For most people, it takes a parent, friend, or simply a colleague to making a comment.
“You look tired.”
“Do you ever have any downtime?”
Or my favorite,
“Are you always working?”
This comment, no matter how many times it’s said, goes in one ear and out the other. They don’t know what they’re talking about. It’s just the hustle! It’s the grind! Everyone has to do it at some point, especially in this day and age.
Suddenly, four months later, you’re exhausted and burnt out, but it’s too late to turn back. You can’t quit the job now. You can’t drop a class in the middle of the semester.
Hopefully, winter break will be a nice relaxing, fun time with family and friends. A break from all the work, studying, and feeling of “man there’s never any time to play or have fun.” However, when we come back from this break, it’s going to be easy to feel overwhelmed with the sudden onslaught of assignments, deadlines, and lack of free time. It’ll feel easy to become swamped again, overworking ourselves.
There are three easy ways to avoid that without feeling like you’ve slacked off, especially if your “typical” is wearing several hats and then some.
- Learn to say no. This is something I’ve just recently had to train myself to do. Yes, it’s great to give and do things for others. Sometimes, we have to watch out for ourselves first. Think of it this way: if it’s a favor you know you wouldn’t be hurt by a friend saying “no” to in your situation, then you have to say no yourself.
- Listen to your body. It’s funny how so many adults still don’t do this, myself included. There are so many signs of stress and overwork manifesting in itself. There are the obvious ones, like fatigue and headaches. Then there are some things that are unique reactions to each person. One person might get canker sores. The other might start to feel achy. Though it’s common in today’s society to push through, there’s a reason why our bodies are physically reacting. It’s a cry for rest, even if it’s just an extra few hours off.
- Ask for help. There are more kind, amazing people out there than selfish people. Asking for help is key. As you’ve probably heard, the worst that can happen is that somebody says no. But even asking for minor favors, like a friend picking up something at a grocery store for you or a colleague giving you extra notes on a day you leave a lecture early because you aren’t feeling well, will make a huge difference in how you feel.
A lot of these ideas aren’t new. They aren’t mind blowing tips. But sometimes you need to hear these things again, even if from a total stranger online.