Dealing with Stress and Burnout During Spring ‘21

Abigail Hubbard, Copy Editor |

As we pass the midway mark of the Spring 2021 semester, I am beginning to feel burnt out. It feels like there is so much going on and I’m overwhelmed, as I’m sure many other students are. Deadlines are looming over my head, including the one for this editorial. While the Wellness Days are something I look forward to, they are not enough to help me recharge and take a break from everything. These are unprecedented times, but that doesn’t mean we should sacrifice our mental wellbeing.

Throughout the pandemic, I have been trying to find ways to help relieve some of the burnout and stress I have been feeling. So far, I have found a few things that I do to help myself get through the stress of college and the pandemic. While none of these are long-term solutions, they can help bring a bit more life into your day as you work towards the end of the semester.

Music has really kept me going during the pandemic, specifically this semester. I have a playlist of my favorite movie soundtracks on Spotify that I listen to when doing work. Listening to familiar instrumental music helps to keep me focused and relaxed when writing papers. I found that writing while listening to songs with lyrics is impossible for me, as I get distracted and focus on singing along instead of getting my work done. However, I find it’s good to take a break from work every so often, put on your favorite songs and go a little wild. I would be lying if I said I didn’t jam out to the “Mamma Mia!” soundtrack or any Queen song at least once a day. Singing and dancing, even if, like me, you’re terrible at both, is a great stress reliever.

Watching something mindless and fun is another good way to decompress. Take some time when you’re feeling particularly stressed or overwhelmed to put something on that will ease your mind, even if it’s only for five minutes. Maybe watch a movie that makes you laugh or watch an episode of your favorite sitcom. I find that watching something familiar and comforting helps me to relax. Just remember not to get too engrossed in your watching so you don’t miss any important deadlines!

Reading, if you enjoy it, is a very relaxing pastime. Like watching a movie, it’s a good way to escape the stress of the real world for a bit. I like to read because it allows me to forget, at least for a short while, whatever it is that is causing me to stress. It also helps to relieve feelings of burnout as you throw yourself into a story. If you don’t particularly like to read, maybe try audiobooks. Listening to a story is just as effective as reading it, perhaps more so. You can get things done, like homework or studying, while listening to an audiobook, so long as it doesn’t distract from the work too much.

Stress is a normal part of life, but when it gets to be too much, that’s when something needs to be done. If you start to feel burnt out, you need a break. Now, in no way am I encouraging you to slack off or not do work. However, it is important to find the right balance between work and play. Make time for yourself that isn’t dedicated to working. If you don’t do this, your mental health will start to suffer under the weight. Even if it’s something as small as listening to your favorite song while doing work or taking five minutes to breathe and destress, your mind and your body will thank you for it.

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