Burn-out prevention guide

Crudu, Catalina

Burn-out prevention guide 

(with some confirmed-to-work ideas you could use today!)

The exam period. You want to party and hang out with friends but the workload will barely allow you to trade the University Library for your cosy couch. Worse, are you beginning to experience stress and are afraid of falling in the alarming depths called burnouts? Look no more! We have some less-generic tips to make sure you’re acing your exams (and most were already proved to work by our own year-long experience at Erasmus!). 


  1. Say NO and delegate tasks

Before you launch into a heated argumentation on why this is rather common sense, let me explain. University alone has a tendency to drown you in exams, group work and assignments. However, besides those, we have the responsibilities that come with housing, extracurricular and social activities. I want you to consider the time you have on your hands next time you’re asked for a favour from a friend, a teacher or a team-mate, because overloading yourself with tasks will probably only add new to do’s, trouble your time management and divert your focus from more important things. 

More, try to delegate tasks if you’re in a group. Coming from a perfectionist, I know just how much effort is put into tasks aiming for an ideal outcome. Nevertheless, you cannot be everywhere all the time! Make sure you have a clear outline, deadlines, a working plan, and entrust your team-mates with tasks. Trust them!

  1. Practicalities: apps, foods and other shenanigans 

One of the achievements I’m most proud of this half-year was the discovery of Google Calendars. Not only that but also having turned the planning of tasks into a daily routine (even the study sessions) helps me have an overview of my free time and helps me be on track with everything. Bonus: the interface is nice and easy to use!

Consider some stress-relieving suggestions for your daily meals, especially if you’re as uninspired as most students are. Start the day off with oatmeal and boost that serotonin production. Have tangerines or oranges in your bag for some casual study breaks, especially because you’ll most likely find them at discount in most stores and they’ll give you plenty of vitamin C to relieve stress and boost your immune system. For the afternoon snack, consider nuts and seeds for Omega 3s and the good old serotonin!

Take a break! Overworking makes it easy for burnouts to settle in, especially if you’re scoring personal records at chapters read per day. An option to consider this winter is the classic ice-skating ring. Not only is it close to Erasmus, but it’s also instagrammable and suitable for hangouts with your friends. 

  1. Know what works for you and what doesn’t

Truth being said, many times what works for others doesn’t work for you or could work better if done differently. For stress handling, you can choose to focus on social ties – like making time to hang out with friends in order to relax – or on your environment (clean your room and keep your work/study area organized). Maybe you’re lacking energy! Go for a walk, to the gym, eat more or surround yourself with relaxing people. If you need recharging, make a specific sleep schedule, make time for reading or Netflix, eat more veggies and so on. If you’re behind in terms of time management, plan your activities to feel like you’re in control of your time (check point N2). Tackle the problem you’re dealing with and write down solutions. Pro-activeness looks good outside your CV, too!

In the end, keep in mind that the exam session only lasts a handful of days, and there’s a lovely, well-deserved reward for you once you’re finished with everything: the winter holidays! Meanwhile, stay motivated and positive, we believe you can do it! ☺

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