Combatting full speed burnout

By Bailey Klingaman & Mike MarukDigital Editor & Art Director

Outside Mott Counseling Center, which is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Photo by Mike Maruk

Ushering in a new semester can be an exciting and motivating time. However, this excitement can be diminished by the lack of motivation students experience in their first few weeks back to class. Whether it is from a busy schedule, the effects of prolonged COVID-19 isolation or any other factors, the Director of the Counseling Center Sharon Harrington-Hope says cases of burnout are not uncommon. 

According to an article in the Harvard Business Review (HBR), exhaustion, lack of achievement, and negative feelings toward work are all signs of burnout. Burnout can lead to health problems including mental illness, difficulty sleeping, and high blood pressure. In addition to the physical issues burnout can cause, it can also “ruin relationships and jeopardize career prospects.”

To prevent or counteract burnout the HBR suggests prioritizing self-care, changing perspective, and focusing on important relationships.

A simple way to organize priorities is to set up a calendar or planner. This method of organization helps plan what your day, week, or month will look like and sets a schedule that can be looked back on. You won’t have to worry about remembering plans, and you can set aside time for activities or self-care. 

One form of self-care involves maintaining a clean environment. According to an article in Psychology Today, a tidy desk, open windows, and lack of clutter contributes to increased focus and efficiency. As the saying goes, “a tidy house is a tidy mind.”

If you find your mind to still be cluttered, meditation or quiet time can be beneficial. Free weekly yoga classes are held every Wednesday from 5 to 6 p.m. in de Witt Hall. Organized by Health Educator and Clinical Counselor Adela Hruby, these classes or private meditation time can be exactly what you need to quiet your mind.

Along with taking time for yourself, socialization is a major contributor to mental health. This can be by keeping in touch with friends and/or getting involved with clubs or fun projects. Being social and sharing aspects of your life with friends or a campus counselor means receiving the opportunity to hear a different perspective, and gain someone to rely on. 

“I think we’re all kind of burnt out globally…so, I do think that it would be nice for students to be that much kinder and gentler on themselves….I think everyone can probably benefit from counseling at some point, especially in the college years,” says Harrington-Hope.

Another social activity could be eating a healthy meal with friends. Aside from being a great way to catch up, you can monitor your health habits.

 Healthy eating, exercise, and fresh air don’t just keep you in shape physically, they can clear your mind and boost mental health as well.

If you do find yourself struggling with mental health or needing additional support, the Counseling Center in Mott House is available Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. To schedule a free appointment, students can either call (617) 243-2181 or email 

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