Semester Burnout & Spring Break

Happy March everyone! I’m currently blogging from Daytona Beach, we’re right around the half way mark of the Spring 2022 semester, and burnout is real! Maybe it’s a case of the ‘senior-itis’ talking, the same challenging, busy, yet monotonous routine, or literal fatigue, but I’m tired and in need of a break – Spring Break!

Due to many current world events, including COVID-19 travel restrictions, additional quarantine rules and regulations, and the current state of affairs in the Ukraine, traveling out of country was not an option for me this year. In the past my ‘normal’ spring breaks included Paris, France, Playa el Tunco, El Salvador, and Key West, Florida, but this year we’re trying on the concept of a stay-cation! Sans for Spring 2021 where Spring Break was canceled due to the pandemic, I’ve loved enjoying traveling for my breaks. However, as this is my last year as an undergraduate student, and my last ERAU semester before graduation, I’m spending my break in a typical rigorous student fashion – working Resident Advisor (RA) duty days, studying, doing homework, working out, and trying to make it to the beach as much as possible.

Thus, I am here to provide my top 3 tips to avoid burnout, even on a ‘staycation’ version of spring break!

My staycation includes visits from frog visitors on the window!

Tip #1: Do nothing! As someone who is dedicated to a routine and daily schedule, with an avid calendar and list addiction, I am actively planning to schedule in time to do nothing! This may seem counter-intuitive, but I am highly influenced by the ‘work culture’ of a college engineering lifestyle, thus scheduling time to do nothing is absolutely necessary. Your version of ‘nothing time’ could include, laying on a beach, napping, watching Netflix, doing a puzzle, or going for a walk.

Tip #2: Self care! Catch up on sleep, hydrate, check up on your mental health, get sunshine, moisturize! My favorite day-off self care includes a slow morning waking up without an alarm, doing yoga, making coffee, and eating a delicious breakfast. Depending on the weather, a beach day for me is ideal-self care.

Recent self-care blue sky beach day!

Tip #3: (MOST IMPORTANT) Recharge! Often as a student, particularly in engineering but truly applicable to any rigorous major, our brains are constantly ‘on’. Analyzing mathematics, physics, complex conceptual problems, studying, doing homework, or even actively paying attention in class all require brain power. Your brain actively functions just like your muscles do, hence – it also requires rest! Many of you have heard of ‘mind-numbing’ TV shows, in a similar fashion I recommend doing any activity that rests your brain. One of my go-to activities for rest is sleep, but I also love meditation, reading, or listening to music while doing chores such as laundry, cleaning my room, or doing dishes.

I hope these simple, yet effective tips help you as much as they help me! Scheduling time to rest is an underrated event! I hope everyone enjoys their Spring Break, keep on keeping on folks, will report back soon!

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