Academic Burnout

Every student has probably experienced study burnout at some point in their life. However not everybody might know about this phenomenon, therefore it might be crucial to explore it and ways to improve study burnout. 

What is Study Burnout?

Academic burnout is the physical as well as mental exhaustion after prolonged stress, it can result in a lack of motivation and disengagement.

Common symptoms can be: 

  • Feeling exhausted physically and mentally
  • Insomnia
  • Not being able to concentrate or focus
  • Having headaches
  • Irritability
  • Trouble meeting deadlines
  • Lack of motivation
  • Poor academic performance
  • Lack of interest in activities

What Causes Burnout: different aspects can be involved in academic burnout, such as the following 

  • Intense workload
  • Financial stress
  • Low self-esteem
  • Poor time management
  • Struggling with grades
  • Pressures and expectations from others
  • Work and school combination 
  • Job search fear

How to deal with college burnout: 

  • Make a hierarchical list of the things that are causing you to stress from most to least, then proceed by writing down next to each aspect things you could do to reduce the stress of each aspect that is causing you stress.
  • Try to find a balance between involvement and rest, school work is important but so is socializing and going out with your good friends, try to make a list of important deadlines to have them submitted before the due date, and thus you would be able to enjoy time with your friends as well, writing down deadline can also help you with your time management skills.
  • Practice mindfulness, mindfulness is a good strategy for staying in the moment, and this technique might aid you in decreasing stress levels, if you enjoy Yoga you could also try to practice your yoga in some classes.
  • Exercise is said to boost your mood, aid you in relaxing and improve depressive symptoms, it can also help you vent out the irritability from study burnout.
  • Take breaks every 20 minutes while studying, your brain needs rest, it is pivotal to take breaks at least once an hour if not every 20 mins, besides rest your brain will work better if you drink plenty of fluids.
  • Take care of yourself by taking care of your diet
  • Set reasonable goals
  • Do not try to study for an exam a day before but instead a week before
  • Find a friend or a loved one you can spend time with and talk about what is troubling you
  • Seek out professional help
  • Avoid alcohol or other substances
  • Try and ask your mentor if you are stuck with a task and feel like you cannot move on from it

by Marta Padron Pena, Mental Health Intern