I’m feeling overwhelmed and burned out

So I'm ready to tackle this with you right now, and provide you with a few tips that will help you to manage your incredibly significant life, and the sometimes overwhelming demands that are and will be placed in front of you, and on your back.

iuri melo
iuri melo

Hello there you amazing human, I'm grateful that you're here because when many little people, in many little places, do many little things, the world changes, and today, your investment in your own personal attitude, psychology, and motivation will pay huge dividends for you right now and in the future, believe it because it's true.

But today's question that you asked is a common concern that I hear among students from all over the country, and adults alike... which is:

"I'm feeling burned out and overwhelmed with school, friends, family, sports, and the other incredible things that you may be engaged in."

So I'm ready to tackle this with you right now, and provide you with a few tips that will help you to manage your incredibly significant life, and the sometimes overwhelming demands that are and will be placed in front of you, and on your back... but let me begin here...

Look, I'm not here to just tell you to be mindful, or to breathe, or to take a mental health break, or to ‘do you', or to take a vacation from your problems... what I'm here to tell you is how to be wise... how to pick and choose... how and where to put your focus so that you can muscle through the challenges of your life and in the end reap the benefits of a life and your middle and high school years lived in a rich and full manner.

My job, if i can accomplish my objective here today, is to build your mental fitness, it is to increase your emotional stamina, and to focus your eyes and vision on the things that truly matter in this life, and to set aside and sometimes sacrifice those that are of no avail and that have very little value.  But the truth is that we also pack our lives so tightly with everything, that we can sometimes miss the target, and forget the most important part of our lives, which is to build and nurture loving relationships with family and friends, to be valuable to ourselves and others around us, to find adventure, engage in it, to create immense amounts of fun, and to develop our personal and spiritual life.

Life is so full... it is so rich with experience... all of it is for you... this life is for you my friend, it hasn't passed you by, and every experience, rich or poor, tragic or exceptional has value when we have a perspective that can see it.  Remember that your perspective creates your reality, and the events of your life become your scripture, a story filled with meaning and countless lessons that you can apply in the moment, or many years from now.

So if you're feeling burned out and overwhelmed, take courage it isnt' wasted time... we can learn, grow, and get back to that place where you can feel joy, more of the time... and ultimately we are here that we might have joy.

So let's get to some tips that you can try out, experiment with, and see if you can fit them into your life. Some of these are physical, others may be more psychological, and others may involve some better time management and planning... these are the building blocks of your life my friend, so take courage and hang in there.

First the physical:

  1. Discover power naps:  Look sometimes feeling burned out simply means... take a little nap.  Power naps are genius, and they can immediately rest your body and mind, and give you a quick boost of energy.  We're talking 10 to 20 minutes.  Set a 15 to 20 min timer on your phone, and send it.  You can take longer naps, and those will also be beneficial to you, but don't take naps after 3 or 4, because those will likely impact your night schd.  This may sound simple, but the science doesn't lie on this one.  A more rested body is more emotionally stable, creative, and remembers and retains info better.  
  2. Give your body some fuel.  Sometimes feeling burned out, just means tired or low on energy.  Give your body some good food, and hydrate it.  Your body is a vehicle, and it needs fuel.
  3. Exercise... I don't want to spend a ton of time here, but I also don't want you to just set aside exercise... especially if you can find something that's fun for you to do, and allows your body to move, to get stronger, healthier, and more vibrant... your body is an instrument and needs some sharpening and tuning, and exercise is the way to keep that lovely body of your singing, instead of dragging... start now, today, this week, whenever, but start... wanna make it even better?  Do it with a friend, it will change your life.

Psychologically speaking:

  1. It's important for you to decipher things correctly.  Feeling burned out doesn't necessarily mean that you need to stop something, or quit something.  Sometimes it means we need to invest a little more or differently.  Sometimes it may just mean that you need a little help with an activity, or school topic.  It's easy to feel burned out when you are behind or not comprehending a topic, or if you feel things are out of your control... the key here is to get back in control, or at least focus on the things that you can control... my friends, this matters more than you think... when you believe that there is nothing that you can do... that you feel powerless and hopeless, you will begin to feel overwhelmed and burned out super quickly.  But when the fire of hope and the feeling of "I can do something about this" is burning inside of you, then things begin to feel more manageable.  So don't stay shut up in your closet.  Don't not ask for help.  Don't just try to swallow these feelings down deep inside of you... talk to people, talk to your parents, to a trusted adult, a sibling, a counselor, a therapist, and watch your feelings of overwhelm and burn out begin to feel less heavy.
  2. Remember these little phrases of wisdom, one step at a time and trust the process.  Instead of feeling burned out and trying to fix everything inside of your head... don't... instead create a little list... make it visual, put the steps down in front of you, put them on the notes of your phone, and then tackle them one at a time.  When we are trying to make things work inside of our head, we can quickly become overwhelmed by how much needs to be done, and then we just get paralyzed and frozen, and nothing gets done.  Write it down, and then go one by one... start where you are... narrow your focus a bit, and walk the line my friend.
  3. Schedule in and make time for fun... you have to add things that are fun, that make you laugh, that allow you to chill with friends, that help you feel excitement.  You need to find things in your life that help you to look forward to something.  Whether that's reading, running, climbing, playing music, being with friends, camping, biking, etc... the key is to discover these things and then sprinkle them throughout your life... hear me out... try different things, and create a solid list of things and activities that make it easy for you to find fun, contentment, relaxation, and feeling connected to people... go build these into your life... this is your job my friend, do not shirk this responsibility... and no, snapchat, FB, insta, Bereal, or any other platform is not sufficient... it may add some entertainment, but it is not sufficient.
  4. And this is the last one. Decide today to give time to the things that will bless your future.  You've most likely heard about that psychology study that they did by giving little kids one marshmallow. The experiment began by bringing each child into a private room, sitting them down, and placing a marshmallow on the table in front of them.

At this point, the researcher offered a deal to the child.

The researcher told the child that he was going to leave the room and that if the child did not eat the marshmallow while he was away, then they would be rewarded with a second marshmallow. However, if the child decided to eat the first one before the researcher came back, then they would not get a second marshmallow.

So the choice was simple: one treat right now or two treats later.

The researcher left the room for 15 minutes.

What would you do?  Well the key info here is simple.

Those children who were able to delay gratification... meaning they waited the 15 mins, and got 2 marshmallow showed significant benefits and performed better in life... The studies above do make one thing clear: if you want to succeed at something, at some point you will need to find the ability to be disciplined and take action instead of becoming distracted and doing what's easy. Success in nearly every field requires you to ignore doing something easier (delaying gratification) in favor of doing something harder (doing the work and putting in your reps).

So make time to make these hard right choices, instead of the easy wrong ones.  

So my friends, buckle up, take care of your physical body, focus your mind, ask for help... please ask for help, and lower that burnout and stress levels.

You got this!