How to avoid burnout and prioritize your wellbeing

An image of a woman sitting cross-legged on Bascom Hill on a sunny day, with Bascom Hall behind her in the distance

Do you overload your to-do list because you feel pressured to always be productive? How many times have you pushed yourself to emotional and physical exhaustion within the last month? It’s almost impossible not to fall into these workaholic traps when our social feeds are flooded with hashtags like #Don’tStopWhenYoureTired or #TheGrindNeverStops.

What is hustle culture?

This unsustainable workaholic mindset has been glamorized in today’s world and is referred to as “hustle culture.” Young people today, especially, are pressured by hustle culture and force themselves to juggle a full course load, to join as many clubs as possible, to push themselves in the gym, and to work on campus to make some side money. 

On top of the everyday stressors of student life, navigating online learning and working from home in a pandemic have made it more challenging to disconnect from the rise and grind mindset. Setting big goals and working hard to achieve them is important. However, there can be severe negative impacts on your wellbeing when you continuously push yourself to exhaustion and neglect your personal and social needs. 

Signs that you may be overworking yourself:

  • Obsessive need to always be working. 
  • Neglecting your personal needs.
  • Pushing yourself to physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion. 
  • Reduced motivation and creativity. 
  • Reduced commitment in both your work and personal life. 

If any of these warning signs resonated with you, use this as a reminder that it is much more productive for your energy levels and motivation to give yourself breaks throughout the day, take rest days from the gym, and make time to socialize with your family and friends.

Your Health is Wealth

It’s time that we debunk the narrative that working yourself to exhaustion is the ideal. Investing time and energy into your mental and physical health should be your #1 priority. If you lack energy both mentally and physically, you may find that you’re sacrificing the quality of your work and, most importantly, the quality of your health. 

There’s sufficient evidence that working yourself until physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion can increase the risk of health issues such as high blood pressure, fatigue, depression, and anxiety. Also, emotional exhaustion and reduced motivation can manifest itself in the phenomenon of burnout.  

How to Avoid Burnout and Prioritize your Wellbeing:

  • Schedule consistent breaks throughout the workday. 
  • Eat a well-balanced and nutritious diet.
  • Practice good sleep habits.
  • Exercise regularly and incorporate rest days into your workout routine.
  • Ask for help!

Remember to practice kindness and compassion towards yourself daily to remove unnecessary stress and anxiety. When you carve out breaks and prioritize your health, you might notice that you’ll be more motivated, happier, and healthier.