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Preventing Burnout in Students

Identifying and Coping with Prolonged Stress

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By Débora Coutinho | 10th January, 2023

Burnout is a common problem faced by students due to prolonged stress and exhaustion. In this article, we discuss what a burnout is, how to identify the warning signs, and strategies for preventing and coping with burnout. Learn how to recognize your limits, take care of yourself, and talk to someone about your feelings in order to manage stress and avoid burnout.

What Is A Burnout?

A burnout is a feeling of extreme fatigue and exhaustion caused by prolonged stress. It may happen when you're overwhelmed by all the obligations you have to meet, or when you feel too worried about something for a long time. The exhaustion that takes place makes you feel demotivated, tired, emotionally drained' To sum up: you feel like giving everything up and just relaxing. The thing is we cannot always get rid of the environment or the reason that is making us feel like that. There is a necessity that we learn how to deal with it, otherwise we may continue to get worse and worse.

Before The Burnout

Before jumping on tips on how to deal with a burnout, it's important to say that there are ways to identify that we might have a burnout. This way, we can act on it before it gets to its peak. Some of the clues that can indicate this problems are:

  • Feeling tired every day;
  • Feeling super unmotivated with work, school, etc.;
  • Feeling stressed or overwhelmed.

These symptoms point to a scenario where you might have to take a step back and do things that will make you feel better, like getting some rest or going out with your family or friends. It's essential to pay attention to the signs your body gives you, and if it feels like too much, maybe relaxing a little bit is the way to go. Preventing a burnout is better than dealing with it.

Dealing With The Burnout

Now, let's say you've reached a point where you just can't seem to find a solution for the feeling of fatigue and exhaustion that takes hold of your body and your mind. You feel out of energy, with low self esteem, dedicating the rest of the energy left on your body towards something and seeing little results. You don't go out, you don't have fun. You are just tired: or maybe having a burnout. When this point is reached, it's up to us to cultivate actions and habits that will help us get better. Some of these actions are:

  • Identifying the main cause of stress, so you can work with your options on how to diminish the effects on you;
  • Setting boundaries: recognizing your limits and respecting them;
  • Taking care of yourself, separating a portion of your time to dedicate your attention to things that will make you feel replenished, whether it's a bit of social activity, going on a walk, etc.;
  • Take control of the situation: know that you are capable of dealing with what is happening to you, and even if you are feeling overwhelmed right now, you can take control of the situation;
  • Talk to someone about what you're feeling, you don't need to deal with this all by yourself.

Like we've discussed: students are put under stress a lot of the time, with assignments, deadlines, homework, tests, etc. This is why we need to learn how to deal with it, not letting it take control over us. It's absolutely normal to feel stressed, tired and overwhelmed, but pay attention when these are the only things you feel: you may be on the edge of a burnout.

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