By Amy Lafnear
As a student majoring in public relations at Wayne State University I know I am among many students in the program that juggle a number of responsibilities including a part-time job, an internship, full-time student status and involvement in an extracurricular organization. (Not to mention time for friends and family! Hah)
The numerous obligations we have can sometimes cause what is commonly referred to as burnout. Burnout is that feeling where all the energy, motivation and passion for what you are doing just gets channeled into deep desire to escape to a tropical beach somewhere.
In the past two years, I have had a few minor breakdowns (mostly around finals week). But I have learned a few tips I’d like to share:
My planner is my best friend. I have learned to write everything down – from assignment due dates, to meeting times, to reminders to take my garbage out. If writing it down doesn’t seem to be your thing, try tracking it on your phone. Many smartphones have the capabilities for calendars and apps specific for keeping track of tasks and appointments.
Also, I have a deep love for to-do-lists. There is something so empowering about being able to cross tasks off a daunting list of items. Like I said, these are my personal systems. Find what works for you and utilize it!
When you are beginning to feel overwhelmed from the number of texts, calls, emails, reminders, social media notifications..etc. coming through on your phone or computer, just turn off all unnecessary forms of technology. By removing forms of distractions you can focus on the tasks at hand and get them completed faster, thus hopefully reducing some stress. I mean, think about it, students 15 years ago functioned without being so connected to the world and so can you.
Most of the time when we are feeling close to our breaking points it is because it seems in the span of a week every paper, project and presentation is due. Remember during these intense periods to take periodic breaks doing something you enjoy. By social media stalking, finding a new recipe to try or reading a magazine, you’re allowing your mind to relax and regroup before you get back to the grind.
These are my suggestions for avoiding the burnout. What are yours?