Get enough sleep.
You get a lot of advice thrown at you when you start to have depressed-like attitudes. I think it’s safe to say that we’ve all been there.
Let me be clear: “depressed-like” does not mean clinically depressed, nor does it mean suicidal.
Sometimes the world gets to be too much. You take too many hard classes in a semester, or you take on an extra job in order to pay your rent.
Maybe it’s the fourth week of school, and you just feel plain burnt out.
I’m here to tell you that I feel that.
I could type out everything that I have on my plate right now, but I’ll spare you the extra reading time.
Basically, I’m the type of person that takes on too many tasks and breaks down when (surprise!) it’s more than I can handle.
The most frustrating part is seeing students who seem to do everything and handle it with ease. They can maintain their perfect 4.0 GPAs and still walk around smiling all day.
They can be members of this club and that sorority and still look like they had time to wash their hair and put makeup on this morning.
Many times, though, I forget that they and I are not so different. Anyone can look put together on the outside. It’s the inside that holds self-doubt.
If you are truly perfect and happy all the time, please email me your secret.
I woke up Monday morning with a great attitude.
I had my homework done a few days in advance, something I’ve learned I had to do since I spend every Monday and Thursday night here in The Penn office putting this paper together.
I actually got eight hours of sleep, which hasn’t happened in at least a week.
I woke up with time to make coffee and enjoy breakfast before heading into a 10:10 a.m. class that was essentially just watching a movie.
I was doing pretty good.
Until I got a text asking where I was for the meeting I forgot I had scheduled (Whoops).
And I got an email regarding another meeting I have to attend for my internship that I somehow have to squeeze into my already ridiculously busy Wednesday night.
And my professor reminded me of the football game I have to cover for my sports journalism class.
You’d think Saturday would have a fairly laid-back schedule, and this would be easy to fill in. Wrong.
But then when I was checking social media between classes, I came across a Twitter thread by Portland mental health therapist Evan Dumas titled “How To Not Burn Out: Some tips.”
I swear this guy was speaking right to me.
I’m going to share some of my favorites with you in the hopes they can bring you some of the same comfort they brought me.
1.“Talk about what makes you feel stressed with a human who will listen with respect and understanding.”
Talking about my problems isn’t exactly my strong suit. I tend to feel like I’m complaining or annoying whatever poor person made the mistake of asking me what’s wrong.
Even the counseling center, which definitely is a good resource, didn’t work for me. I left after two sessions feeling like I was too screwed up for going on by myself but not screwed up enough to have someone evaluate me.
Luckily I have close group of family and friends that are only one phone call away and never mind my venting.
3. “Go slower.”
Especially with technology, we are in a fast-paced world.
Email and cell phones have us on-call 24/7.
I can’t write a paper on my laptop without being distracted every time I hear the ping of a new email.
But just because you get an email doesn’t mean you need to respond immediately.
You’re only human. You can only handle so much at once.
12. “Realize burnout is a systemic issue. Our work is breaking our hearts. Our ‘professionalism’ was first crafted by dudes with no emotional intelligence. Our jobs deny our humanity, and that causes burnout.”
I’m just an innocent college junior, so I’m going to hold out on the hope that the job I eventually get will be one that I thoroughly enjoy.
But the grunt work, the tasks you’re forced to do in the meantime to get to where you want to be, is in a word exhausting.
I wake up in the morning and can feel the heaviness in my eyes as they fight to stay open. I battle my emotions when I get knocked down a peg (or five) in my little daily failures.
All the clubs and internships you took on in order to one day stand out among the rest of the job applicants are not the most important thing in your life right now.
It can do a lot more harm than good if you don’t find time to step away.
If you start struggling in classes, let your professors know ASAP so they can help you before you completely fall off track.
Don’t wait until the exam to figure out you’re at the point of no return.
Extra-curriculars are important, but don’t let them take away from your studies or your “you time.” Put your focus and energy into one that really piques your interest.
Don’t let your work “deny your humanity.” Bring your emotion and personality into everything you do.
Fight the burnout. It’s eat or be eaten out there. Take care.
To read the full Twitter thread, click here https://twitter.com/eedumas/status/1041124028738502657.