I’m halfway through my second-last academic semester of university. As a social work student, I know that it is essential to avoid burnout by devoting time to myself. This task sometimes seems impossible with looming deadlines, a long reading list, and more. Self-care comes in many forms, and this list is just a few of the ways I implement a routine to take care of myself.
What exactly is burnout?
Burnout is essentially mental or physical collapse from becoming overworked. Burnout manifests itself in different ways. I’ve experienced physical sickness, mental exhaustion, and anxiety. By the end of a semester, for example, it manifests in me as a cold or tension headaches.
3 Ways to Avoid Burnout
1. Clear out
De-cluttering not only clears out your physical workspace, but it also clears out the mind. If you have a lot of items in your visual field, the brain works harder to ignore it all and focus on the task at hand. This can be tiring, and cause stress. I like to tidy up my desk daily or weekly, and arrange it so that only my calendar, laptop, planner, and a few notebooks are in my field of vision.
2. Practice positive affirmations/self-talk
Self-talk happens to everyone. We can use these conversations we often have in our headspace to our advantage every day. It can help us feel better, reduces anxiety, and improves confidence. One simple way to implement positive affirmations is by using words like “I can” and “I will”.
Sleep is so important but often undervalued. There are times when I skimp on sleep, though I fully recognize that I shouldn’t. Sleep helps us restore memories, recharge, and improves brain function. Maintaining a solid sleep routine is beneficial to all aspects of your health/wellness. Most health experts recommend 7-9 hours of sleep per night for adults.
How do you practice self-care?