For many students, fall break is just around the corner and offers a few days of relaxation and recuperation before tackling the second half of the fall semester. However, the days and weeks leading up to fall break can feel excruciatingly long and many students may experience what is known as "burnout."
Although burnout is more commonly used in the workplace to refer to those who find that their current career no longer resonates with them, experts say that students can also experience burnout, albeit on a smaller and less dramatic scale. In students, burnout can be associated with feelings of lethargy and demotivation or the feeling that doing work is meaningless.
With that in mind, here are three ways you can avoid burnout and survive until fall break:
1. Change up your routine:
A daily routine that has become so predictable that you could do it in your sleep is a surefire way to succumb to burnout. When there's nothing new to look forward to in your day then the days start to blur together and feel empty.
Changing up your routine doesn't have to be dramatic or intimidating, it can be as simple as changing where you study or eat lunch everyday. If you don't have the time to commit to an extracurricular activity such as a club or intramural sports team, consider looking at your school's events calendar and attending an event every once in awhile. When you have new and different things to look forward to during the week it can take your mind off of the things that you have to do (but may not want to do) and ultimately it can make time fly by faster.
2. Find some time for exercise:
Although it can be difficult to start exercising (if you don't do it regularly) and although you can convince yourself of a million reasons why you don't have the time, the benefits of exercise may be just what you need to keep yourself from burning out. From reducing stress and releasing more endorphins to creating new brain cells, exercise has been shown to do wonders for the mind in addition to the body.
Getting more exercise into your day doesn't have to mean becoming a gym rat either. Making healthy decisions like taking the stairs instead of the elevator or choosing to walk to campus or class instead of driving or taking the college shuttle service can add exercise to your day where it wasn't before.
3. Think long-term:
The "what's the worst that could happen?" mentality is a trap that many students fall victim to while experiencing burnout. The fact of the matter is, the decisions you make while experiencing burnout can affect you for the rest of the semester and beyond.
Skipping class because of burnout might mean that you use up those allotted absences that you could really use later in the semester when you catch that flu that's been going around. Giving in to your lack of motivation to study for a test (that you subsequently do poor on) could make the difference between the grade you needed in a class and the grade you receive; no matter how much you try to make up for it later in the semester.
Although burnout can be a difficult thing to overcome, doing so through strategies like these can be rewarding and allow you to enjoy your fall break and the rest of your fall semester without any regrets.