Burnout is something known to be experienced only by workers. But more and more researchers study the effects of burnout on students, and it turns out it is real. It cannot be experienced only in a professional setting, but in an academic one too.
Burnout is characterized by a long period of time when you experience a lack of interest in things, you feel exhausted, and do not have any energy or motivation to do more. All these lead to a decline in performance and productivity, and for students, it can turn out to be a real challenge to cope with it.
One of the most important things people need to understand is that stress and burnout are two separate things. You can experience stress without being burnt out and vice versa. Usually, they are strongly interconnected, but not always.
But because people always strengthen the connection between burnout and stress, they put a negative stigma on the latter one. Stress has an adaptive function and it has helped us and our ancestors survive. Stress can sometimes be that motivating factor that makes you learn more, write your assignments, and meet your deadlines. And this is when its levels are acceptable and healthy.
However, stress can turn out to be unhealthy and in most cases is one of the most important factors that contribute to burnout. Keep in mind that burnout does not happen overnight. It is slowly built in months or even years by people that forget to take care of themselves and to take breaks. There is always something that bothers you, so you spend all your time trying to make it vanish.
A recent study has shown that about 30% of students in the USA experience burnout during their academic life. This can take a huge toll on their college activity.
If you are feeling exhausted and do not have any motivation or self-confidence that you will meet your deadlines, you should stop and analyze this situation. Burnout focuses your attention and mind on overthinking, and this may cause a decline in your performance.
Burnout can have negative effects on students’ lives, and therefore it is important to adopt healthy habits to prevent it.
Learn to Say “No”
Student life comes with lots of opportunities. Hiking and travels to do, parties to be part of, and many more campus activities. Students have lots of opportunities and challenges on an academic level too, not only the social one.
We might often be tempted to take on many challenges just to prove we are worthy or to build our self-confidence. The time we have in a day is limited and we often forget this, especially when we are young. Engaging in too many activities can negatively affect your mental state and you can end up experiencing burnout.
“Learning to say ‘no’ when it is necessary is a skill many students can achieve. You can prioritize your activities and tasks so that you have enough time left for yourself too.” – says Jake Morello from the best essay writing service uk .
Adopt Effective Learning Strategies
One of the most important tips that will help you prevent burnout is adopting effective learning strategies. Or, learning how to learn. Many college students use ineffective learning strategies, such as summarizing the class content or underlining and highlighting notes on reading materials.
This brings us to the most effective learning strategies. One of the most important things to put to practice is to not cram all your study time in one or two days. Having high amounts of information to read and learn in so little time makes you more stressed. And you will easily get exhausted and tired.
Spread your study time on more days, so that you will have time for yourself too. Learning something every day will get you closer to your milestone without experiencing burnout.
Also, avoid reading passively information and do practice tests to help you retrieve information.
Usually, students avoid learning something every day, and instead, they cram all their projects, assignments, and study sessions for exams in a few weeks. To be able to read all the materials and learn new information, you might organize long study sessions every day.
Most students study at least 12 hours per day, and even though it may seem counterintuitive to some of you, this contributes to their burnout.
Learn to take breaks and give your brain time to relax. It is a powerful machine indeed, but regular breaks prevent its exhaustion. During these breaks, engage in activities that help you relax, such as exercising. It also feels good, as it triggers the release of endorphins.
Another mistake many students make is that they begin to love all-nighters. This image is portrayed by everyone and in most movies, we see students that struggle to keep up with their term papers while drinking immense quantities of Red Bull.
Even though for some this might seem funny and the only way to keep up with all the assignments, it is a huge mistake. Most students underestimate the power of sleep and think of it as something not necessary.
In fact, sleep is one of the most powerful tools. Sleeping about 8 hours per night is like a break for your brain. During the day it tries to retain as much information as possible and it is busy making connections. During a good night’s sleep, it has the break it is much needed. Sleep helps you process and remember things better, so this is exactly what students need.
Sacrificing sleep gives you the illusion of productivity, and in fact, it keeps you away from your goals. You would take bigger steps towards your goals or milestones if you would trade an hour of study with one of sleep.
College life is one of the nicest experiences you can get. You make new friends, travel to other countries, party and learn new skills useful for your professional life. However, students usually say yes to every new opportunity and challenge. And even the feeling of being busy might make you feel worthy and self-confident, it comes with negative effects too.
Burnout is real and it can be experienced by everyone. To prevent it, you need to adopt healthy habits and set a schedule. Spread your study activity on multiple days and avoid cramming everything in one day.
Do not ever sacrifice sleep or underestimate its power; it improves your memory and thinking process. Adopt effective learning strategies and learn to take breaks.