5 Tips to Prevent Burnout (Lockdown Edition)
Let's get real... Studying for Uni during lockdown has got to be one of the most mentally tiring things I've ever done and I was homeschooled for 4 years! One thing I want to avoid promoting is the idea that productivity is about being perfect and that I am always on my game, because I'm not, in fact no one is. When you are more mindful of the content you consume, you'll realise that most of it, no matter what topic it is, can instil a false mindset within you. Be it beauty, workout/fitness or productivity content, they can all leave an imprint in your mind about how your life should look like. This is why this post is to let you know that you will not always be motivated to study, you'll have days where you won't finish your to-do lists or have to cram for an assignment and that's ok...
What I find most challenging right now is not knowing when to stop. During lockdown, there's not much I can do that takes me away from the stress of studying and I find myself missing going out or going to the gym, which was how I used to take a break from studying. On the one hand, I'm glad that I have much more time for my work now, but that doesn't mean I put less pressure on myself. Is this productivity mindset addicting? Yes. Is it healthy? Definitely not.
So I've come up with a few tips to work on during the Easter break in lockdown. These are only a few ideas you can adapt into your routine and hopefully it will keep me accountable as well. Let's get into it!
#1 Stop Making Impossible Goals
If there's one thing I want you to take from this post it's this, you don't have to follow the same routine as successful influencers or other students to get the grades you want. There are thousands of videos on YouTube on the perfect study routine or the ideal productivity system, in which students wake up at 5 am and grind all day long. While that may work for some people it doesn't work for everyone. I want to stress that the ideal routine is the one you adapt to your needs, so if that means studying till 11pm then that's awesome, but if goals like this drain you or you find it impossible then it's not for you. For example, I could never wake up at 5 am every day, so I try to wake up at 7 (often times its 8), but I can work up until 1 am.
What you need to do is find the ideal routine for you, study blogs and videos can give you inspiration but they shouldn't dictate your life. So don't beat yourself up when you can't follow them.
#2 Take time off
This seems like an obvious point but you'd be surprised how often you forget to take a break. It wasn't until everyone around me started getting worried about how little rest I was taking that I actually realised it. During lockdown it's hard to know when to stop and sorry to tell ya but overworking yourself isn't being productive because in the long run you are going to burn out.
For example, I take time off every Saturday, I wake up late, I don't study, I don't check my emails and if I want to binge watch Netflix the whole night, that's exactly what I'll do. Remember, that the 'productive grind' trend is what you see online, you don't actually know how people live their lives or how much they don't get done, you only see what they show you. Be nicer to yourself and breathe.
#3 Prioritise other activities
There are certain things that I prioritise in my day to day life, such as working out and reading my fictional books. I make sure that no matter how much studying I have to get through, I make time for the things that give me joy. Perhaps for you that's going for a walk, baking or sketching, whatever it is ensure that you prioritise it at least 2-3 times a week. A good way to do this is to schedule some free time or set a time limit to stop working.
#4 Indulge once in a while
Indulge in life, during the Easter break I am going to take some time to live without plans and to-do lists. Take time off from those things simply dictating your life and the worth of your day. Sometimes when we get too immersed into these productivity habits we tend to live mechanically, so have a day when you don't set an alarm or live by a list, let yourself live that day naturally.
#5 Don't push until your breaking point
This is critical and what I struggle with the most. I often work myself until I feel numb and I even forget to eat because I'm in that productivity zone. While that may work great for your to-do lists, in the long run, pushing yourself till 1 am everyday is going to harm your health, mentally and physically. Pushing yourself past your limits is a sure way to get burnout, you may think you're stealing time but it will catch up with you, so know when to stop (as in before your brain starts feeling numb).
So, these are my 5 tips to prevent burnout. Please let me know if you find any of these helpful and if you have your own tips leave them down in the comments below! I hope you enjoyed this post, thank you for reading and please like and follow to support the study pro community xoxo!