How to avoid burnout during NP school

Wow, I can’t believe it’s that time of the year again! That’s right! School is back in session and with it all the challenges it brings. Today I want to talk to you about how to tackle some of the most common challenges you’ll face during this semester to avoid feeling burnout. In NP school students struggle with feeling:

  1. Overwhelmed
  2. Overworked
  3. Stretched thin

So, today we are going to tackle each of those issues and come up with ways that you can get ahead of the problems and brainstorm a workable solution for yourself.

Overwhelmed

Most aspiring or student NPs have to face the dreaded syllabi, you know, the super long 12 page document that will dictate your every assignment, presentation and let’s face it, your life, for the next 12 weeks. What do most people do with them? They bury it, probably stick it on a book somewhere or worse yet, never print it out and keep it in their unorganized hard drive. Relying on memory alone is sure to be a recipe for disaster, and while I am no example of meticulousness or organization, you’ll undoubtedly do better if you come up with some sort of plan.

Want an idea for how to organize your assignments using this free organizational tool? (This may really help if you are taking online courses)

Watch the following video and learn how to organize your semester using Trello. You won’t regret it, I promise.

Overworked

Very few people actually get to quit their jobs during their NP journey, so most students are working part-time/full time hours while attempting to complete assignments, clinicals hours and studying all at the same time. This makes for a very stressed out living and not much sleep. How can you juggle it all? There is no simple answer, and you can’t just wave a magic wand and wish it all away, but you can look at your life in 1 week periods and plan accordingly. You see, we are all gifted with the same 168 hours every week to accomplish all our goals in. I suggest, before the week begins, sitting down and assigning what you will do in each of those 168 hours. Of course this is just a guide, and there is room to deal with things as they come up, but if you don’t track all your commitments, you’ll be more likely to overlook something.

Download your weekly hourly planner here!

Stretched thin

In addition to all the places that you have to be during the week and assignments that you’ll have to turn in, you are likely having to juggle responsibilities as a wife/husband, mother/father, caregiver to your parents, volunteering or other health commitments which can leave you wondering if you have any superpowers to pull this thing off. Well, you don’t, but here is what you do have: A community that may be willing to rally around you and help you in this journey. I want you to take a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle. On one side you’ll tally up all your additional responsibilities such as babysitting, cooking, grocery shopping, bill paying, household chores, and anything else that primarily falls on your shoulders to do, and on the other side, all the people that live in close proximity to you that may be able to help you. Now all you have to do is ask for help and assign them a task, even if they could help you once a month, trust me, it adds up.

Another trick is to automatize everything you can in your life, take a look at the following examples.

Family Meals, if you are responsible to feed your family during the week you may consider to:

  • Outsource a meal per week/biweekly to an affordable restaurant like Chipotle (where you can download an app, place your order, and not have to wait in line to pick it up when it’s ready)
  • Outsource another meal to a family friend who may be willing to cook for you once per week. If you find 4 family friends that can do this once per month that is 4 meals you don’t have to worry about.
  • If you are a church goer, encourage your family to stay for potluck
  • Get yourself a slow cooker and before you leave the house in the morning put a few ingredients together so it’ll be ready in the evening when everyone comes back home.

*CHECK OUT THIS EASY RECIPES I FOUND FOR YOU*

  • Institute a cold cuts or grilled cheese sandwich night, and just leave the ingredients you need out so everyone can build their own meal.

Grocery Shopping:

  • Create a household/grocery list in a place like Amazon and get groceries and other products delivered to your door. This will save you the trip to the grocery store. Many grocery stores also offer this service although you may have to call and place the order

Bill paying:

  • Automatize bills as much as possible so they are drafted from your bank account at a specific day that is convenient to you. The less manual work you have to do, the more time you’ll have to focus on more important tasks.

Go paperless/Go through your Email List:

  • Whenever you can, go paperless and avoid having to go through pieces of mail when you get home that you’ll then have to shred. If you can go through your email list and mark as junk all the unopened emails that fill your inbox you may save you valuable time, and will make you feel like you are on top of things.

So there you have it, these are just some ideas of how to avoid feeling burnout.

Could you use more tips? Click here to Download 14 Easy Tips to Survive the first month of NP school

 

Liliet Gomez, FNP-BC

Founder of Aspiring NP

The Place find support in your NP journey

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