By Riley Kim | 31rd May, 2022
At the end of the school year, burnt-out students are not a new
phenomenon. Although it is ideal to concentrate until the last day of school and spend time
wisely, most students, if not all of them, fail to do so. In this article, I will be closely
examining the basic definition of burnout and a way to prevent or get out of an ongoing
What is a ‘Burnout’? 😯
Burnout is a form of physical, emotional, or mental exhaustion accompanied by decreased motivation, lowered performance, and negative attitudes towards oneself and others. It results from performing at a high level and pushing the limits until stress and tension take their toll. Such situations include extreme and prolonged physical or mental exertion and an overburdening workload. Burnouts are commonly associated with stressful schoolwork, overworking in a job, and excessive child care.
⚠️ Burnout v. Stress: Stress is having too much on your plate - too much work to handle, too many responsibilities, overwhelming hours spent working. Burnout is the opposite. You typically feel like you don’t have enough - not enough motivation, not enough energy, not enough care. Many people mistake stress for burnout, but there are stark differences.
What A Burnout Feels like 💔🖤
“A wisp of fire”
Once burnout takes hold, you are out of gas and energy. You’ve basically given up all hope of overcoming obstacles in life. You fall into a deep sense of disillusionment and hopelessness that your efforts have been in vain. Life loses its meaning, and simple tasks feel like a hike up Mount Everest. Your interests and motivation gradually shrink, coupled with dried-up emotions. Gradually, you fail to meet even the smallest obligations.
How to Recover from a Burnout ❤️🩹
At this point, burnout probably sounds terrifying and seems like the end of your career or school life. Some of you might be wondering if there even is a way to recover from it.
The good news is there are always ways to bounce back to normal and learn to cherish your work again. Just like rock bottom; you feel oddly relaxed since you know that there is nowhere lower than now and there is only going up.
Be Honest with Yourself 😇 ✅
Just like any other psychological hardship, you need to be perfectly honest with yourself and accept the burnout situation as it is. Being honest and looking into yourself humbly and objectively is a difficult task, as it will be uncomfortable and disappointing, looking at all of the procrastination and breakdowns you had. Those of you who searched up ‘burnout’ and came to this article are already past this stage and off to a great start - so, good job so far! For those of you who are not yet familiar with the whole concept of burnouts, do a little more browsing on the Internet with keywords like ‘symptoms of burnouts’, ‘what is a burnout’, and ‘high school burnout’.
Consult with Others 🗣 🎙
Then, look to other people for meaningful advice and consultation. If you are a high school student, try talking to your advisor, subject teacher, or counselor. If you are an adult in a professional job setting, request a meeting with your boss, a coworker, or any other friends in the same profession. Although this may seem like the same boring tip, it actually works. Many people think that their problems are not worth sharing, or they will be causing unnecessary burdens to others. One thing to always keep in mind is that when you are tired and overwhelmed by what life has to throw at you, you deserve a long conversation and some consolation from true friends. When it is too much for you to bear as one person, it is okay, and acceptable to share the burden with others closest to you.
Know your Limits 🤨 🧐
One of the main reasons for burnout is the burden to showcase one’s value to their boss or their teacher. People in new jobs tend to say “yes” to everything, as they feel it is necessary to present themselves as capable and professional to their boss. Although not in all cases, this type of attitude can be dangerous. Sooner or later, you may find yourself drowning in too many tasks. Solving this problem would be learning not to be afraid of saying “no”. This will allow you to not only find a better balance between work and life but also set an efficient work schedule and achieve better results.
How to Prevent Burnouts in the first place 🛡
Self Motivation 📈 🧘♀️
Most students schedule their work and study based on test schedules provided by their teachers and constant nagging from their parents. Their motivation seldom derives from internal stimulation such as the desire to self-develop or
achieve a certain goal. This pattern of life causes frequent, yet extremely short-lived motivation which quickly dies out as the activity is fulfilled. Since students do not plan for themselves, or the nourishment of their lives,
when such temporary goals are done, they feel empty and lost. This empty feeling quickly leads to burnout, as they end up thinking that their lives are void of meaning and have no worth continuing the hard journey.
On the contrary, there are people who have successfully implemented decision-making skills for themselves and have self-actualized. The slight initial difference that results in such a big change in results, is their ability to carve and maintain their own objectives in life. As they have their own standards of success and fulfillment, they do not need to rely on outer measures for approval or recognition. Even if they are slightly lower than all others, they are not greatly discouraged but rather gain the energy needed to improve and jump to the next level. Also, even when they are higher than the average, they are not vulnerable to arrogance or conceit, as they will focus on their own standards and strive to reach them no matter what.
💡 YOU should hold the compass, decide for yourself, make your own goals the parameters of your life, and not let any external exhaustion burn you out.
- Identify what burnout is, and what it feels like to be in a burnout situation.
- Recovering from burnout takes time, but is definitely achievable!
- Be honest with yourself
- Consult with others
- Know your limits
- But it is best not to get burnout at all - stop resorting to external drives, and start pursuing your own goals.
“Strive not to be a success, but rather to be a value.” - Albert Einstein
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