The Dangers of Doing Too Much
February 12, 2020
Has there ever been a time in your life, school day, weekend or any given day where you feel completely overwhelmed and burned out? Everyone feels like that at times and even though it may not seem like it, there are solutions as well as ways to prevent those feelings from ever coming. Studies prove that committing to too many extracurricular activities can genuinely harm you, especially in the teenage years. Many students go through the feeling and thought that since they are in high school now, or since they’re a senior now, that they have to do everything they possibly can. Now that’s not to say that getting involved is a bad thing, but when it gets to the point that you’re losing sleep, time, and many other factors, then it is time to cut a few things off.
Being a student brings so many chances and opportunities to branch out and try new things, but if we put too much on ourselves, it can cause us to not be able to perform our best in many different areas. One way to avoid the stresses of being in too many situations is not signing up for too much at once. For example, if you want to play volleyball but also be on the debate team, as well as student body president, yearbook committee, and show choir etc; it can and will get extremely challenging. If you know that this is going to be an issue for you, one way you can save stress is picking no more than three of your top choices, and making sure the practices or rehearsals don’t clash.
If you already joined and committed to a number of clubs and you are beginning to feel overwhelmed, you can simply speak to the instructor or teacher of the clubs you aren’t that interested in, and cut back. A few ways to realize if you are taking on too much is
- Lack of sleep/personal hygiene and care
- Grades are slipping/beginning to fail
- You have no free time anymore
- You are beginning to impact yourself and those you care about negatively.
If you find yourself in a situation where you don’t know what or how to cut back, teachers and counselors have the job and responsibility to be there for you in your ups and downs. So, if you feel you are taking on too much, here are a few steps and ideas on how to solve that issue.
- Ask for help.
It is never a degrading thing to ask for help. If you are in a situation where you are feeling overwhelmed, maybe it’s time you take a breath and go to someone who has been in the position you have been in, and is willing to help and be there for you. This can benefit you greatly because they will be open and honest with you, and give you tips on how to work smarter and achieve goals.
2. Take a break.
If you are genuinely swamped in life’s tasks, you should consider taking a day on a weekend or holiday- or even a study hall that you don’t have a club or activity, and just rest. Do something that you wanted to do, not that you felt you HAD to do. (If you can’t find time for a break, you need to consider taking a few things off your list).
3. Prepare for times you know will be difficult.
If you know that you have a hard test coming up, instead of going to Pride B that day, ask to go to the library and study for what test is coming up there, so that you know you are fully prepared for what is about to happen.
Sometimes, the feeling of being buried in tasks and responsibilities is driven by the lie that you must be an “overachiever” or the “best” at what you do. The term overachiever may sound like a good thing, but even so, it can harm you. A high performer is more likely to embrace failure as “part of the process,” says John Eliot, Ph.D, professor in human performance.
Even though doing many activities may sound pleasing, consider the outcome before you make the decision.