I always remember what my mom tells me whenever I experience burnout, “Listen to your body because only you and your body know when you need rest”. And I absolutely agree with that statement, as a student whose ambitions and goals are to be competent and achieve good results through hard work and determination, we tend to not listen to what our body needs, whether that may be mentally or physically. Students at any grade level experience burnout at least once in their life, whether that may be in high school or in college, and I think it's time for us to know the tendencies of this kind of exhaustion many people feel. We experience many kinds of burnout but in this blog, I would like to emphasize academic burnout, especially in times of online classes. And I would like to promote frequent breaks for every student.
Online classes take a lot of time and sadly require more motivation due to being in separate houses from our peers. As a student myself, I’ve heard so many stories from my classmates experiencing the BIG thing called “burnout”. And many have the same sentiments, like academic pressure, competition, responsibilities, and maintaining what they have already achieved. It’s sad to see how many students including myself don’t have a healthy relationship with learning. Students rather see it as an obstacle that they would have to face one way or another and not an opportunity to learn significant things.
Stress is a great factor in burnout, as it adds to what students think about day by day. Having a lot on your plate leads to overthinking, exhaustion, irritation, and many other effects. And I think to a certain degree, stress is a good thing but once it gets too much that’s when it’s unhealthy. Having to exercise your knowledge and even gain more of it is healthy to a certain extent, but once students keep pushing themselves to do all of their activities with their body being physically tired and their mental health being put on edge, it becomes a problem and a challenge.
The longevity of burnout varies for different people. When I experienced my first burnout, my body, my mind, and my soul just couldn’t do anything for a whole week. All I did was sit around my laptop and push myself to answer exams even though nothing is calculating in my head. It was hard to push myself further when my own body told me not to do so already. What was worse was I thought I was just being lazy, but my soul was already affected by the exhaustion I had.
Long story short I learned my lesson. The lesson to value my body’s worth and what it’s trying to tell me whenever I become stressed and tired. And I think as students we should all value these kinds of signs that our body tells us. As we keep pressuring ourselves to do better, our body’s condition is getting worse.
As I experienced a lot of burnouts in my high school life, here are the solutions to lessen the tendency to experience it frequently.
The first one is to know your priorities. Set your priorities straight, know what is urgent and important, necessary, and big. What does this do to help lessen our burnout? Well, it helps us because it teaches us to do what is more important first, then do the rest right after. In that way, we wouldn’t think about doing everything at once and stressing about it each and every day.
The second is planning a day just full of doing things you love. Whether that may be simple as listening to music while appreciating the view from the sky or setting a date plan with your family or friends. The choices are endless when it comes to this day. In that way, you’ll get motivated to get stuff done before the day comes that you get to rest your mind and body out of academic requirements.
The third is learning to say no sometimes. Yes, getting opportunities and invitations could get us better experiences and gain more knowledge about something that we are studying for, but if it is not that necessary on what you are focused on in that time of your life, learning to say no is more valid than we could ever think of. I personally think we as youth who are full of energy and enthusiasm, keep saying “yes” to every offer we receive and do not really realize the impact it has on our physical and emotional well-being. And if you think that by saying no you’ll lose all the opportunities, I don’t think it will because if you know to yourself how much hard work you have put through everything you do, you will not lose opportunities just by saying no to one offer.
The last tip I will give you is the importance of taking small breaks while studying. We all have our days where taking a one-day rest is really not an option as we are both juggling time with academic responsibilities and personal responsibilities. So taking a 10-20 minute break would suffice and help our minds restart to gain new energy. Inside those 10-20 minutes we could go outside to breathe fresh air or take a 20-minute nap. As long as you step away from your laptop and give yourself a little break, would make you even more productive.
We face a lot of obstacles as we go on in our academic journey. But I would want to remind you that no matter how busy or hectic our lives are at that moment, let’s always remember to take care of ourselves and our mental well-being, let’s learn to listen to our body and its needs, and always be aware when we need to take action.
League, A. (2019, September 23). 15 tips on how to deal with student Burnout. Thrive Global. Retrieved March 31, 2022, from https://thriveglobal.com/stories/15-tips-on-how-to-deal-with-student-burnout/