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It’s that time of year again! The sun begins to set at 5:00pm, weeks on end without sunshine, and colder mornings--making it even harder to get out of bed. In the wake of winter, with the pressures of balancing school, extracurricular activities, and a social life, it is a completely normal thing to begin to feel a little unmotivated to get things done. Whenever I am experiencing burnout, I always find myself getting down on myself for being lazy. As women, there is even a higher expectation for us to succeed beyond expectations. So when the year comes to an end and the burnout begins to hit, you might have a stigma against yourself for wanting a break. With that being said, there are ways to overcome burnout so you can continue girl-bossing your way through life.

  1. Normalize taking a break

It should come as no surprise that the leading cause of feeling burnout is overworking yourself. You might find that on the onset of burnout you feel the need to work even harder to get over your lazy period. The best thing you can do for yourself is recognize that burnout is your body and mind’s way of telling you that you need to take a break. Whether this be taking a self care day or taking a short nap after school or work, in the end taking a break will help you bounce back better than ever.

2. Pin-point what is causing your burnout

Too often we get caught up putting in the motions of life. I have even experienced the “just gotta get through this week” mindset. The problem with mindsets like these is that when you are only doing what you have to do everyday just to get to the next day, you begin to sink deeper into the monotony of life. Monotony is something that people should strive to avoid because it can lead to boredom and lack of passion towards life’s experiences which inevitably causes feelings of burnout. You might find yourself lacking challenges when your life is monotonous. I think that having a new challenge or goal that you are seeking to achieve creates a happier and healthier lifestyle and prevents feelings of burnout.

Maybe it’s not a lack of challenge that is causing your burnout. Perhaps it is too much challenge that is creating stress, making you not want to continue towards your goals. Remember that it is completely normal to feel overwhelmed in stressful situations that are unpredictable. When it comes to stress burnout, taking those breaks is more important than ever. I recommend spending the night watching a movie, catching up with old friends, or journaling to express your feelings.

3. Plan your next steps

After a long period of burnout it can be hard to figure out where you want to go next. As I talked about previously, setting goals and new challenges is a great way to overcome burnout. But where do you start? I recommend first writing down all of the things you are going to have to do within the next 2 weeks. Whether this be homework assignments, tests, or interviews, being able to visualize your next few weeks will allow you to make room for what comes next! The next thing to do is think of things that you want to accomplish within the next month. These might be goals like getting physically active again, finishing a book that's not for school, or organizing a fun event for you and your friends. Whatever your goals might be, try to visualize how you can accomplish them. When you are able to come up with new ways to make your life more exciting and less monotonous, you bypass burnout.

4. Surround yourself with loved ones

The winter can be a lonely time especially when you are feeling unmotivated to socialize due to burnout. When you are down and alone about the way you are feeling it might only reinforce your need to isolate and recoup. While this may be beneficial for one night, too much time with yourself can lead to negative intrusive thoughts. Surrounding yourself with loved ones and people you are familiar with is a great way to open up about how you are feeling. The truth is, burnout is a normal part of life that everyone will probably experience at least once. Being able to confide in others can help you brainstorm ways to get through it. Ultimately, it reminds you that you are never alone in whatever you are facing.

Burnout makes life difficult, but not impossible. I hope through these tips you are able to find normalcy in feeling unmotivated during this time of year. Remember, if you are feeling unmotivated or not passionate about this chapter in life that there is always a new page to turn! This is your reminder that you are a strong, intelligent and more than capable woman who can achieve far past her goals! You are a GIRLBOSS!

A song that I have been listening to lately to help me gain motivation during this time of year is “I am Woman” by Emmy Meli. I hope you enjoy it!

Written by: Meredith Ho

Meredith is the Communications Associate in The Women’s Network at IU. She is a sophomore from Carmel, Indiana, studying Public Policy Analysis on the Pre-Law track. Besides TWN, she is also involved in IU’s fashion magazine, SEASON, as a staff photographer. She also works as the Visual Arts Liaison for HHArt.

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