Extinguish Burnout Before It’s Too Late
“Never tire yourself more than necessary, even if you have to found a culture on the fatigue of your bones”
Exhausted. Lonely. Bored. Mild depression sets in. Deadlines are rapidly approaching. You attempt to muster up the strength to tackle your constantly growing workload. No avail. Something’s missing. A crucial part of you has fled and left you a broken shell of a student–you no longer have the confidence nor the willpower to continue. It might be time to throw in the tower. Welcome to the mental fatigue known as a burnout.
What is Burnout
In order to defend yourself against burnout, it’s important to understand what it is. As defined by Malasch and Johnson in the study of Student Burnout as a Function of Personality, Social Support, and Workload, the main 3 traits of burnout include: emotional exhaustion, reduced personal accomplishment, and depersonalization. Essentially, burnout occurs when one subjectively believes that their demands are too excessive. It’s an extreme form of stress caused by a lack of free time, a high workload, and an overwhelming amount of pressure. This psychological effect causes a complete decrease in mood and energy which ultimately leads to a loss of interest in even the most previously enjoyed activities.
If you find yourself constantly sleeping and in a state of excessive, nagging exhaustion you might have fallen victim to burnout. If possible, it’s best to avoid burnout before it occurs as it may be difficult to pull yourself out of.
As a whole, experiencing burnout immediately results in a drop of productivity which will prevent you from accomplishing goals and tasks. This could lead to a snowball effect. Initially, you may find yourself skipping classes frequently due to this new lack of energy. However, those missed classes will begin to harm you in the long run as you’ll also be too fatigued to complete any homework assignments, even assignments that are due online.
Of course, there’s always the possibility to return from a session of burnout. Besides preventing it before it begins, utilize these tips:
Update your planners and calendars and put everything into perspective. Check your goals (or set some if you don’t have any). Once you do that, you might find that a clearer mind and workspace will take away from any of the stress you had.
Stay away from Social Media!
This might be one of the best tips available. In today’s age, we’re constantly being bombarded by the endeavors of others. We find ourselves comparing our feats and situations to our peers. Ultimately, we hurt ourselves by creating an unrealistic expectation of ourselves based on what we believe others are doing. Take a day or so to pull yourself away from Facebook or Instagram to refresh your mind and understand that. On top of comparison being harmful, your phone, tv, and computer devices constantly emit what’s known as blue light, which is harmful to sleep and could additionally cause stress.
I’ve mentioned this in a previous article but exercise isn’t just for losing weight or gaining muscle. It’s also an excellent way to de-stress When you find yourself unmotivated and burnt out, perhaps mustering up enough energy to go for a good run or a workout might help give you a boost and put everything back into perspective.
Get Support from Family and Friends
This one is huge! When burnout occurs, one of the best ways to recover is to seek support from friends and family. The article says that maintaining a positive temperament (which can be fostered by participating in extracurricular activities) can be one of the fastest and most efficient methods of recovering from burnout.
Ultimately, there’s never any need to stress yourself out too much. Understand that no matter what, it’s important to do what’s necessary for yourself. No one else’s opinion matters, especially if it leads to negative health. Hopefully, this article served you well and hope you enjoyed the content. If you know of any tips to deal with burnout or want to share some personal stories feel free to share in the comments! Thanks for reading!