Burnout may seem like a common buzzword now, however, it’s something that most people experience at some point in their lives. Currently, it seems to be very common among college students and students transitioning after remote learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the World Health Organization, burnout is considered to be an “occupational phenomenon”. Burnout is described, by most professionals, to be a period of time where people feel complete exhaustion and lack of motivation for their work and responsibilities, which derive from continual stress. Stress can affect multiple aspects of our lives and negatively impact our overall health. Because it’s currently the middle of the semester, it’s understandable that many college students may be experiencing burnout at this time, especially for those who are full-time students working part or full-time jobs, partaking in internships or involved with extracurricular activities.
If you feel like you may be experiencing burnout, here are some helpful tips to get through the stress.
Take Care of Yourself
This tip seems relatively simple, but it’s easy to get lost in being busy.
When feeling stressed and burned out, it’s imperative to maintain a routine. This can include making sure we get enough sleep and rest, as well as eating healthy, well-balanced meals, multiple times a day.
In addition to a routine, it can help to have a clean space. Messy, unorganized spaces can negatively impact our mental health, making us feel worse. Taking the time to tidy up our rooms, or the places we spend a lot of time in, can help significantly.
Participating in relaxing activities and hobbies allows us to take a break and recharge. Whether it be going out for a walk, exercising, reading a book, doing something creative, hanging out with friends or watching a movie, it’s a good idea to put time aside to do the things we actually enjoy.
Speak to a Professional
There is no shame in seeking professional mental health resources. They can be extremely helpful in moving us forward when we feel stuck.
The Center for Counseling and Psychological Health (CCPH) has a variety of mental health resources and counseling, ranging from individual therapy sessions as well as group sessions. They also have crisis services, which can be accessed through the 24-hour hotline: (413) 545-0800.
“Let’s Talk”, a space dedicated to speaking about things that may be bothering you, is offered virtually Monday through Friday. To sign up, you can use the patient portal or make a call to CCPH.
There are also group workshops that can help to build skills to maintain good mental health. These vary and can be found on the CCPH website.
Individual therapy is offered through CCPH as well. The first appointment helps to gauge what’s bothering you and the resources you may need.
Clinical and Support Options (CSO), a group of behavioral health and substance abuse services with outpatient locations in the state. They encourage walk-in appointments at all locations. The closest walk-in center to campus would be the Northampton location. Call them at: (413) 582-0471
There are available resources outside of the UMass and Five College community. The following links, including Psychology Today and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHSA), can help you find mental health resources near you.
If you are worried that you will fall too far behind in work and tasks, there are ways to continue with your responsibilities in a more productive way.
The Pomodoro Technique focuses on time management tips that help to combat procrastination.
The first step is to decide what task to work on.
Next, set a 25-minute timer in which you focus on getting work done. After 25 minutes, take a five-minute break.
Repeat this process four times, and after the fourth timer goes off, you take a longer break from 15-30 minutes.
To stay focused, it may be helpful to work with a group of people. Not just friends, but people who are working productively, as this may encourage you to do the same.
Visiting your professor’s office hours and speaking with teacher assistants can help to alleviate what you may be struggling with. Professors and TA’s can assist with creating a plan on accomplishing assignments and helping with deadlines. It’s also a good idea to keep in contact with professors in case of trouble, as they are more likely to help you if you express your concerns, rather than just falling behind.
To feel positive and refreshed, it is necessary that we make time to take care of our mental and physical health. Taking a break is nothing to feel ashamed about.
Email Aliana at [email protected]