Life Burnout and 2022 Resolutions
My experience with burnout, unhealthy social media habits, and brain fog in 2021, as well as how I plan to be better next year.
This has been a weird few years, to say the least. Between the state of the world and the stress of college, my mind kind of broke this semester. And I still feel like I'm picking up the pieces and trying to make sense of what is going on with me.
This semester I experienced burnout like I never have before. And it spread and corrupted all areas of my life; school, work, my mental state, etc. As a college student, I had a lot on my plate as it was but then I was also an e-board member of a club and working 15 hours a week at a new job. That meant I was busy from 7 am - 7:30 pm on most days, and I didn't have much time to relax after doing my assignments. So I guess that was my first mistake; I piled way too much on my plate.
Another strange phenomenon happened that didn't help my situation. I became addicted to escaping my stress through social media. Don't get me wrong, we all know how harmful social media can be, but this wasn't the first time social media brought me a happy escape from tough times. However, this semester, for some reason, it got to a point where I didn't want to do anything; no chores, homework, schoolwork, basic tasks, but just scroll through Instagram and watch youtube. This was burnout on drugs and it made me a wreck mentally.
Thank goodness, I feel like I'm out of its depths now; I'm not as anxious or stressed, and the need to scroll on social media has released its death grip on me. But I want to make sure that I don't ever have to go through that again. To say the least, I wasn't myself and I was letting people (and most importantly myself) down which is the worst feeling in the world.
So I've gathered some tips on how to get through burnout (not cure it bc I haven't figured that out myself) and well as the resolutions it's made me realize I want to achieve in the new year!
Ask for help with those small things that feel big
I'm not gonna lie I felt a little called out when Tik Tok introduced me to the term "depression room"😅😬. But it's so true that when you're in a bad mental state, whether it be depression or in my case, burnout, doing small things like chores and daily tasks can feel so daunting. If you have people around you that you trust enough to let them into how you're feeling, ask them for help.
Be honest about how you're feeling
When people ask you how you're doing, don't lie. Lying about how you're doing will only make you feel like you have to wear a mask of false positivity. And that would suck considering you're already not doing so well. If you want to be honest but don't want to divulge your whole story when someone asks how you're doing, I suggest a simple "I could be better" or "hey, I'm alive🤷🏿♀️."
I found that being honest about my burnout felt good for me and it was an easy way to let the people around me know that I was going through something. Sometimes it was the catalyst to a larger conversation with friends who were also going through it. And as a college student, knowing that I wasn't alone meant everything to me.
Make productivity casual
My burnout settled in midway through the semester so I didn't have the luxury of being able to take a break from everything. With what felt like mountains of work to do every week, I was barely keeping my head above water. I often experienced this weird anxiety around my tasks where I would look at my to-do list and spontaneously combust into an anxiety attack over not knowing which task to prioritize or start first. That was probably the worst kind of anxiety I'd ever experienced. It felt like no matter what I did, my work would never be good enough or on time.
I knew I had to stop being at war with productivity. My solution was to do one thing at a time and make it casual. I'd sit down at my desk and tell myself that I was going to do one assignment to the best of my ability. Whatever I got done in the time that I allotted for myself was what I turned in. Simple as that. Another strategy you could try is to turn your homework into a reward by going to a coffee shop to get it done or doing it with friends.
My 2022 Resolutions
When my last exam had finally been turned in, I felt like I could take a long-needed breath of relief. At that moment at 11:59 pm, I told myself "thank fucking god it's over, but that can never happen again." I pulled out a notepad and wrote down my goals for 2022 that will hopefully keep burnout and anxiety far far away.
Have in-person experiences, get out of the house, discover new places
Make my home my sanctuary
Do work that excites me
Eat food that makes me feel good
Go outside and enjoy the seasons
Flex my creativity often
Do difficult things, and celebrate when they pay off
I feel really good about these resolutions because they're goals that I'm excited to actualize. I came up with that last one to remind me that the instant gratification of social media is not real life. In reality, the best things in life will be difficult to achieve but will have huge payoffs. And I like that.
Thanks for reading through! Let me know if you resonate with having burnout this year or if you have any resolutions for the new year. If you're looking to make your resolutions stick this year I recommend this article I found. It gave me a little bit of a new perspective on new year's resolutions that made them more positive and less daunting.
You can follow me on insta @arielsview for more of my day to day!🥰