Congratulations on your amazing accomplishment as a new graduate! As you embark into the next phase of your journey, a magnitude of opportunities lay before you. With this breadth of opportunity, comes many possibilities for your future. Not knowing the next life-steps can initiate waves of feeling overwhelmed, drained energy, and difficulty implementing much needed self care to combat these negative emotions. It is critical at this stage in your life to intentionally develop patterns and habits that allow you to carve out time in your schedule to care for YOU. After all, you can’t give 100% if you are pouring from an empty cup.
Despite working hard, you may feel uncertainty regarding the path your future career holds. This may initiate feelings of exhaustion, stress, cynicism and even illness. When these emotions build up, many people tend to burn out. In response to prolonged stress and overworking, burnout is the reaction from a set of different physical, emotional, and mental responses. Jay Shetty’s, one of New York’s #1 best selling authors, shares his insight in which he discusses why work stress is catching up with us and how we can stay in a state in which we can slow down when needed and avoid burnout.
3 Myths About Work Life Balance & 5 Ways to Really Create It - Jay Shetty
According to many studies conducted through mental health research, three major types of burnout include…
Neglect Burnout - Occurs when you feel incompetent or incapable of achieving tasks, either work-related or in your personal life. This shows up as lack of motivation, malaise or passive behavior.
Overload Burnout - Occurs when there are too many tasks at hand on your plate resulting in feelings of extreme stress. This is the most common type of burnout.
Underchallenged Burnout - Occurs from a lack of growth, too much boredom or a shortage of fresh learning opportunities.
Although these feelings of chaos and burnout may feel overwhelming, they are actually quite normal when jumping onto a new path and pursuing a new career. It’s normal to feel like your world is out of sorts as you dive into this chapter of your life where you are transitioning from student to the unknown.
Focusing too much on only one aspect of your life will inevitably leave insufficient time for your other endeavors. It is of utmost importance to recognize and remember the value of having balance in our lives. Work-life balance isn’t always 50-50 and it takes deep consideration as to how you can create a personalized balanced lifestyle with persistence and understanding of your own needs and scheduling.
When you achieve greater life-style balance, you gain more ability to reflect. This in turn leads to extended self-awareness which is favorable for your mental health. A balanced lifestyle will help diminish stress, improve sleep quality and reduce brain fog. In the long run, this also will provide you with stronger decision making capabilities and a clearer sense of direction.
A progressive way that you can help improve your work-life balance is through setting boundaries. Boundaries, defined as limits set in place on what you will or will not accept of another person’s words or actions, can be significantly important when creating balance and harmony in your life. As a new grad, boundaries may look different for everyone. Setting boundaries may mean that you allot separate time for your job versus your family, or that you will not sacrifice “me time” for work. This, in return, will help maintain your mental sharpness. It may feel difficult, or even daunting, at first to initiate them, but framing boundaries is an essential skill that should be acknowledged and worked on regularly.
Keeping up with your wellness is also sometimes difficult when our daily lives are so complex. When we fail to address our own mental and physical needs, we feel helpless, defeated and hopeless. This is why investing in your mental health as a new grad is so important, too. As your work and personal life will change regularly, you will be required to adapt and evolve with them, while cultivating a lifestyle that suits you best. Creating strategies to improve your mental health can make the nuances of being a fresh grad or new employee so much easier. Here are some tips.
Make exercise an important part of your daily routine. Exercise directly affects your mental health. Implement daily movement into your schedules to help off-set the demands of work. This can be as simple as getting up from your workstation every hour and taking a short walk or stretch.
Get fresh air. The wonders that fresh air can have on your well-being has been proven time and time again. Whether it be a walk or a moment of silence on your porch each evening, fresh air has a significant impact on your being.
Make time for ‘Me’ time. Treat your self-care, socializing, rest, and hobbies just as importantly as you would to your career.
Provide yourself with small feelings of accomplishment over the little things. It’s the little things that make up the big accomplishments.
Don’t hesitate to reach out! Everybody needs help at some point or another.
Having concluded your time at university, now is the time to decide what you want to do next. Targeting actionable and achievable goals is a great way to help establish routines, especially after all the initial graduation excitement has worn off. It is often difficult to find time for self-care when we are over-scheduled, overextended, and drained. However, we must intentionally find these moments.