It is that time of the year again, when you are only one task away from your well-deserved summer break. Handing in your final paper, studying for your final exam, finalizing your bachelor thesis, it all sounded so straightforward, yet sometimes we just can’t find that last bit of energy to get excited about crossing the finish line. Instead, you feel exhausted, both physically and mentally. You also feel way too tired of the same activity repeating itself: opening your laptop, and working on your assignment until the daylight passes. Your productivity is decreasing, and so is your motivation to work. Did you just nod yes at my short description and feel relatable? If so, chances are you have been experiencing a burnout. Burning out is actually not that similar to regular stress, in case you are wondering. It is the chain of never-ending stress, filling your mind with a sense of overwhelming helplessness, and leaving you with the constant feeling that your work is undervalued. A burnout doesn’t just visit you out of the blue, it was built up and suppressed.
Fortunately, this seemingly endless demotivation is not entirely endless. If you are currently feeling down, I have two quick reminders for you that might give you a starting point on how to bounce back from the burnout. It helped me out during my worst time and hopefully, it can help you too.
- Take care of your health, physically: First things first, you do need a healthy body before you are able to have a healthy mind for productivity. Trust me, I learned that the hard way. Therefore, I know that staying up late and skipping a couple of gym sessions between your tight schedule might seem like the logical thing to do, but do not fall for that. Get that 8-hour-quality sleep, spend 30 minutes from time to time exercising, and build yourself a healthy diet. It might sound small, but its impact is magnificent. Only by bringing yourself back to the orbit can you have the energy to break the cycle devoid of motivation.
- Re-evaluate the order of your priorities: University life can be overwhelming at some point as we are all thriving for a balanced life between schoolwork, extracurriculars, social life, part-time jobs, internships,… and the most important yet easily neglected aspect: your mental health. Once again, tempting as it might appear with the idea of being able to achieve them all, just go easy on yourself. Maybe it is time to say “no” to the weekly party for a while, or maybe another all-nighter might not be that necessary just to get a small improvement in your grade. Just take a moment to reflect on your most desired goal, and gain the courage to remove some extras, for now, because you can always go back to such aspects and earn your balanced life in the long run.
One final remark, to whoever is at their down phase, I want to give you the reassurance that you got this! Know your own pace to know when it’s time to take a break from being a busy bee and give yourself some time to recover because I know you will always come back stronger. Good luck, you are almost there!
Author: Rachel Nguyen
Editor: Gwendolyne Cheung
Illustrator: Lisa van der Loos