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If you’re feeling high levels of prolonged stress, you may be experiencing study burnout. Psychology Today said, “Study burnout is a state of chronic stress that leads to physical and emotional exhaustion.” Students commonly undergo high levels of prolonged stress around exam time, often leaving a feeling of burnout.
Some significant symptoms may include: reduced ability to absorb information, lack of motivation, intellectual exhaustion and a decline in academic performance. If these may sound familiar, it’s key to handle your stress as soon as possible. Burnout continuously gets worse unless you make effective decisions of intervention such as breaking bad habits and mental state of mind, procrastination or obsessive studying. Tackling too much can also contribute to burnout if you don’t recognize your limits.
These tips can help curb the burnout by reducing stress, saving time and improving mental efficiency and function:
Plan out your study schedule before an exam or deadline to avoid last-minute cramming. Plan out when you’ll study and what you’ll be working on in each session. Planners are a great time management tool and aid those who struggle to prioritize their tasks.
It’s important to set realistic goals when managing homework and study sessions. Planning a two-hour study session doesn’t mean studying for two hours straight. Excessive studying can actually lead to a decrease in mental efficiency. Building up exhaustion can end up costing you time and actually lessen your results in the long run. Pulling an “all-nighter” might mean a harder time retaining information rather than if you had studied for 10 minutes and had a good night’s rest.
Take a few breaks accordingly, at least 10 or 15 minutes each. This time can be utilized to refuel, clear your mind and get some fresh air. Breaks help you recharge. Time spent outdoors allows more oxygen to get to your brain, which improves function, concentration and motivation.
Some mornings it’s hard to get out of bed, especially if you’re experiencing burnout. Cultivating a morning routine can help you start the day off well. Brew your favorite coffee, shower with your favorite scented soap or meditate! If the first action of your morning is something you enjoy, you’ll set yourself up for a positive mindset for the rest of the day.
Proper diet and exercise are essential for your mental function. During sleep, our body uses up its storage of glucose and carbohydrates. It’s important to refuel with breakfast to replenish the energy you’ll need to keep you going throughout the day. Stick to protein, vegetables, fruit and water. Avoid foods high in sugar and salt, as well as processed foods. 30 minutes of high-intensity cardio exercise can improve your daily routine by helping you de-stress.
Burnout often occurs because of stress and exhaustion. Spending every weekend out late while the week is already draining doesn’t help. Give yourself time to relax and recoup. Finding that balance between responsibilities and relaxation is critical. Take a walk, cook your favorite comfort meal, take a bath scented with your favorite essential oil and Epsom salt. Utilize this time to find inspiration to pick yourself up and get going. Feeding your mind with positive thoughts helps in feeling less drained with the negative emotions you’re experiencing.
Of course, if you’ve tried all of these strategies and are still finding yourself struggling, don’t be afraid to seek help! TAMU-CC offers terrific academic support from the Counseling Center and CASA.