Stress is inevitable in any stage in life, including college.
It is not uncommon for college students to juggle internships, part-time jobs, full course loads, extra-curriculars, and social life. Maintaining a healthy balance in all aspects of your college life might sometimes prove to be too much. As a result, college students who have a lot on their plate often end up prioritising school-work and other tasks over self-care, which can lead to stress.
According to research, there was a 30% increase in the number of college students seeking appointments in counselling centres between 2014 and 2015. This is in great contrast to the student enrolment numbers as they only grew by 5 percent.
61% of college student cite anxiety as one of the major reasons why they seek counselling. While a little stress over all that you have to accomplish in college can be beneficial, too much stress leads to anxiety, which can quickly result in burnout.
What is burnout?
Burnout refers to physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion that brings about a sense of reduced accomplishment. Burnout is caused by ongoing stress and is more than just feeling stressed out just before your finals or having a bad day. One of the most common symptoms of burnout is feeling overwhelmed by your work and being unable to meet constant demands.
Burnout causes undesirable effects in your life, such as loss of personal identity. To escape the negative effects of burnout, make sure that you spot it early by looking out for the following symptoms.
Symptoms of burnout
Recognisable symptoms of burnout include:
- Feeling depressed and alienated
- Reduced productivity
- Loss of confidence, motivation, and feeling incapable of meeting deadlines
- Lashing out at friends due to frustration and pressure
- Pain and tension in the body due to overworking and overthinking
- Reduced concentration
If you have most or all of these symptoms, here’s how you can overcome burnout.
Tips for overcoming burnout
- Stop viewing time as money
Time is not always money and each minute spent not working is not wasted, especially if it will lead you to cough up more money for counselling. Time is valuable, but so is your mental health. Set aside time for thinking and soul searching, looking around, catching up with friends, or taking a walk in the park. In doing so, you will give your mind and body time to recharge and prepare for the next big task or assignment.
- Do not be afraid to get help
If you feel like you cannot overcome burnout on your own, do not be afraid to get help. Just like with any other aspect of mental health, talking through your issues with a friend or a professional could go a long way into helping you overcome burnout. Also, you can get professional school work help from the best college writing services if you have burnout and you feel stuck. This will give you time to refresh your mind and get ready to tackle the next assignment.
- Find a support system and rely on it
One of the best ways to avoid feeling overwhelmed is celebrating the small wins as it helps you focus on the positive aspects of your life. Find friends, family, classmates, and workmates (if you have a part-time job) who you can vent to when you feel overwhelmed and celebrate small milestones with.
- Take a break from technology
Constantly seeing social media and internet updates can overstimulate and overwhelm you. Taking a break from all technology and social media will help you to recharge your internal batteries. Additionally, going dark gives you a sense of being relieved from all responsibilities and cares of the world, which in turn, rejuvenates your mind and body.
- Set reasonable goals
Setting unrealistic goals will only pile up pressure on you to achieve the impossible. Make sure that every goal that you set is achievable. If you have taken on too many courses that are leaving too little time for your social work, drop some. Also, make sure that you have a great mix of courses every semester. For instance, if you are studying psychology, avoid taking too many psychology courses as they might become monotonous; hence taxing.
- Breakdown responsibilities
Breaking down responsibilities into smaller, achievable tasks will go a long way into helping you avoid last minute projects and manage stress. It will also allow you to feel good after completing each small task before moving on to the next and prevent you from feeling like an underachiever, consequently preventing burnout.
- Meet a need that satisfies you emotionally and physically
Self-care is vital in overcoming burnout. Take a moment to pamper yourself. In doing so, you will find out what makes you feel better and can use it to prevent burnout in the future. For instance, you can clean your room to satisfy the physical need to stay clean and the emotional need of accomplishment after finishing a task.
Experiencing burnout does not mean that you are a quitter or that you will not accomplish your college goals. Burnout syndrome can happen to anyone, including students with can-do attitudes who often try to go above and beyond. If you are experiencing burnout, follow the tips in this comprehensive guide to overcome it and feel better in no time!
About the writer: Carol Duke is very keen on teaching students new, effective ways of learning. When not freelancing and blogging on marketing-related matters, Carol enjoys travelling, taking immense pleasure from visiting new countries.