My mother always told me to focus on quality over quantity when it comes to friends. However, I am realizing that this applies to all situations in life regarding my involvement in a plethora of activities which can lead to burnout. There are physical, emotional, social, and other pieces of evidence that remind you that it’s okay to “say yes to saying no.”
It is often found that those who overwork themselves are more likely to get physically sick, whether that be a simple cold, a lack or gain in appetite, or a constant state of panic. This panic can occur due to thinking that you haven’t met specific expectations, deadlines, or have not fully lived up to your potential in certain situations. A way to allow yourself to not become sick due to stress and overcommitting yourself is to focus on your physical and mental health on a daily basis.
Prevention tactics such as meditation, breathing, or regularly eating fresh food, drinking water, and spending time outside can be quite beneficial. All of those things may sound simple or cliche, but when someone overworks themselves, it can be hard to remember that the individual comes first. In order to give your best to others, you must first give yourself your best.
The emotional and social stress from extreme amounts of involvement can lead to various challenges as well, such as being unable to participate in social events or family affairs because you are taking 5 accelerated classes, leading 4 clubs, volunteering, and the list goes on. I am certainly guilty of keeping myself overly occupied, but it’s important to take time for social outings and spend time with your family. Aside from being a determined, highly motivated student, you are also a kid who is still in high school and needs to live in the moment and create incredible experiences with your peers. It is not essential that you live your life solely for your college application; it is crucial that you live your life for yourself. Remember, it’s better to give 100% to a few things you’re passionate about than 10% to a lot of things that you don’t necessarily care about, even if you think it will look good on your resume and college applications. When it comes down to it, universities and jobs will care more about the passion and purpose behind your actions rather than the quantity of them.
Burning out is easy if you are setting expectations that are too high or unrealistic. Time management, organization, and making time for yourself are all essential to avoid burnout, and it is never too late to come out of an overworked state of mind and being. You simply need to set your priorities, remain in a positive mindset, and keep in mind that you are not defined by your involvement, but your by character.