How to deal with 2020 burnout

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Student Kellan Bumstead who is a junior studying Business in the Marriott School attends his Experience Design and Management class online at his home in Provo.

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It’s been a crazy year, and if you haven’t been stressed or aren’t stressed right now, I might think you’re a little crazy. But there is such a thing as too much stress — and at that point it’s not even called stress anymore. It’s a little thing we call “burnout.” 

The term burnout was coined by Ddr. Herbert Freudenberger in 1974 in his book “Burnout: The High Cost of High Achievement.” 

Brigham Young University freshman, Hailey Ponczoch, said that burnout “leaves me feeling super drained physically and socially. Like, it’s hard to talk to people, and I get in a really bad mood and get really grumpy.”

To look into this, I searched all the websites, including the doozies like The Mayo Clinic, and read research done by psychologists. Here is the summary of the warning signs and the ways to combat it: 

You may be nearing burnout if you are becoming easily frustrated and begin distancing yourself from the people around you, if you are noticeably losing energy and can’t concentrate, or if you neglect your own basic needs and begin to not feel like yourself anymore. 

You can fight burnout:

  • By taking a vacation (just, not in a pandemic). 
  • By having a heart to heart with someone you trust. University of Nevada Reno Medical student, Josef Heller, said that to fight off burnout, “I focus on meaningful connections with friends and loved ones.”
  • By finding your release. “I play guitar for a little bit, sing some emotional Taylor Swift songs,” Ponczoch said. While BYU student, Gaby Breen, said, “I just sit on my couch for a minute and look at memes.”
  • By taking a break from alcohol and/or caffeine. 
  • By changing up your roles or takes or where you are doing them.
  • By exercising. “I like to take a walk, go outside,” Breen said.  
  • By eating (relatively) healthy. 
  • By getting some sleep. BYU master’s student, Hanna Seariac, said, “I take, like, half a day and just sleep, the whole time.”

“Those stresses are unavoidable, but how we deal with that stress can be done in a healthy way,” Heller said. 

My friends, we are nearing the end of 2020 and we’re gonna hope nothing else crazy happens, and what’s important is that you take care of yourself. Take time for yourself, relax and be sure to finish this year on a high note. 

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