Save me from the thought-spiral

I’m having academic burnout and it’s making me look down on myself. 

Look after yourself physically and work on correcting the self-talk, says our elder. You’ve got this!


Dear EWC

Hey there, I’m having academic burnout where it is really draining me inside out and on top of that I also have overthinking or anxiety (I don’t know) as I keep thinking the worst-case scenarios, setting up unachievable goals and looking down at myself. Is there anything that can keep me cheer/motivate and also stop my brain from thinking bullshit?


Beacons-of-Light replies

We are a group of seniors living in a retirement community and we are sorry to hear that you are having a difficult time right now. One of our members suggested that you talk to your academic advisor to discuss your courses and see if there may be a better way to balance them. Perhaps you have too many courses that are requiring too much for you to be doing in one semester. Maybe you need to drop a class so you can dedicate your energy into getting good grades in those classes… Yes, we realize this would extend your schooling, so you need to determine how important it is to do well in each class or to scrape by with a passing grade. 

Maybe it would be helpful if you could create a list of things that need to be done and prioritize them. Perhaps get a wall calendar and it would be an easy visual of what must be done each day so you can stay ahead of the workload. Determine a list of “rewards” for each time you accomplish a goal that you can indulge in. If I study for two hours, I will allow myself a 30-minute break to scroll social media or play my video game or call my friends – whatever would be relaxing to you and bring you joy! 

Another member wants to make sure that you are taking care of yourself. Use the acronym DEER! D = Drink  E = Eat Healthy  E=Exercise  R = Rest! Make sure you go to bed at the same time and get up at the same time each morning, your body and mind needs rest to rejuvenate for the next day. Eat healthy foods and avoid too many fatty and unhealthy things. Drink lots of water and stay hydrated. Get exercise – take a walk, do yoga or at least take stretch breaks during your vigorous study/school time. You only get one body, you need to take care of it – trust us, it has to last you awhile!

As for your negative self-talk, we want you to work on correcting yourself when you find yourself doing it. When you hear yourself say, “You are so dumb” we want you to say to yourself “OK, this is hard but with some more practice you get better.” Instead of “I’ll never get this” say to yourself “I will keep trying until I understand.” Every night and/or each morning we want you to have a positive self-talk with yourself. No one is perfect and you need to be forgiving and accepting of yourself. Don’t judge your success with someone else’s ruler! Celebrate your own successes. Thomas Edison is known to have said ” I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Can you imagine if he wouldn’t have kept trying after he messed up or made a mistake! Just keep pushing through – you got this! We want you to stop looking down at yourself and look up! You are worth it! 

If after reading our letter and trying to implement some of our suggestions and ideas, you can’t seem to shake yourself out of your negative mind space, we think perhaps you should seek advice from a doctor. There may be some underlying health concerns that aren’t allowing you to focus or be as successful as you could be! We are wishing you the best of luck now and in the future! 

Article #: 479306

Category: Self-Improvement

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