December 6th, 2013
Have you heard of the end of the year blues?
The condition is prevalent in hard-working student populations who are completing term assignment. Symptoms include disinterest, exhaustion, dark circles under your eyes, empty coffee cups strewn around about and the inability to see the end of their to-do list. Symptoms escalate until students hand in their last assignment. After all academic obligations are completed, symptoms will disappear for the duration of the winter break.
There is no known medical cure for the condition.
Scary stuff, right? I know that things are piling up now, but we’re almost there! Here are some thimgs to help you get through the next three weeks.
1. Be aware of burnout.
End of the year blues and stress can lead to burnout if you are not careful. You may experience emotional exhaustion, cynicism or depersonalization, or reduced personal efficacy in addition to any stress as you endure this difficult time. It is important to address any of these feelings or issues as outlined by the Maslach Burnout Inventory.
2. Do breathing exercises
Breathing exercises can be done anywhere, anytime. Practicing these exercises will help you center yourself and refocus on the task at hand. Exercises can be as simple as closing your eyes and taking three deep breaths. When inhaling, imagine filling the bottom of your lungs with air. Exhale by pushing all the air out with your belly. For more guidance, click here for a short guide or here for a longer explanation on how it works.
3. Get in touch with your spirit.
For many students, spirituality and faith is an important part of their life, especially during times of stress. U of T is home to the Multi-Faith Centre and many multi-faith spaces. Students are free to visit the centre and use the spaces for their religious or spiritual needs. The Multi-Faith Centre and U of T supports students of all backgrounds and provides resources for students to learn more about other faiths and cultures. If you have any questions regarding spirituality and faith, reach out to the Campus Chaplains Association, which represents many faiths and beliefs from all over the world.
Remember when I talked about being a snowglobe? You probably feel like one right now. I know I do. Even though it feels like my professors are shaking me as hard as they can, I still remember what I heard at Second City, all those months ago.
You’re like a snowglobe. No matter how hard someone shakes you, ya ain’t gonna fall apart.
As you complete your assignments, remember that what you are doing is meaningful and valuable. You should not lose sight of that when the going gets tough. Don’t overstress yourself. Know when you need a break, and take them. You’re almost done the semester.
Let’s finish this semester with a bang.