. I then realized that I took on too many responsibilities, and didn’t realize that they, along with school, were draining me. I knew there had to be a word to describe this feeling and came upon the phrase “burnout."
According to the American Psychological Association, burnout is defined as “physical,
emotional, or mental exhaustion accompanied by decreased motivation, lowered performance, and a negative attitude towards oneself and others.” The APA also
states that burnout “... results from performing at a high level until stress and tension, especially from extreme and prolonged physical or mental exertion or an overburdening workload, take their toll.” Sometimes school or work can get the best of us, and we may feel overwhelmed to the point where we can't focus on getting things done. I was experiencing this- I felt like I was a kid and my mother had given me a list of chores that I didn’t want to start.
One thing I discovered that helped me escape the burnout feeling was giving myself a break and not constantly striving for perfection, especially when I had a full plate. I am a full time student and had 2 part time jobs last semester. I admit that I was a perfectionist when it came to my school work, because I really cared about my GPA. However, this perfectionist attitude contributed to my burnout and made things worse.
In fact, when I wasn’t doing school work, my mind drifted off into thoughts about tasks I needed to complete. To help improve my mental health, I started to give myself time intervals in which I would do something that gave my mind a break. For example, I watched Netflix, listened to music, and watched funny youtube videos. These activities helped refresh my mind and were a welcome break.
Along with such activities, I also kept reminding myself that not everything was going to be perfect, and that as long as I was doing the best I could with school and work, I would be fine. I think it is important that I share my experience because I know that almost everyone experiences burnout at some point in their in life. Burnout can be a horrible feeling, so it is important to remember to make time for wellness and to not be too hard on yourself- it will have a huge positive effect on your mental health.