BURNOUT: Why you are unmotivated and how to combat it

Posted: October 6, 2020 8:00:00 AM CDT

As a student in an online degree program, you are in an impressive group of individuals balancing kids, jobs, extracurriculars, and the list goes on. In previous blog posts, we have chatted about time management, how to stress less and find the right balance as an online student. The balancing act can prove to be overwhelming. So, what happens when it all becomes too much? Burnout: when stress, emotions and physical exhaustion collide.

What is burnout?

Nearly everyone experiences burnout in their collegiate career. Pursuing an online degree brings exciting new opportunities but demands related to the workload can also raise your stress and anxiety. Whether you’re in an online program to show your kids that they can do anything they put their minds to or you’re doing it to reach your own goals, you likely feel an enormous amount of stress and expectation. If these feelings are causing you to feel unenthusiastic about your education, here are some things that you can do to jump out of the rut and combat your burnout.

Relax.

First, give yourself some grace and relax. It may sound a little counter-intuitive if you have hundreds of things to do that were due yesterday, right? Wrong. You will not be productive when you are feeling bad. Don’t push yourself over the edge with work because it’s just not worth it. If you take some time to relax and come back later, you’ll gain the determination to complete the task at hand. Go for a walk, call your best friend, or do both at the same time. Check in on the people that keep you grounded - just hearing their voices may ease your stress. Find an activity that you enjoy but haven’t done in a while. Block out a time to do just that activity with no interruptions. Listen to calming music on different platforms as well. There are plenty of playlists out there that could help, like low-fi and jazz. Taking time to relax will allow you to return to your studies rejuvenated and recharged!

What’s your why?

We talk a big game here at eCampus when it comes to goals and motivation, so the next tip is to remind yourself of your ultimate goal. Without goals, you will never be able to catapult yourself into the next big thing. Maybe you’re coming back after leaving an unfinished degree - why did you come back? If you need to rethink your why, sit and write it down. Understanding your “why” makes everything come to life.

Maybe you remember what goals you have, but you are still not excited to actually achieve them. This may mean that you need to be even more specific with your goals. If you want to read your book by a certain date, break that goal down into how many pages you’re going to read each night. By breaking up your goals into smaller increments, you will be able to celebrate your little victories alongside your bigger ones.

Remember, when it seems extremely difficult to continue working on your degree or certificate, remind yourself of your goals and the triumph you’ll feel when you finally achieve them.

Shut it down.

“Go Dark” with a cell phone shutdown. You may feel worried by this, especially if someone needs to get ahold of you at a moment’s notice. Despite this worry, try to block out a time that you can put your phone down and be present with the people in your life. It’s easy to come home from work and constantly be on social media or texting someone, but it’s just as easy to put your phone down and be present. The constant presence of social media and notifications in our lives can add to a sense of overwhelming overstimulation.

Also, try shutting down mobile devices at least one hour before going to sleep. If you look at a computer screen all day at work, come home to do homework and then jump on social media, the light from the screen can hinder your ability to calm down enough to sleep.

 

Remember when I said that you are in an impressive group of humans that are balancing some of the same things that you are? Don’t forget that you are part of a motivated community who is dedicated to making the impossible, possible. Don’t forget your rise and grind mentality. What you’re doing is amazing, and UNK eCampus is cheering for you every step of the way.

By: Shelby Hoffmann

Category: eCampus, General

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