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Overcoming Your Burnout 101

Updated: Sep 24, 2022

College students notoriously get burnt out. Sometimes it is one test too many, one party too many, or life in general. There comes a point for every freshman where they are laying in bed, too exhausted to move, never mind do their homework – I am waiting for my difficult day to hit me like a ton of bricks. It is okay and normal to have to take a mental health day to recuperate from the stressful day to day of being an overachiever at Berry College. The other day the seasons magically changed and it is officially fall! With this comes warm sweaters and falling leaves, as well as seasonal depression. Sometimes the colder weather makes it harder for students to fight off fatigue. This blog addresses ways to get out of that funk, bit by bit, until you feel good enough to go back to classes and work. Hitting the ground running is not always a smart idea, so what are some ways to overcome feeling burnt out in easy and healthy ways?

1) Watch a comforting movie/tv show!

My favorites include Little Women (the 2019 version), Gilmore Girls, Dead Poets Society, and Legally Blonde. Watching something you know forward and backwards is proven to calm anxiety, because, well, you know exactly what is coming. A rule for this is that you must be curled up in bed with a fuzzy blanket for maximum comfort. Falling asleep to your comfort show is never a bad idea.

2) Turn on a wax warmer!

Candles may not be allowed in dorms but a wax warmer from Walmart will do the trick. Put in some sugar cookie or cinnamon apple scented wax and your room will be transformed into a rejuvenated space that could get the most drained student out of bed and feeling better.

3) Journal it out!

One of the best ways that I get my stress out is by writing it all down. It may seem like nothing, but it really can help. Just pick up a pen and write down anything that pops into your head, no filter or perfectionism needed!

4) Drink some water and eat a snack!

I know, I know – duh. But when your mental state is lacking, sometimes very mundane tasks like eating and drinking can feel like they require too much energy. Some water and a bite to eat can take away a throbbing headache and make you feel well enough to venture outside of your room. You can even go out and get a coffee!

5) Take a hot shower!

Sometimes all you need to clear your head can be a long, hot shower. Be sure to bring some bubbly soap and a fuzzy bathrobe!

6) Go for a walk around campus!

Berry is one of the prettiest campuses in the world for a reason! You do not have to go all the way to mountain campus if you do not feel like you have enough energy, but even walking down the sidewalk outside your dorm can positively impact your mental state. Breathe in some fresh air while sipping on your favorite drink from Java City! It can make a substantial difference when feeling overwhelmed.

7) Call someone you love and just vent!

Sometimes it feels impossible to let someone else in when you are feeling stressed and you might tend to bottle it all up. For me, I call my mom and let it all out, but you may want to call a buddy or sibling. No matter who it is, you are never being a burden by letting someone know how you are feeling. It will always help you feel less alone in your struggles.

8) Go to the Cage Center!

Physical exercise is a terrific way to relieve stress! There are many options at the Cage, like joining a yoga class, Zumba, running on the treadmill, or weightlifting. The Cage may seem overwhelming, but it is a judgement free zone, and if the main room seems too scary, a chill yoga class could be the way to go.

9) Take your time when it comes to socializing!

You do not have to say yes, every time that your friends ask you to hang out. If your homework is piling up, maybe Cook Out can wait until another night. It can feel very draining to constantly put yourself in social situations, especially when you are already worried about school. Sometimes alone time helps you more overall, but never feel like you must shut people out. Stay in contact with your buddies and hang out with them again when you are feeling more refreshed. Unless you feel rejuvenated after spending time in social situations, then ignore this tip all together! Know yourself and what works best for your personality.

10) Return to your favorite hobby!

You may feel better after reading a book, going for a run, or drumming your heart out. Whether it is playing an instrument or painting, reverting to an old hobby that brings you joy is a wonderful way to come out of seasonal depression. Do what you love, even if you are bad at it, and it will calm your nerves and comfort you possibly more than a nap would. Small acts of productivity can push you towards bigger ones.

In conclusion, you should never feel like a failure for needing to take a mental health day. In fact, many Berry professors encourage you to. When feeling burnt out or stressed, revert to this list, and pick a couple uncomplicated ways to get you out of your funk and into a healthier and more positive mindset. Any attempt is a good attempt, no matter how small.

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