Student life at its peak is an adventurous rollercoaster, with twists and turns that you may not have seen coming your way, but some of these experiences can still be rewarding while others may be overwhelming. The pressure that comes with being a student entails the need to excel academically while trying to also accommodate extracurricular activities and our social life, which may often lead us to feeling exhausted and neglecting ourselves. This is an all-too-familiar phenomenon known as ‘feeling burnt out’ that we may have experienced at least once in our lives as students. With coursework piling up as the season progresses, it is crucial to recognize and address burnout, as it not only deteriorates our physical health but our mental health as well.
Understanding the Burnout Blues
Feeling burnt out is more than just a periodic or acute stress or tiresome experience. Rather, it is a state of chronic exhaustion which is triggered from an ongoing stressful situation and the never-ending overwhelming emotions. We are all too familiar with this dooming feeling due to our packed schedules, deadlines to meet, expectations to make our guardians proud, and the constant need to put our best foot forward.
Identifying the Signs
The first step to addressing any problem is detecting it- and this issue of burnout is no different. Some of the most common symptoms include feeling exhausted emotionally with no desire to partake in activities that you usually enjoyed, a lack of motivation in completing your tasks, irritability, and difficulty in concentrating while performing the task. If these are the symptoms you are experiencing, then it is crucial to pause, reflect, and prioritize your mental well-being.
Settling Realistic Expectations
There is no one who knows us better than ourselves, including what and how we can perform in certain situations. Setting expectations for ourselves is no different. Although we tend to set high expectations to perfect our work, it is essential to recognize our limits and embrace a growth mindset that prioritizes progress over perfection.
Speak up for Support
It is mandatory for everyone, with or without burnout, to learn to say the word “no”. We need to often speak up in situations where our wellbeing is a priority and decline or take a step back from demands that we cannot meet at the moment. Furthermore, seeking support from our loved ones or professionals can provide us with guidance, validation and advice that will help us navigate through tough times. As, of course, reaching out is a sign of strength, not the stereotyped weakness.
Finding the Balance
Cultivating balance between our personal and professional lives is a challenge while also being the ultimate solution in avoiding burnout. Take breaks as you need them, don’t be harsh on yourself, pursue activities that nourish your soul. And mostly remember, we are not defined by our achievements alone, but by our overall health and happiness. Feeling low constantly despite the many achievements one may hold is synonymous with staring at the trophies with no shelf to keep them on.
Let’s prioritize our wellbeing, be more compassionate to ourselves, set realistic goals and thrive amidst these challenges in our student life with resilience. Remember, taking care of ourselves is not a luxury; it’s an essential investment in our long-term success. You have got this!