Academic burnout is a serious problem that can affect any college student. It is a state of emotional, physical, and mental apathy and exhaustion that can be caused by constant stress.
It is a serious condition that many disregard as simple stress. But it is much more daunting and can lead to other issues, like anxiety or depression. For students, it is important to understand the condition and its symptoms to prevent or relieve them as soon as possible.
What Causes Academic Burnout
This state is usually a result of prolonged and constant stress. It reduces productivity and mental capacity. It leads to a loss of interest and motivation. Overall, it causes a person to feel trapped and helpless. And it affects physical health as well by reducing immunity.
Many factors might lead to burnout, primarily academic overload and the inability to effectively balance studies with other responsibilities. College students have to deal with a huge amount of lectures and assignments while also working. Burnout happens when someone feels unable to meet all the high demands and experiences constant pressure and stress.
The issue here is that while students deal with this overload they feel isolated and helpless in it.
The first step is to recognize symptoms and understand what the major cause is. It is also important to remember that there is always help out there. If a student is stressed with an overload of written assignments, EssayPro experts are ready to assist with that. It is a professional academic writing platform that helps students with all types of college assignments, such as an essay or research paper. Expert writers can nail it in the shortest time and help one to get a bit of free time.
It is a great way to finally relieve at least a fraction of all the stress and tension. This moment can be used to start recovery and resilience toward burnout.
Symptoms of the Condition
To avoid, prevent, or recover from this state, one needs to understand its symptoms. Some of them overlap or are similar to depression and the main difference here is their longevity. If the state doesn’t change in 2-3 weeks, it is better to visit a professional for a consultation.
The main symptoms of burnout are:
- Constant exhaustion, feeling of tiredness all the time; one might even wake up already tired;
- Little to no motivation for studies;
- Feeling like a failure, doubting oneself;
- Decision fatigue even in the smallest things;
- Sense of loneliness and isolation;
- Feeling trapped and helpless;
- Negative worldview, increasing cynicism;
- Irritation – a person can lash out on others;
- Things that one loved do not feel as enjoyable anymore;
- Reduction of ability to focus;
- Physical feelings of body tension, regular headaches or other pains, change of the sleep and eating habits (loss of appetite, insomnia);
- Procrastination and unhealthy coping mechanisms (alcohol, drugs, overeating).
It is often extremely hard to concentrate even on easy tasks. Students with burnout can make a lot of mistakes in their work or daily tasks.
All of that has a detrimental influence on daily activity and mental and physical health. So it is important to deal with this state immediately.
How to Deal With Burnout
Here are mechanisms and practices that can help one feel better and recover from this condition.
Start Saying No
One of the factors that add to the stress is the inability to deal with all the responsibilities one takes on. There is only so much you can do in a day.
Begin with saying “no” to things you cannot do or have no time/desire for. It can be anything – an additional side gig, one more science project, or even a party. Start to prioritize tasks and choose those that are actually important and urgent.
Work on Motivation
Some studies show that lack of internal motivation can be one of the causes of burnout. That’s why it is important to boost it.
Think about why you are doing it. Why did you go to college? Why did you choose this major? But concentrate on the goals and prospects that lead to this. Write down all the benefits of education for you – it is necessary for a dream job, it increases opportunities, it opens some doors, etc. Concentrate on the long-time goals you want to achieve. And link this current experience to them. All of these efforts matter.
Because of mental and physical exhaustion, it is easy to lose track of things.
Keep a constant calendar with the deadlines and tasks. Add time for rest and entertainment there. Create to-do lists and praise yourself for achieving even the smallest things.
Be realistic about your lists for the day. Put 15 minutes breaks between every hour of studying. Set some time to unwind.
Remain Balanced Lifestyle
It is extremely important to sleep enough hours, eat healthily, and remain physically active.
These three factors directly influence one’s mental and physical well-being. They also can boost academic performance and brain functioning. Sleep at least 7-8 hours a day and exercise. You can go for walks or substitute commuting for a bike.
Nutrition needs to fulfill all elements, minerals, and vitamins.
Do Something You Love
There are probably some things that you enjoy even if you feel exhausted. It can be a movie, game, favorite music, or conversation with a friend. Schedule time for this activity. So you can look forward to something on a weekend. It also helps to feel better.
Do not isolate yourself from others, talk to people and share your experience.
Turn the Phone Off
There are several reasons why it is a good idea to turn off your smartphone for some time. Blue light from the screen can impact the sleep pattern. Social media can be harmful to one’s mental health in a vulnerable moment. And the idea of being available 24/7 is extremely stressful.
Try to turn it off or set it in airplane mode at least at night. You can also turn the notifications off for evenings and nights. There is probably nothing important happening on Tik Tok right now. And your brain needs rest.
Try Breathing Exercises or Meditation
There are many helpful stress-relief practices. But these two are one of the most effective. There are plenty of free apps or YouTube tutorials on breathing exercises. They help to calm down, reduce anxiety, and be in a moment.
Meditation can help with relieving stress and boosting mindfulness. However, if it is not for you, there are many other options, from painting to playing with a pet. Find something that works for you and do it.
Burnout is a serious condition one should not disregard. The earlier you start working on that, the easier it will be to recover. Evaluate your symptoms and find the major contributors to the constant stress. Be easy on yourself and do not take too many responsibilities, especially in this period.
Try to keep the internal motivation up and set achievable and realistic goals. Praise yourself for even the smallest accomplishments. Also, keep a healthy and well-balanced lifestyle, do something you enjoy, and talk to friends.