By Bex Peterson, Editor-in-Chief
Burnout is an oft-discussed topic in creative circles these days, especially amongst content creators and freelancers. It seems to be a millennial (and recently, Gen Z) pandemic—juggling full or part-time work with your inevitable necessary side hustles to make ends meet, never mind balancing all this with an active social life and much-needed downtime, can’t be healthy for anyone’s physical or mental state. Overworked students are extremely prone to this as well. Who hasn’t had a mid-semester meltdown after realizing you’ve taken on two courses too many and are now facing down a midterm you’re far from prepared for?
I’m honestly the last person to give anyone advice about avoiding burnout. When I moved out at 19 years old I took on three part-time jobs, one of them an overnight shift, while still trying to keep up with school. This was a really, really bad idea that I do not recommend anyone try emulating—on one occasion I passed out in the washroom while putting on makeup and woke up five minutes later on the floor, and at another point ended up sleeping three hours into one of my day shifts. I still struggle to find a balance between work and rest, though I’ve become far more cognisant of my limits as a human being; even so, at the time of writing this, I’m currently operating on two and a half hours of sleep. As the memes might say, “It really do be like that sometimes.”
Recognizing limits and being firm with them is, I think, the best way to avoid running yourself into the ground. There are always going to be demands on your time, whether it be work, school, family, or friends. You need to realistically assess what your limits are; maybe you just can’t take five classes in a semester and might have to take a little longer to graduate, and that’s fine. Maybe you can’t take on extra responsibilities at work—maybe you can’t drive out to your friend’s place every week because you really need a night off. It may feel selfish at first saying “no” to things, especially if you’re someone who’s used to answering with a “yes”. However, people will appreciate having your full attention and abilities when it’s important, instead of getting half of you all the time (or at least, they should; people who resent you for putting boundaries on your time are not people you want to be giving your time to anyway).
It’s your job to take care of yourself, so don’t slack off—or do, if that’s what you need!
Until next issue,