It is not a surprise for burnout to be a major concern in college. In a 2020 survey, 72% of college students are worried about the future of their education and 60% of them are stressed about falling behind or failing in the realm of online learning.
Burnout is stress-related. It is a type of exhaustion that is caused by stress, and it can lead to feelings of depression, isolation, and low accomplishments.
Research has long established that it affects employees; it is also known to affect students. Experts have identified some strategies that can help prevent burnout among students.
1. Your Purpose
It all starts with that intrinsic motivation, the thought that learning is a naturally satisfying act. This inner-self motivation is often associated with low levels of academic burnout and higher academic achievements.
The most effective manner of preventing burnout is to be sure of your purpose for studying. You can build this up by identifying the skill sets that you must develop as well as what experiences you expect to have while pursuing a college education.
2. Set Reasonable Goals
When you have too much to take in, this can create stress. It’s the same thing when you set unrealistic goals.
Signing up or enrolling in an extra class at the start of the semester can help you save money, but this may also result in academic burnout.
Instead of coming up with a full schedule or cramming for your exams, set more realistic tasks, goals, and expectations.
An example of this is not taking an internship schedule to add to a heavily loaded schedule to avoid its toll on your mental health.
3. Visualize Your Progress
Always keep your syllabus and other pertinent resources to gain a full picture of all the projects you intend to pursue along with their deadlines.
You can make use of to-do lists, apps, and calendars that will remind you of what has to be accomplished, celebrating your way around small victories.
4. Say “No” If You Have To
A huge part of avoiding academic burnout is learning to manage your responsibilities. Students may end up mentally and physically drained when they take on extra assignments and tasks or volunteer to spearhead projects.
This does not mean you have to decline from participating in group projects and assignments and studying in preparation for your final exams. Strategically reduce your workload by learning to prioritize what is more important.
For freshies, instead of joining three sports in the intramurals, pick only one sport per season.
5. Take Regular Breaks
It is important to manage stress effectively to avoid burnout. A productive coping mechanism includes regular exercise, a proper diet, sufficient and quality sleep, and healthy social interaction.
In addition to these, regular breaks can make you restore your focus to help you achieve your goals, enhance your creativity, and improve your memory.
6. Get Enough Sleep and Exercise
In relation to taking frequent breaks, exercise and sleep must be given priority.
In a 2017 study, it was observed that medical students who don’t get sufficient sleep and exercise experience burnout more. This clearly makes sense because it has long been established that enough sleep and an increasing amount of physical exercise can contribute to better mental health.
The National Sleep Foundation reported a direct link between lack of sleep and a decline in cognitive function.
Getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep can be more challenging. Lessening the screen time, creating a sleep routine, and maintaining a quiet and dark environment in the bedroom can help you improve your sleep.
When it comes to exercise, you need not be a powerlifter. Just look for an activity that can be fun for you to do. The simple act of walking and going to the gym a few times every week can have a huge positive impact on your physical health.
7. Quit Smoking
If you are a smoker, it can take its toll on all aspects of your health. Gradually, quit the habit by using an e-liquid vape pen instead and choosing an e-liquid with nicotine in it.
Little by little, reduce the amount of nicotine in your e-juice until you are completely off it.