In a world where we’re surrounded by expectations to perform at our highest level of productivity, there comes a time when we just crash.
We’re not lazy — we’re just f–ing tired.
However, there are ways to catch burnout and minimize its effects before you fully hit rock bottom. For example, if you’re averaging about six consecutive hours of “Orange is the New Black” a day, that may be a sign. If you can’t find the energy to get dressed or get out of your bed, this is a major sign.
So what do you do when you just can’t?
You need to acknowledge it’s okay to be burnt out. It’s okay to not be okay. Whether you have been diagnosed with mental illnesses or not, your feelings are valid and you deserve to take care of your mental health.
Self-care can look like a lot of different things. For a lot of people, talking can really he
lp. This is especially crucial for people who are experiencing more prevalent signs of depression, which a lot of the time are similar to burnout. I’m a big therapy enthusiast and really believe it can be beneficial for anyone — regardless of diagnoses or lack thereof. Asking for help doesn’t make you look weak or crazy — it makes you look like someone who wants to feel better.
Friends and family can also be a great support system because sometimes, you just need someone to hug you and tell you that they’re here for you and that it’s going to be okay.
Attending to your mental well-being can also be knowing when it’s time to take a break. If you need to take a mental health day, that is completely okay. If you’re feeling awful mentally, you should treat it the same way if you were feeling physically sick.
You could rest, watch your comfort show, make yourself a nice cup of tea and recognize that there is absolutely nothing wrong with it. It is equally important to know when it’s time to ease back into things, which is difficult, but it must be done. As much as we’d all love staying in bed all day every day when we feel like this, there is a time when you need to return to your daily life. You can do this slowly and take it easy on yourself, but you don’t want all your work piling up either.
There are also so many self-care things you can do to treat yourself on bad days. You can go for a walk with your favorite music, order yourself food, watch your go-to movie or anything else that makes you feel blissful and relaxed. My personal favorite is making myself a cozy cup of hot chocolate and watching old “Sex and the City” episodes. Samantha is my comfort character.
As much as we all feel down in the dumps sometimes, it’s important to always monitor what you’re feeling, and get help if your symptoms get worse. If you are looking for professional help, which is a phenomenal step to take, BU has referral coordinators that can match you with people who take your insurance. In addition, “Psychology Today” has a helpful database for finding therapists in your area. Connecting with a mental health professional could be exactly what you need to lift yourself out of the slump.
So take care of yourself. You deserve it, and no one’s mad at you for it. And if they are, they suck. You’re not alone and you never will be.