Working Too Hard? Here’s How You Can Avoid Burnout Approaching The Holiday Season

Hello everyone it’s Zainab here, welcome or welcome back to my blog! I can’t believe that it’s already December, I feel like the year has gone so fast – but I love that we’re approaching a festive time of year. This is a time of positivity, where you should solely focus on relaxing and spending time with the people you love. I do know that sometimes this can be very difficult, so today I want to share what’s worked for me when I try to avoid burnout close to the holiday season, so that I can still be somewhat productive and work if I need to, while also using the time off to actually rejuvenate. Let’s jump into it!

Identifying Burnout

I think there’s a large difference between working hard and being in burnout, but surprisingly it’s hard to identify burnout for yourself. The World Health Organisation definition is:

Burn-out is a syndrome conceptualised as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed

WHO

This is a very complicated definition, but to me burnout is overworking yourself to the capacity where you lose yourself in the tasks, and you start to experience physical and mental consequences because of this. When I spoke with productivity expert Grace Marshall, she made the very valid point that, ‘you never feel like you’re enough, there’s always more we can be doing.’ This feeling is continuous and this constant cycle is a huge factor when it comes to burnout.

1 – Timeblock Your Tasks

As the definition stated, tine management is a leading cause of burnout for so many people. And it’s completely understandable – because sometimes you can just be so overwhelmed with what you have to do. And simultaneously, during the holiday season, the last thing you want to be doing is planning, because you just want to do everything on your own schedule. But, actively taking the time to plan your days means that you can delegate your tasks between days so that you have less to do daily. And, you can go even more specific and choose when you’ll do each task. You’ll be able to decide whether you should do the large jobs first, or work your way up to them (it’s your preference!)

Timeblocking is also very specific because you’re looking at your break cumulatively meaning that you can account for your other plans, or just add in time where you do nothing! And that’s completely valid because you would have already planned to get everything done on other days. Or, just at another time on the same day. You can choose just to time block days or narrow your focus down to what you’ll do every hour of every day.

Whatever you decide (timeblocking is so versatile) you can ensure that you get all your tasks done while also making sure that you don’t overwork yourself if random days are more saturated with work than others! Your workload will be spread at your comfort.

2 – Assign Yourself Some Absolute Rest Days

Your period of time off is usually always centred around a specific holiday such as Christmas or even New Years. Well, use those dates as guidance as to when you should take 100% of the day off and do absolutely nothing! Don’t get me wrong, in this time you may still need to do work tasks, or homework etc. But, to ensure that you don’t hit a work block or get to burnout, make sure you take a few days off and use the entirety to just switch off your work or school brain.

Also, you don’t necessarily have to celebrate the event – your rest day doesn’t even have to be on an event day! Just pick a random day to switch off and simply enjoy your time relaxing!

3 – Temporarily Remove Any Reminders Of Work You Have

Of course you still may have to work, but on the days where you feel quite tired, or even on one of your absolute rest days, just remove any reminder of the work you have. Honestly, just temporarily storing your work in a cupboard or draw will allow you to focus your attention on something else rather than just thinking about the work sitting on your desk and how you may have to do it. Some people even delete their email app off of their phone if they find they keep thinking about responses!

Remember, your time off from school or work is something to be treasured – even if you still have to be a little bit productive. Hopefully, just changing the location of your work can give your mind the break it deserves.


I hope this proves to be useful to you all as we enter the holiday period, remember you deserve some rest! Thank you so much for reading, let me know in the comments if you have any other advice for avoiding burnout.

You want to see more of me and get exclusive updates on my blog? Well check out my socials!
Instagram – For exclusive updates on posts
Goodreads – You can see any books I’ve read or even recommend me one!
Contact Me if you would like to collaborate or have any other inquiries
Any suggestions or feel like chatting? Comment down below!

Have an amazing day!

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A Guide To A Productive Summer Break

Hello everyone, it’s Zainab, welcome or welcome back to my blog! It’s the beginning of the summer holidays now – and I could not be more excited. One thing I’m looking forward to is getting time to relax, however I think it is important to give yourself a small amount of time in the Summer to do something productive (and this can be done in a variety of out-of-the-box ways) So today, I’ll be sharing my guide to being productive this summer break!

Firstly, What Does It Mean To Be Productive?

Resulting in or providing a large amount or supply of something

Cambridge Dictionary

Above is the simplest definition of the word ‘productive.’ In this context, it’s doing a lot of something that can stimulate your brain or give it some type of new information (which usually provides pleasant results). For example, studying would be considered productive as it’s reinforcing new information!

Productivity means something different to everyone. To one person, it might be writing a fun blog post, or to another person it might be a 3 hour study session. Whatever it means to you, you can find ways to implement it, in the simplest ways, even in your summer break.

1 – Interleave Revision Sessions

Since this is summer break, I still want to include studying as a small part of my productivity. During your summer break, it is not necessary to work everyday for 6 hours a day (because the whole point of the break is to have time off of school). But, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to just interleave a few revision sessions over the course of the weeks during the break just to go over your notes before the new school year!

6 Week Break Example

  • Week 1 & 2 – Relax/Enjoy your summer break to the fullest
  • Week 3 – Exactly the same just include a few revision sessions over the course of that week
  • Week 4 & 5 – Relax/Enjoy your summer break to the fullest
  • Week 6 – Exactly the same just include a few revision sessions over the course of that week to prepare for back to school.

Even during the weeks where you include a few sessions, you don’t have to do that much! Maybe go over your notes from the previous year, or check up on anything you were unsure about. I’d say maximum do an hour a day as you’re only consolidating your notes – and pick one day to do a specific subject! Also, feel free to alter this if you make plans or are going on holiday (remember it’s your break so you don’t have to stick to this like an exam timetable!)

2 – Visit A New Place

It might sound surprising, but even by visiting a new area or attraction, it can still be counted as productive. Because you can provide your brain with new information, whether it’s being exposed to a new culture in a landmark, learning a new skill at an event or vising a museum with interesting facts!

A new place could really help you to expand your skillset and try new things – which is still productive. (Remember productivity is not just academic success!)

Some places I’d like to go are: Museums, Farms, Observatories etc! Many of these may also be free so check your local areas to see if there’s any new places you can visit this summer.

3 – Start A Passion Project

Everytime someone asks me to recommend them to do something new, I always think of a passion project – because they are amazing in so many ways!

Passion projects could include: A Youtube Channel, A Blog, A Podcast, Creating a Small Business etc.

These projects are the best because you can make them all about whatever you’re interested in, and they are known to benefit so many people in the future because of the new skills they gain and the experiences they go through.

Plus, your passion project will be completely different to someone else’s project so it helps it’s uniqueness. And it won’t feel like work if you’ve decided create one about something you truly love, and most people who start these always say it’s one of their best decisions!


I hope this post was useful to anyone who wants to have a fun summer while still being productive – remember productivity can be achieved in so many ways. Thanks for reading, please comment your summer plans and what you’re going to do!

You want to see more of me and get exclusive updates on my blog? Well check out my socials!
Instagram – For exclusive updates on posts
Goodreads – You can see any books I’ve read or even recommend me one!
Contact Me if you would like to collaborate or have any other inquiries
Any suggestions or feel like chatting? Comment down below!

Have a fantastic day!

How You Can Attempt To Balance Your Life This Holiday Season

Hi everyone, Zainab here, welcome or welcome back to the blog. For today’s post, I’m going to be sharing how I attempt (key word: attempt) to balance my life this holiday season! I’m sure many of us can find it stressful sometimes, we have school & work, getting presents for the holidays and our hobbies. So here’s how I attempt to balance my life!

Delegate Responsibilities Between Days And Timings

With many things to do, it’s important to delegate them between days. For example, I set Sundays as my day to write blog posts and thoroughly go through WP Reader. Then, when I have exams to revise for, I delegate subjects between days and even hours. This stops you from having too much of a work overload!

Take Regular Breaks To Relax

Even when delegating responsibilities, you can still get stressed sometimes. So, take regular breaks along with your delegations in order to prevent mass stress, which can just make you perform worse in your responsibilities.

It’s Okay To Ask For Help

When having too much to do, it’s always okay to ask for help. Sometimes, we don’t always ask, which is definitely something even I need to learn. For example, if you don’t have enough time to blog, maybe ask for anyone to guest post!


Thanks so much for reading this post, again I just wanted to stress again this is attempting to balance everything. I don’t balance everything all the time – I’m not perfect. But, we’re all learning together, let me know how you attempt to balance everything!

You want to see more of me and get exclusive updates on my blog? Well check out my socials!
Instagram – For exclusive updates on posts
Goodreads – You can see any books I’ve read or even recommend me one!
Contact Me if you would like to collaborate or have any other inquiries
Any suggestions or feel like chatting? Comment down below!

Have a great day!

My Interview On The Blogger Up Series

Hello everyone it’s Zainab here, welcome or welcome back to Zainab Chats! Today’s blog post is slightly different as I got the lovely opportunity to be interviewed by Nabeeha Jameel from the Brainstorms blog – so today I’ll be sharing my interview with you all! Be sure to check out the original post here and give Nabeeha a follow, now let’s jump into Nabeeha’s interview! from the Blogger Up Series! (Nabeeha’s questions are in bold!)

1. When did you start Zainab Chats, and what inspired you to?

I started Zainab Chats in April 2020. (I started at about the same time too, after being devastated and confused after my O-level Examinations got cancelled) I actually had a previous blog on Blogger called: Z.H Blogs but I really just wanted to rebrand – we were in the middle of lockdown and I couldn’t see us coming out any time soon so I decided to start Zainab Chats to spread positivity to others! (YAY🎊!)

2. I really like the whole aesthetic of your blog. What theme have you used?

Thank you so much! I use the free WordPress theme: Canape

3. Does your blog focus on a specific niche?

 I mainly focus on Positivity but I also do other niche-related posts such as Reviews, Study Tips and Lifestyle!

4. Throughout your blogging journey what is one thing that has been a constant challenge?

I’m very thankful my blogging journey hasn’t been much of a challenge. However, one thing that has been a challenge (not specifically about my own blog) but it’s been keeping up with other people’s blogs. Through school and other activities I find it quite difficult to consistently go through WordPress Reader and read other people’s lovely blogs. It’s not a challenge I’ve fully overcome but I’m getting there! (I can relate, but my constant struggle mostly revolves around being consistent with my posts and keeping up with life at the same time😬)

5. I noticed that Zainab Chats has an Instagram account. How has the Instagram account helped with your blogging journey? 

The Instagram account really helped me grow my blog in the beginning. Now, I tend to focus less on growth and use the account to interact more with my followers which is not something I can really do in the comments of blog posts.

6. What is your favourite post on Zainab Chats and Why?

That’s such a hard question, but I’d have to say my 100 Followers Special as it was such a big moment for me and I honestly never thought I’d get there. It was also a fun post as I got to react to people’s assumptions about me! (The satisfaction when you reach a 100 followers is indescribable! I cannot wait for your blog to reach 1K!)

7. Where do you see your blog three years from now? 

Three years from now, I hope to have grown by blog and to be posting a lot more than twice a week. I don’t like to predict too much as things can change but I hope I’m still blogging and have a lovely community

8. What is the favourite thing you own and why?

 I’d have to say my Bullet Journal – it really lets me plan my days so much more efficiently then a regular planner. I’ve actually almost finished it so I’ll be getting a new one soon!

9. Any secret talents that no one knows about?

Honestly, I don’t think so – I’m a pretty open book! (😂 Great!)

10. Imagine you met the Genie, what are the three things you would wish for?

I’d probably wish for: World Peace, A Happy Family and for Others to be happy too!


Be sure to check out Nabeeha’s blog, and other then that, thank you so much for reading! I hope you learned a bit more about me!

You want to see more of me and get exclusive updates on my blog? Well check out my socials!
Instagram – For exclusive updates on posts
Goodreads – You can see any books I’ve read or even recommend me one!
Contact Me if you would like to collaborate or have any other inquiries
Any suggestions or feel like chatting? Comment down below!

Have a lovely day everyone!

A Day In My Life

Hey everyone it’s Zainab! Welcome or welcome back to my blog! Today, I’m going to be doing a day in my life as it’s something I’ve never done before, I’ll be picking Tuesday as it’s quite an interesting day in terms of school but it’s also a very chill day in lockdown! Also, this Tuesday is specifically is quite exciting for me as I actually get to leave my house! This is inspired by Meg’s post from The Blog Girl which you should check out here. Let’s jump into this post!

7:20am – Wake Up And Breakfast
This is not my usual wake up time, but considering it’s lockdown and school is online it’s okay! When I wake up, I go to the bathroom, and go straight downstairs for breakfast!

8:00am – Workout And Meditation
This is something I’ve only recently been adding to my morning routine, but now every day after breakfast I’m trying to schedule in a workout. This will not only help me physically, but mentally too! Meditation, is one of my new years resolution so I do it straight after my workout to bring me into a positive mental state!

8:45am – School (Usually)
Now, usually from 8:45 onwards I’m doing school, but for this Tuesday I had to take a little bit of a detour! So at 8:45 I logged into school just to get registered and then I had to go!

9:15am – Going To The Dentist
This doesn’t usually happen but I went to the dentist during school as I had to get an X-Ray as I’m getting braces soon! My appointment wasn’t till 10:00am but I like to be super early!

10:15am – Continuing With School
After I got back from my appointment, I continued with my online school. Luckily, we weren’t having proper subject lessons on this day anyway so I didn’t miss any actual school content!

2:00pm – Call With Friends
Since there were no subject lessons, school finished early so I hopped onto a Google Meet and Zoom with my friends. On the Google Meet, we all played a very eventful game of among us, and on the Zoom, we were doing Kahoot quizzes!

4:00pm – Relaxing
One of my other new years resolutions is to not be as hard on myself this year and to practice more self care! So, I just put on some Netflix and did some knitting and it was really calming!

7:00pm – My Voice Reveal
So, at the time of you guys seeing this, you would’ve already heard my podcast episode (the link is here) but for me, it has just come out and I’m so excited!!

8:15pm – Watching A Football Match
I have recently started getting into football so I ended the day by watching a football match with my Dad and my brother – it was definitely a fun evening!-

10:30pm – Going To Sleep
After the match, I was quite tired so I quickly just checked to see if there was anything else I needed to do in my bullet journal (there wasn’t!) So I went to bed!


Okay guys, that was quite an eventful day in the life (not really that eventful but that’s lockdown for you!) I hope you enjoyed and if you did be sure to comment what you’ve done today!

Also, before I go, I just wanted to say that you’ve probably noticed I haven’t been engaging in WP Reader – which really makes me upset as you’re all so talented! I recently got braces which have given me a lot of pain and stress so I haven’t really been able to check it. I promise once the pain has decreased a bit I will be checking out all your posts!

You want to see more of me and get exclusive updates on my blog? Well check out my socials!
Instagram – For exclusive updates on posts
Goodreads – You can see any books I’ve read or even recommend me one!
Contact Me if you would like to collaborate or have any other inquiries
Any suggestions or feel like chatting? Comment down below!

Have an great week!

Life Upate

Hey everyone it’s Zainab, today I thought it’s been a while since I’ve done a Life Update and a lot has been happening lately so I thought I’d just sum it up in one post!

2nd Covid Lockdown:
Okay, so the main thing I have to talk about in this post is the 2nd UK National Lockdown! Honestly, I don’t know how I feel, it hasn’t changed much for me as they have kept schools open. To be honest, I really wished schools closed – I love school however in my school we have already had some cases which I’m kind of nervous about but hopefully everything will be fine.

Starting Back At School:
So I’ve been back at school for around 2 months now and I’ve already had my half term! I’m currently in Year 9 which means I’ve started learning my GCSE Content. I definitely think this year will be my year at school! At the end of the holidays, I set myself goals for this school year and for the first half term I have managed to achieve them! The only one I didn’t manage to do is extra curricular activities as they have unfortunately been cancelled.

Exercise:
I have no idea why but lately I’ve seemed to want to work out more and more, I think it’s probably as I’ve been eating a lot of unhealthy stuff recently! The workouts are definitely helpful, however some days I’m motivated some I’m not, so if you have any tips let me know below!

Starting A Bullet Journal:
So, I’ve recently started a bullet journal and I’ve really been enjoying it! I love how you are free to choose whatever spreads you want or how you want to decorate it!

So guys that’s everything I’ve needed to update you guys on, let me know below how all of your lives are going!

You want to see more of me and get exclusive updates on my blog? Well check out my socials!
Instagram – For exclusive updates on posts
Goodreads – You can see any books I’ve read or even recommend me one!
Pinterest – To see my boards and pins!
Contact Me if you would like to collaborate or have any other inquiries
Any suggestions or feel like chatting? Comment down below!

Have a lovely day!

Taking You Through My Dream Life Pinterest Board

Hey everyone! Today, I’m going to share with you my dream life Pinterest board and the different pins on it! Let’s jump into it!

Passing Exams
This tick is to signify that one of my dreams is to pass all my exams, I’m the type of person who doesn’t like failing (which isn’t necessarily a good thing) but I know I want to work hard to pass all my exams!

Karate Black Belt
Not many people actually know this but I’m actually training in karate! I’m currently a purple belt but one of my all time favourite dreams is to be a black belt, I hope I can reach it!

Good Family
I feel like most people want this in life but I cannot wait to have my own family when I’m older!

Talk Show
Some people know this but my dream is to have my own talk show, the Pinterest Pin of the set is a rough idea of what I would want my set to look like.

Dream House
That house that I’ve pinned is the exact one I would want to have when I’m older, I love the view and how it looks!

Well guys that’s my dream life Pinterest board! Hope you guys liked this post!

You want to see more of me and get exclusive updates on my blog? Well check out my socials!
Instagram – For exclusive updates on posts
Goodreads – You can see any books I’ve read or even recommend me one!
Pinterest – To see my boards and pins!
Contact Me if you would like to collaborate or have any other inquiries
Any suggestions or feel like chatting? Comment down below!

Have a great day!

Daily Routine Of A Blogger (Collab With Christina)

Hey guys it’s Zainab, welcome to the blog! Today, I’m going to share my daily routine as a blogger. Before we start the post, this is a collab with one of my amazing blogger friends, Christina from Christina and Camera, so go over to her blog to see her routine! Let’s get into it!

8:00am – So at around 8am I will wake up and eat breakfast! Usually, I’ll be eating cereal and watching Netflix too!

9:00am – Then, at around this time I will go into my room and do school work! I do my school work before anything else as school is my number one priority!

10:30am – Roughly at this time, I will start doing Blog Content Planning! I usually plan my content throughout the week and then I will write up blog posts! Also, every Sunday I plan out content to go onto my Blog Instagram at this time, to promote my blog (usually, it’s whatever I put on my blog, I turn it into a mini Instagram post). It takes much longer to do the Blog Instagram as I want to make my Photography perfect!

11:15am – After I plan all my blog content, I’ll usually watch some Youtube or Netflix! After I spend my morning doing school and planning I really like to relax.

12:00pm – This is usually the time of day where I work out! I do have a new workout routine so if you want to see an updated workout routine blog post, let me know below.

2:00pm – I’ve put a huge gap in time here as after I have a productive morning writing blog posts, school work etc I literally do nothing! At around this time, I usually eat lunch, which would usually be a Cheese sandwich!

4:00pm – Usually, I will go into WordPress and do a final proofread of a blog post as well as going WordPress Reader!

6:00pm – At around this time, I will hop back on WordPress and respond to any comments. I always post as 5pm so I always have at least one comment to respond to!

8:00pm – This is the usual time I will sit and eat dinner with my family, after that I will usually take some Vitamins too! I will then have nothing to do so I just relax with my family until I go to sleep!

So guys, that’s my daily routine (yes, I know it’s not productive but at the time I’m writing this I’m still in quarantine) I’m actually back to school now though, so let me know if you want me to do an updated school version.

You want to see more of me and get exclusive updates on my blog? Well check out my socials!
Instagram – For exclusive updates on posts
Goodreads – You can see any books I’ve read or even recommend me one!
Contact Me if you would like to collaborate or have any other inquiries
Any suggestions or feel like chatting? Comment down below!
Have an great day!

Top 5 Favourite Productive Apps

Hey everyone, it’s Zainab! Welcome back to the blog, I know during lockdown a lot of people have been struggling with productivity, so I want to share 5 apps or websites that can help with productivity!

Before I get into the list, I just want to say thank you so much for 90 followers! I really appreciate it! we are so close to 100!!! Let’s just jump into it!

  1. Pinterest
    For those of you who don’t know what Pinterest is, it’s essentially an app where you can share ideas on basically anything! I personally don’t use it anymore but if you need study advice or advice for organising, I can guarantee you will find something on there to help with productivity!
  2. Google Calendar
    This is probably the best calendar app I’ve ever used! On Google Calendar, you can categorise your events as well as set reminders and goals for yourself to get things done throughout the day! It’s probably my favourite app out of the whole list!
  3. Beautiful AI
    If you haven’t heard of Beautiful AI then you are missing out! If you don’t know what it is, then I’ll tell you! Beautiful AI is a presentation software that allows you to make amazing slideshows in such an easy way! Not to mention, it’s free!
  4. Google Keep / Apple Notes
    Both of these apps are very similar, you can use both Google Keep and Apple Notes to take notes on anything you need to do, whether it’s your school homework or a daily to do list! I personally use Apple Notes, but I know Google Keep is great if you want to make your notes look aesthetic!
  5. Google Jamboard
    I love using Google Jamboard! If you don’t know what it is, Google Jamboard is an interactive whiteboard! You can add all your ideas into one slide, as well as add sticky notes, sketch on it and present to an audience! It’s a great way to keep all your ideas together and then save them to Google Drive! You can either access it online or use the mobile app!

So, that’s it! I hope you enjoyed reading about these 5 softwares, hopefully you can use one of them to help increase your productivity!

If you haven’t seen my last post, then this is the final reminder that you can send in questions you’re too afraid to ask bloggers! You can comment them or use my contact form and all names will remain anonymous!

You want to see more of me and get exclusive updates on my blog? Well check out my socials!
Instagram – For exclusive updates on posts
Goodreads – You can see any books I’ve read or even recommend me one!
Contact Me if you would like to collaborate or have any other inquiries
Any suggestions or feel like chatting? Comment down below!
Have an great day!

My Lockdown Summer Bucket List!

Hey everyone, it’s Zainab! I’ve seen a lot of people writing out their Summer Bucket Lists lately, so today I’ll share 10 things on mine!

  1. Go In My Garden More
    I think during these times I’ve needed to enjoy the fresh air more, if you have a garden, allotment or anything of the sort it’s a great way to enjoy nature while you stay safe!
  2. Find A Pen Pal / Write More Letters
    I have always wanted to have a Pen Pal and I think it would be really cool to write to one of my friends instead of text them albeit it would definitely take longer to respond to eachother.
  3. Pull An All Nighter
    I’m not sure why, but pulling an all nighter is something I’ve always wanted to do but I’ve never gotten round to it! Let me know your tips for pulling an all nighter!
  4. Visit A Fruit Farm
    Again, I’ve always wanted to go to a fruit farm as I think fruit would taste so much more delicious if I hand picked it myself, and everyone says it’s so fun! I hope this is the year I’ll get round too it.
  5. Cook A Meal For Family
    I have cooked a bit for my family but those are just snacks, or desserts so I would love to cook a proper dinner meal for my family!
  6. Practice Photography
    Photography has always been a skill I’ve definitely want to improve and now with all this free time, I’ll hopefully get time to perfect it!
  7. Attend A Virtual Event / Tour
    Attending a virtual event would be really fun and cool, I’ve actually already done one but I’d love to try and do another!
  8. Learn Calligraphy
    I have no idea why but I see so much fancy calligraphy, so I want to try and learn it!
  9. Have A Netflix Watch Party With My Friends
    I’ve already done this but I really want to do this again with friends during the Summer!
  10. Go On Long Bike Rides
    I have already done bike rides but not long ones so I’d love to go on longer ones as it’s good for exercise and super fun!

So guys, those are the 10 things on my Summer Bucket List! Please let me know at the end of the Summer if you want me to do a follow up post to it! How many of these have you already done? Let me know below!

You want to see more of me and get exclusive updates on my blog? Well check out my socials!
Instagram – For exclusive updates on posts.
Pinterest – Where you can find links to all blog post and any ideas!
Goodreads – You can see any books I’ve read or even recommend me one!
Contact Me if you would like to collaborate or have any other inquiries
Any suggestions or feel like chatting? Comment down below!

Have a great day!

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