How to not feel burned out, when you totally are

I’m usually really good at powering through less-than-ideal situations and long hours with little time to do anything for myself all while keeping my composure. Usually. However, my second to last semester in grad school has really been one for the books…I don’t think I have ever been busier in my entire life, nor felt so stretched as far as what all I did during a normal week. I could definitely say that for the first time in my life: I was totally burned out.

In all things, I think that keeping (or at least trying to keep) a positive and optimistic outlook is the best way to cope. And since I felt on the brink of a meltdown several times slightly stressed this semester over my schedule, I decided to try some stuff out so I wouldn’t always feel burned out (even though I totally am burned out). If you are currently feeling like you’re juggling too many of life’s lemons, try some of these ideas out like I have and I promise it will get better 🙂


  1. VENT
    Don’t think that you need to keep your stress to yourself or hold it all in, and especially don’t try to act like you’ve got it all together. Because really, who does! Tell a person you trust about what’s really going on, and why you’re so stressed out. They will become your support system and your strength and will reassure you every time. I’m so thankful for those friends who I’ve gone to over the months about my dumb situation(s) because I always come out of a conversation with them feeling loved and valued and rejuvenated (shoutout to my girl @signedwithheart for being that for me!). ❤
    Learn to sort out your day and your emotions so that they don’t become one big tangled mess of out of control things. Having the ability to compartmentalize your life shows inner strength, and gives you control over everything that affects you. It’s also good to do this so that you can leave the stress of work at work (still working on this one..) so that when you’re not at work you can focus on being in the present.
    I literally had to force myself to make time for things (like eating, sleeping, homework, etc.). If you don’t schedule out things during a busy lifestyle, your head might explode. Here’s what my schedule looked like at one point during a “normal” week (brace yourself):Sunday
    Barely wake up around 7:00 and attempt to eat breakfast
    Work from 7:45-1:00 (I ran an Elementary program at a church)
    Family time/Homework/or Make Etsy orders until 4:00
    Date night/hangout with my fiancé 4:00-midnight
    Home by 1am to sleepMonday
    [This is the one other day I get to see John]
    Wake up at 7:30, make breakfast
    Workout from 8:30-10:00 (shower at the gym)
    Hangout with my fiance from 10:45-3:00
    Class from 4:00-6:40
    Hangout again with my fiance until 10:30
    Get to sleep at 11:30 (Did I mention he lives 45 mins away from me?)Tuesday
    Wake up at 7:45, make breakfast
    Work from 9:00-3:00
    Class from 3:30-6:00
    Marriage prep class with John 6:30-9:00
    Go to sleep around 10:30Wednesday
    Wake up at 7:30, make breakfast
    Homework from 8:30-10:30
    Work from 10:30-6:30
    Class form 7:00-9:20
    Go to sleep around 10:30Thursday
    Workout from 8:30-10:00 (shower at the gym)
    Work from 10:30-5:00
    Homework/Catch up on Etsy orders 6:00-10:00
    This is the first day since Sunday that I come home before the sun setsFriday
    Workout from 9:00-10:00 (shower at the gym)
    Work from 10:30-5:00
    Homework or finally hangout with friends
    Mail out Etsy orders
    Zombie out to NetflixSaturday
    [This is my one day to sleep in]
    Finish any homework that’s left over from the week
    Work from 2:30-7:00
    Come home and space out until I fall asleep around 10:30

    In order to have time for things, I need to literally schedule them into my planner…including showering, eating, downtime, and sleep. Otherwise I’d probably spontaneously combust.

    Okay so I’m just going to go out and say it– I’m totally an advocate for making sacrifices for the sake of personal sanity. These may or may not include cutting class/calling out sick/sleeping in and coming to work late/finish homework later.  I only recommend taking advantage of this option if you are on your A game every other day! 😀 Last semester, my mom, myself and my fiance all took Monday off from work and school to spend the day at Disneyland
    The other day I was having the worst day ever, and was hanging out with John that night. I was grumpy, tired, and plain over it (whatever “it” was). When I got to his house he (so very sweetly said) “Can I get you anything?” (I already had texted him about my stupid day beforehand) and without hesitation I said, “WINE. NOW.” LOL now I’m not an advocate for turning to the bottle by any means, but some days…you just gotta give in for the sake of sanity.He brought a half full glass and the bottle over to me: I downed the glass, handed it back to him, took the bottle and sat silent on his floor for a solid 10 minutes just decompressing. After that, I was fine and happy 🙂 But sometimes…taking a swig from the bottle instead of the glass gives just the right amount of empowerment and IDGAbleep attitude you need to keep going. And having a loving soon-to-be also is a major plus too ❤
    You don’t have to accept your busy and chaotic/wobbling on the brink of sanity and world destruction life as final and done and this is how it is. You don’t need to act like you’ve got it handled or that you’re happy with it, because that takes even more work. Remove yourself emotionally from it and be real with yourself. Repeat after me: “I will embrace this and try to work with it. I may not like it, I would like to change it, but I’m not going to let it affect my mood or how I look at everything else in my life.” Practicing this will keep you grounded, keep you positive, and will remind you that life is ever changing and nothing needs to be seen as permanent.
    Having concrete goals and plans several months in the future really helps to keep your head above the water if you’re feeling totally burned out. Having something to work towards to makes all the difference 🙂 It could be buying concert tickets way in advance (John and I did that with Of Monsters and Men and MUSE), wedding planning (I know not everyone is in this position, but planning for something in general like a trip or vacation), or achieving a goal by a certain date are all great ways to motivate yourself to stick it out and push through the current circumstances.
    This should have the prime top spot on this list, seriously. When your schedule is this busy,  spacing out comes second nature. This is also something you will need to consciously make time for if you don’t already. Turning your brain off and allowing yourself to veg out to Netflix for a couple hours, lie in bed while staring at the ceiling, sit in silence for a bit…just. shut. down. Taking the time to do this for myself has seriously helped with sanity because I’m allowing myself to not think, not plan, not talk, and just be still. It’s seriously the best use of time to detox from a stressful week.
    Go to sleep. Who cares what time of the day it is, how early is it, or what day it is (Friday nights? PSH. Party with some Zzz’s and Namastay in bed). Get ALL the sleep. When you’re burned out, you get to a point where you check out mentally after 10am, Saturday mornings are sacred for sleeping in, and you religiously use your sleep app to track how solid (or horrible) of a night’s sleep you got the night before. Don’t sacrifice allowing your mind and body to regenerate and reboot for the sake of whatever else you’re doing. Sleep is everything!
    If you have some free time and don’t know what to do with it but you don’t just want to sit around, think of things to do that are fun and exciting and healthy and something you could potentially commit to. It could be something like going for a walk outside, scrolling on Pinterest for a new DIY idea, play with your pet for a while, journal, knit, whatever will allow you to have free time and me time, even if it’s sitting and staring at a wall to decompress, do it. Xoit will all be okay the mini apartment .jpg

3 thoughts on “How to not feel burned out, when you totally are

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