As if being a college student wasn’t already difficult enough, it’s an even more unique situation to be in a pandemic while also navigating the difficulties of academics. This feeling of pressure is only heightened by looming deadlines and unfinished assignments piling up. Because of this, burnout has become a common thing that a lot of college students experience.
Burnout is a symptom that was conceptualized and results from chronic stress that can stem from the workplace or academics, and that is not being managed efficiently. Most college kids must deal with academic pressure and other responsibilities such as finding time to make money or spend time with their family and friends.
Academic burnout can also culminate in many weeks or months of studying the same material or putting in work on the same project. It is vastly different from the usual feelings of tiredness you get when pulling an all-nighter. It is a more chronic and long-term condition that is now being exacerbated by the pandemic. Some common symptoms include fatigue, insomnia, lethargy, lashing out and lack of motivation.
Here are some of the best ways to combat feelings of burnout.
Make time to do things you love
One of the best ways to eliminate burnout is to force yourself to take time for yourself and do something you genuinely enjoy. It can be something as simple as reading, doing an activity like bowling or having a game night with your friends. It will help you take your mind off the impending tasks at hand and sometimes even lead to epiphanies to help you in your assignments.
Set reasonable short-term goals
Another critical factor is that you should always set attainable and reasonable goals. If you set unrealistic goals for yourself week after week, it will ultimately lead to disappointment, and it might just add to the stress you are already feeling. Don’t expect that you can finish a project in one night if you have other work to do as well. Instead, you can set smaller goals throughout the week to complete the project piece-by-piece, and you’ll find that you can take care of your other responsibilities as well.
Don’t neglect your social life
Force yourself to stay social and interact with people often. Going out to get lunch with a friend or participating in a social event can be great ways to achieve a nice change of pace from the grind and increase brain activity and stimulate your senses. It can help to schedule plans with others in advance throughout your week or give yourself an hour or two each day to get out of the house and enjoy just being around other people, responsibility-free.
Doing physical exercises, such as a brief run or a short trip to the gym, can be very beneficial because it releases endorphins in the brain and triggers feelings of happiness. It’s essential to keep your mood up to avoid the stress and consequential feelings of unproductiveness from burnout. On top of that, it will help you to stay healthy and active rather than have you sitting at a desk all day.
This is probably the most important tip because procrastination only shortens the deadline on an increasing workload, and it is not a positive type of behavior. If you keep postponing tasks, it will add up and will only come back to make you regret that decision. You should try your hardest not to procrastinate and finish the task at hand on time. Not only will this increase the quality of your work, but it will also give you a sense of accomplishment.
Even knowing all of these tips will not help you until you recognize that you are experiencing burnout. Admitting to yourself that you are showing symptoms of burnout can help you go a long way in combatting it. By identifying it, you stay ahead of the curve. Burnout should not be taken lightly, but it is better addressed early to not make your daily responsibilities feel like an impossible task.