Off the Clock: How to Combat Burnout

Have you ever slept eight hours and still felt tired? This is caused by burnout. Burnout is the effects of extreme stress and unattainable expectations from school, work, or family. Your personal space and habits can also contribute to stress levels.

The self-care industry has commodified wellbeing, but, in reality, wellbeing begins and ends with you.

You already have everything you need. Paper and pen, fresh air, and music can help circulate existing bodily mechanisms that promote positivity and relaxation. 

Pick up a cute notebook, a pen, and start journaling! Journaling is the act of writing down unfiltered thoughts or experiences. This is useful for expressing latent emotions. An article written by Greater Good at Berkley outlines the benefits of journaling. They mention a 2006 study on 100 adults that highlighted how fifteen minutes of journaling twice a week decreased depression, anxiety, and malice. Furthermore, Keith J. Petrie, a Psychology professor at The University of Auckland, states that “Expression of emotions concerning stressful or traumatic events can produce measurable effects on human immune responses” (Newman, “How Journaling Can Help You in Hard Times”). Not only does journaling minimize symptoms of mental disorders, but it also positively influences immune processes. 

A simple remedy to burnout is going outside! Fresh air can boost your mental wellbeing through Vitamin D, nature, and exercise. While many people lack Vitamin D, it is essential to an upbeat mood. According to Family Holiday Association, “A study in the Netherlands found that low levels of vitamin D correlated with symptoms of major and minor depression in 169 individuals ages 65 or older” (Nowak). Therefore, fresh air contributes to decreasing depressive symptoms. Secondly, nature induces happiness. According to Mind, a mental health charity organization, “Research into ecotherapy (a type of formal treatment which involves doing activities outside in nature) has shown it can help with mild to moderate depression” (“Go Green to Beat the Blues”). Furthermore, a research study showed that “A nature walk reduced symptoms of depression in 71% of participants, compared to only 45% of those who took a walk through a shopping center” (“Go Green to Beat the Blues”). Therefore, a short walk outside can lift your spirits! 

Lastly, music can boost your mood tremendously! Music is an innate tool that feeds dopamine, a neurotransmitter that prompts pleasure. According to Harvard Health Journal, “An authoritative review of research performed between 1994 and 1999 reported that in four trials, music therapy reduced symptoms of depression” (“Music and Health.”). In fact, certain songs exude happiness due to chords, arrangement, and tempo! A few of these songs include Happy by Pharrell Williams, Into You by Ariana Grande, and Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield. So, make a playlist of your favorite songs to boost your mood! 

So, while burnout can seep into many areas of your life, simple hacks can transform stressful energy. Journaling, enjoying nature, and listening to good music can enhance your emotions. These tips and tricks can help you maintain positive mental health.


Works Cited

“Go Green to Beat the Blues.” Mind, 13 May 2007, www.mind.org.uk/news-campaigns/news/go-green-to-beat-the-blues/. 

Newman, Kira M. “How Journaling Can Help You in Hard Times.” Greater Good Magazine, 18 Aug. 2020, greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/how_journaling_can_help_you_in_hard_times. 

Nowak, Kiri. “How Getting Outside Can Boost Your Mental Health.” Family Holiday Association | The Charity That Gives Struggling Families a Break, 12 Oct. 2017, www.familyholidayassociation.org.uk/blog/mental-health/. Publishing, Harvard Health. “Music and Health.” Harvard Health, July 2011, www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/music-and-health