It is common for university students to feel stressed. Often, because it seems normal to feel stressed, students and their instructors fail to recognise the signs and symptoms of burnout. While student burnout might pass for stress, it is more than the day-to-day stress that students face in meeting deadlines for academic papers.
Academic burnout, unlike stress, is a negative emotional, mental, and physical reaction to prolonged periods of study.
Often, these prolonged study sessions result in exhaustion, frustration, a feeling of depersonalisation, and many other burnout symptoms that are detrimental to student performance.
With so much content to cover, some students might use a relief such as free online essays to ease the stress and the chances of burning out.
Warning signs of burnout
Burn occurs after prolonged periods of stress. It is a feeling that you are overwhelmed and unable to meet demands. Some signs that you need a break include:
- Constantly making small mistakes that you ordinarily wouldn’t make
- Lashing out at those close to you
- Lack of opinions or ideas
- Loss of confidence
- A feeling of exhaustion even after getting enough sleep
- Overthinking, overreacting
- Frequent headaches and dizzy spells
- Not noting pains and aches in your body
- Sensitivity over small issues and criticism
- Feeling uninterested in activities that you used to enjoy
Here are some simple ways to overcome burnout:
Take a break
When you are feeling exhausted, no matter the number of hours you sleep, the easiest escape is to take a break. Essentially, student burnout occurs when students have no time to rest, engage in fun activities, and interact with other students on matters outside class. When you are researching and writing papers on weekends or working to pay your tuition fee whenever you are not in a class, you are bound to experience academic burnout.
Taking a break lets you focus on your well-being and engage in something that is not academic or work. You can take a weekend off and do something that is not academics or after-school hustle. In that weekend, consider free papers online and check for plagiarism online if you are working on a school paper to make your work easier. After the weekend, you will be feeling rejuvenated to start the week.
In most cases, students push their limits in a bid to perform well in school. In other cases, students tackle school work and start working to pay for tuition fees. Whichever the case, it is essential that you seek help either with your tuition fees, your schoolwork or talk to someone who will guide you out of the burnout.
Family members, fellow students, and your professors at college can help you manage stress and burnout. When working with your term papers, you can use simple tools online to check for plagiarism and collaborate with friends on research work so you can free up time for other activities. With an online check for plagiarism, collaborations with other students, and asking for help from professors, you will less likely make mistakes that will make you fail in a paper. This means less stress and fewer chances of burnout.
Manage your time well
Time management works not only for students but also for professionals experiencing burnout. Through time management, you will have enough time to do your assignments, study for your exams, sleep enough and even engage in a few fun activities.
You can use a calendar to track your priorities and deadlines, manage your responsibilities, and avoid procrastination. The use of a laid-out schedule is especially important for those who work after school hours.
Break down your responsibilities
What are your goals as a student? Instead of massive goals that you have to achieve in one college semester, you should breakdown your goals into smaller projects to be achieved within a short period.
This way, you will not stay up all night trying to finalise a project that should have taken longer. Burnout occurs when you do not appreciate the small wins before moving on to the next phase of a massive project.
Make your goals reasonable
Good stress will help you push your limits to achieve more in school and life. However, if stress is not managed, it leads to burnout. To ensure that your stress does not become a burnout, set realistic goals, and achieve them before you pile on more goals.
If you cannot handle two courses at once with your schedule, drop one course and focus on achieving the best with the course that remains.
Respect your body
Eating healthy, resting enough, exercising, and observing personal hygiene sounds like common sense advice. However, you can only achieve so much if you do not take care of your body. Being healthy also means learning to take a break when necessary, taking relaxing walks, going for a swim, doing activities that you find pleasurable once in a while.
Note that, spending so much time watching TV does not relieve stress or help you manage student burnout. Instead, you will just be sitting dormant, and this can add to your stress and burnout as you will be wasting precious time.
Social media might be taking away a lot of your time. If it doesn’t do that, that it is overstimulating you and making you feel overwhelmed. You can check for updates for a few minutes but do not let that turn to an hour or two.
Shut off your smartphone a few hours after you get home and focus on yourself. The screen from your smartphone or computer can interfere with your sleep rhythm, making it a challenge for you to calm down and sleep.
It helps if you know you are not going through academic burnout alone. It is human nature to find peace when they are in a group of people going through the same issue. With friends, you can talk about the burnout and it eases the academic burnout. You can also look for solutions together and help each other identify college burnout symptoms.
If you experience any number of the college burnout symptoms above, you need to deal with the burnout immediately. If you ignore the signs, your burnout will only get worse. The moment you fail to note the changes in your body, such as the inability to keep track of your schedule, you are headed for disaster.
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Peter Wallace has been an advocate for mental health awareness for years. He holds a master’s degree in counselling from the University of Edinburgh.