Mental Health

Knowing Your Limits

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This article in particular can almost be argued that it is hypocritical for me to be writing, considering I am constantly burning myself out and overloading my own schedule, but it’s still important. And something people need to be more aware of.

I also find it very fitting given the time of year since the second semester of the year is now underway, and the first wave of tests/exams approaches us.

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So important for your mental well being

If you are not careful, and you push yourself too far past your limits, you will do much more damage to yourself then you will probably even notice. If you let it get out of hand, and don’t keep your personal limits in mind, it can send you spiraling into depression or possibly anxiety.

Whereas yes, it’s good to push yourself outside your comfort zone just a little bit, as it builds character, even that has its limits, and going too far will wreak havoc in every area of your life and everything will start to fall apart.

Set your priorities

If you’re anything like me, you always make your to do list far too long, and there’s never enough time in a day to get all of it done.

To help alleviate this problem, create a priority list for all of your to-do’s! Such as my schoolwork trumps my wanting to clean the house (which is an excuse I often use to procrastinate sitting down and getting my homework done, even though college is my top priority).

Even if you have to sit down and physically list them out. It will benefit you and almost feel reassuring if you can see your priorities.

Don’t let yourself get to the burnout

The harder you push yourself, the closer you will come to pushing yourself to the point of burn out, which will make everything harder, and take a toll on both your mental and physical health.

Reaching the point of burnout is a mess, and nothing good will ever follow, and even then will set you further back in trying to reach your goals and dreams, since you’ll be trying to recover.

Don’t expect too much from yourself

If you’re anything like me, then this one is a difficult one for you. I have always had a horrible habit of expecting the hardest things of myself, and expecting myself to do the impossible; sometimes multiple days in a row. This tends to come from how competitive I am, and some might also blame it on my generation, since we’re stereotypically said to “expect instantaneous results”.

No matter the cause/reasoning, I am constantly having to remind myself that I am not superhuman, and that I need to take better care of myself and slow myself down, otherwise it sends me into massive panic attacks and leaves me feeling like a failure because I didn’t accomplish the goals I set out for myself.

Remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day

Good things come with patience and lots of hard work, but don’t expect to see immediate results. Reaching bigger goals that have the ability to burn you out if you rush it are not going to be worth it or rewarding if you could just accomplish it in a day or two. Goals that have the possibility of burning out are often times goals that can take weeks, months, or sometimes even years to finish out. But trust me when I say staying patient and consistent will pay off and will feel that much better, since you put that much hard work into it.

Recovering if you do burnout

Let’s say this article didn’t get to you in time, and you have already reached your burnout. Everybody’s experience of “burning out” is completely different, however some symptoms may include self loathing, feeling of being overwhelmed, high anxiety or depression, absolutely no motivation, and so on and so forth.

First you have to recover from these feelings. So give yourself a break, as I mentioned in my other article of helping a friend struggling with their mental health, you’re just human. There is no need to apologize or feel bad about just being human, it happens. And it happens to more people then you probably realize.

Take a stress leave. Cut yourself some slack, and give yourself room to breath. Don’t worry about how long it may take you- your mental health is absolutely top priority. Which is something I am constantly reminding myself about. But whether it’s only a day or two, or even a few weeks worth of self care. And do whatever works for you. Everybody is different, and for some people, recharging their mental battery may look like laying in bed and binge watching netflix, some may need to buy a last minute plane to a random country and “lose themselves” in order to find themselves again.

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Don’t forget to get back in the saddle

Yes, you burnt out, I’m sure it took a toll on your confidence, and your willing to keep going, but you have to get back to it and stick with it. Clearly, you need to bring it back a notch or two, and slow yourself down so that you don’t end up in the same predicament, but it’s all learning. Again, you. Are. human. You must learn to improve, and you never want to stop learning. Even if you have to learn from your mistakes, that’s why humans make mistakes. But you have to remind yourself why you started in the beginning then keep on pushing yourself (but keep in mind those new learned limits of yours).

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