Kicking out end of semester fatigue

As the end of the semester and finals loom over my head, I cannot help but feel overcome with feelings of fatigue. This is no time to give in to burnout though, especially during the most important time of the semester.

I have tried many methods to rid myself of the end-of-semester burnout and after a few years of cycling through different hobbies and meditations, I can confidently say I have found what works for me.

I never considered myself an active or athletic person, so I would push the idea aside whenever exercise would be recommended to me to decompress. Two years ago, I started doing yoga consistently and within the past few months, I began going to the gym regularly. I quickly saw a difference in my headspace.

The American Psychological Association said, “Recent studies suggest physical activity benefits white and gray matter in the brain, which leads to enhancement of cognitive processes like thinking and memory, attention span, and perception.”

Exercising, or any form of physical activity, has helped my ability to sit and do schoolwork for longer periods. This is great for burnout because, towards the end of the semester, it becomes increasingly hard to stay focused.

One of my biggest struggles in school is procrastination and my inability to sit still when working on final projects or assignments.

These qualities seem to become the most apparent near the end of the semester as I grow anxious to reach the finish line. The only way I have been able to combat these issues was to find a preferred study space.

My favorite study spaces are the grass field behind the Molecular & Life Sciences Center at CSULB and my local coffee shop, Golden State Coffee Roasters in Placentia, Calif.

Though it was not easy finding my favorite places, it is a game-changer to have spots where I know I will feel comfortable and motivated to concentrate on my work.

According to the Northlake Behavioral Health System, having a designated study space for work can greatly benefit students’ focus and productivity.

The website also said that having a designated space for studying will help you associate that place with the task of studying. I find this to work well for me.

Another challenge I face towards the end of the semester is staying motivated while knowing that break is right around the corner. The only way I have been able to combat the anticipation is, surprisingly, to make plans for the break.

Making future plans gave me something specific to look forward to and work towards. The plans could range from a vacation to a day trip filled with my favorite activities. I create excitement for the future, but only under the condition that I finish the semester strong with good grades first.

A study done by Frontiers in Psychology found that anticipation for positive future events played a part in the well-being of a person because they had a future-oriented view.

Using the anticipation built up over the entire semester for motivation is one of the best methods against burnout that I have incorporated into my life. I learned to live by the saying “Work hard, play hard.”

Dealing with burnout is no easy feat, but the methods and mindsets that I have integrated into my life have made it easy to find excitement amid the end-of-semester stress.


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