5 Tips to Overcome Burnout

Guest blog post written by Giuliana Jakob, a masters student pursuing her next kinesiology degree at Western University.

We often hear the saying of “feeling burnt out”, whether it be from our schooling, our jobs, or other stressful aspects of our lives. But what exactly is “burnout” and how can we cope with this feeling within our lives?

Feeling “burnt out” can be described as feeling overly stressed or overworked, without an opportunity to take a break from what’s causing such stress. In our day to day lives, stress tends to follow us wherever we go and can sometimes feel unavoidable. However, over time, this stress can accumulate to the point of extreme exhaustion, irritability and frustration.

It’s somewhat difficult to conceptualize the concept of “burnout” as it’s typically not something we can visibly see, but rather an overwhelming feeling that is felt by many, both young and old. Importantly, talking about burnout and ways to cope with it is a positive step in the right direction.

As a student, I often feel burnt out towards the end of the semester as final exams approach. I often have trouble pacing myself throughout the semester with the numerous midterms, assignments and projects on the go. However, with the finish line in sight, there are a few ways I’m able to cope with feeling burnt out while still staying committed to my schooling:

1. Take breaks

Taking breaks will look slightly different for everyone. Sometimes, watching one hour of your favourite TV show may help give you the rest you need to unwind and destress. Other times, taking a full weekend off to relax and step away from your daily stressors may be exactly what you need to keep yourself motivated. When I take study breaks, oftentimes I feel guilty, but I try to remind myself that it’s important to recharge so I can always put my best foot forward in whatever challenges I take on.

2. Socialize with friends

Socializing with friends can help take your mind off of feeling burnt out. Socialising with friends or colleagues may help you motivate one another to complete certains tasks or assignments that are causing the stress. As a student, I often grab a coffee with my peers and study at the library together. By taking the time to connect with your colleagues or peers, you can be there for one another during stressful times in each other's lives.

3. Prioritize sleep

Sleep is an important factor to consider when combating burnout. Adequate sleep helps you stay energised and healthy, which may prevent you from energy/caffeinated drinks. When we feel stress, our immune systems become weaker which can lead to other health problems. By making the time to get a good night’s rest, we can be more productive during the day and reduce our stress levels.

4. Exercise whenever possible

As a kinesiology graduate, I’ve learned a lot about how beneficial exercise is for our overall health and wellness. Even just 30 minutes of exercise each day is a great way to get your body moving & helps reduce your sedentary time. Some quick and easy forms of exercise include walking, riding your bike, and yoga. Once you find a type of exercise that is enjoyable, you can start implementing this into your daily routine to help combat stressors and burnout in your life.

5. Know that you’re not alone!

The biggest factor that helps me overcome a “burnout funk” is to know that many of my peers feel this way too. By taking the time to call or text loved ones, I feel better talking through these feelings with my friends who are going through a similar experience.

During final exam season, my friends and I lean on each other for support and help motivate each other to keep studying. Although feeling burnt out is unpleasant and frustrating, you can overcome these feelings with these coping mechanisms!


 

Giuliana Jakob is a new Kinesiology graduate from Western University. She is continuing her education at Western University pursuing a Master’s degree in an area of Kinesiology this coming fall. In her spare time, Giuliana enjoys cooking, baking & travelling!

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