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You’ve probably experienced burnout — the exhaustion of physical or emotional strength or motivation usually as a result of prolonged stress or frustration — at some point. And when you’re stuck in that rut, the only thing you want to know is how to push through it and prevent it from recurring.

When I face a burnout, the way I power through it is by finding something emotionally motivating to work on. A hobby to distract me and to look forward to when everything else around me feels stressful.

I have found my escape in blogging, and here are five ways I use it to prevent burnout:

Reduces Stress

Burnouts are typically caused by stress, and anything to reduce that is crucial to preventing it. As a college student, I find myself pacing through deadlines and completing assignments that don’t always spark my interest. However, when blogging, the rules are mine to make, the subject is one that I enjoy, and I can work on it as I please.

Boosts Confidence

Sometimes sharing your opinions with others can be nerve-wracking, but it’s more stressful to hide what you are passionate about and to worry about what other people think. From my first blog post to my last, I have received nothing but positive feedback from my family, friends and peers. Because of this, I feel more encouraged, accepted, and definitely more confident.

Improves Productivity

When in a burnout, it’s easy to procrastinate, overthink and show low effort. The only way to stop doing nothing is to start doing something. The best advice I have for staying out of a rut is to stay productive.

A goal I set for myself is to post twice a week on my blog. Not only does this keep me on track, but it gives me something to look forward to. However, if twice a week becomes too stressful with my schedule, I have complete control of my blog and can adjust my goal according to what I can handle. As a hobby, the blog shouldn’t cause any additional stress. It helps me keep an active mindset and stay productive.

Supports Self-Expression

At times, blogging has been one of my main sources of motivation and happiness. I feel accomplished every time I write and get to hit the publish button on a new post. Also, having an outlet to share my thoughts, rather than bundling them up in my head, has been very helpful. It’s definitely not stressful, and actually exciting, to see the results of my blog come to life and to be able to express myself in a way that I enjoy.

Opportunity to Learn

Blogging is my way of engaging in a topic that fascinates me. I have the opportunity to learn about a topic in a way that’s different from in school, where I may not have a choice about what I learn and where I will most likely be tested on what I learn. The knowledge I gain from blogging is from researching and exploring a subject that I enjoy. This is knowledge I’m interested in gaining, and that keeps me inspired to work harder.

People often attempt to revitalize from burnouts through time off, but I believe that staying out of a burnout is best done by finding a new motivation, inspiration and way to reacquire productivity.

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More on Mental Health on Campus:

What Campus Mental Health Centers Are Doing to Keep Up With Student Need

If You’re a Student Who’s Struggling With Mental Health, These 7 Tips Will Help

The Hidden Stress of RAs in the Student Mental Health Crisis