Academic burnout is a long-term condition that leaves you feeling frustrated and unmotivated with impacts on your schoolwork and concentration. It can be very common for those of us feeling the pressure to do well in school, especially for those with a fear of failure or with other outside stressors. This article hopes to help you identify the symptoms of academic burnout, find out what you can do to prevent it, and guide you on recovery if it occurs.
How do I know I’m Experiencing Burnout?
Burnout symptoms tend to manifest in overwhelming fatigue that is further aggravated by insomnia or other sleeping problems. It has ties to anxiety and depression with many sufferers feeling a lack of motivation, low moods, confidence loss and an increase in unhealthy habits.
“Students suffering from burnout will find that they are unable to focus on coursework leading to potential missed deadlines and further decreasing confidence in abilities,” warns Pamela McBride an educator at Elite assignment help and State of writing.
What can I do to Prevent Burnout?
The most obvious advice though the hardest to follow is to actually take breaks in your schoolwork. Make time throughout the week to stop and reset, weekends make the best time for this if you can. You hear a lot of people talk about work-life balance, but they forget that this is true for schoolwork as well. Taking time for a real break away from what stresses you out will give you some time to reset and recover before the stress becomes overwhelming.
Throughout the week try and exercise frequently, spend some time outside and make time for activities you enjoy and time with your friends to help you get some more work-life balance. Look after yourself, make sure to stay hydrated and reflect on what is stressing you out. If it is the workload try and set more achievable goals and avoid procrastination. Develop a good relationship with your professors and tutors so that you can discuss with them when you are feeling overwhelmed and get advice. Remember, your tutors and professors want you to succeed.
Finally, take a step back and look at the whole picture. It’s hard to do and students may feel guilty or uncomfortable but it’s important to look at what you’re doing and see if it’s the right path for you. So many of us try to please our parents with our choice in career or study, but at the end of the day, it is you who has to live with the outcomes. If something isn’t aligned with your interests or causes you distress then it may be time to look for a new course of study.
How do I Recover from Burnout?
The first thing about recovering from burnout is to try and not feel ashamed or upset that you are experiencing issues. Don’t ignore the issue in hopes it will go away and avoid comparing yourself to others. While on the surface things may seem fine and dandy you never know what’s happening behind the scenes.
It’s the hardest part for many but asking for help is a large step forward to recovery. Speak to any counsellors your school provides and look into other mental health professionals available to you. Speak with friends, family and teachers to explain the situation and build up a support network.
Psychology writer Tiffany Hedges, Revieweal and OX Essays, advises, “Asking for help is something none of us want to do, especially when we already feel shame that we aren’t able to do something that seems to come easily to others. But everyone has something that they struggle with, it’s part of being human.”
Recognise the symptoms you are suffering and try and manage the amount of stress you are under. If you recognise some of the symptoms in yourself it’s time to make some major changes. Try looking into mindfulness and attempt to build more breaks into your day to allow you to decompress. Look at your workload and break it down into smaller chunks and then use your own judgement to sort tasks into must-dos, should dos, might dos and won’t dos. You’d be surprised how much extra work you put on yourself without realising.
Burnout is all too common and is especially precedent given the overall number of external stressors in recent years. Remember to manage your schedules and build in frequent breaks. Look after yourself and be open when you are having issues. There is no shame in asking for help and you are not weak for doing so. Do what’s right for you and the rest will follow.