Unfortunately, burnout is very common among students. According to a study by the College of Nursing at Ohio State, it gets even more ubiquitous. The researchers conducted two surveys, one in August 2020 and the other in April 2021. During this time, the levels of student burnout rose from 40% to 71%! Many students reported depression, anxiety, and unhealthy coping mechanisms.
In this article, let’s go over some of the most common reasons for student burnout, signs you might be burnt out, and some ways you can fix that yourself without additional help.
Reasons for Burning Out
Many students live with a hectic schedule. They have piles of homework, a professor who’s impossible to please, and a family that expects them to excel all the time. At the same time, they are also not eating, sleeping, or socializing properly. All this makes a perfect storm. While it may seem drastic, this is exactly the situation many students are living in. Add to that alcohol and nicotine to ‘take off the stress,’ except both of those are depressants and are only making it worse.
What Can You Do?
Once you realize this is not a way of living but an actual problem, you need to start making small changes to your daily life. Start with getting some help. You don’t have to deal with all this alone. Hiring a essay writing services from time to time can really help you clear your schedule to at least get some sleep. Below, you’ll find more healthy coping strategies to help make your life better.
You might be thinking you don’t have time to eat, so how could you possibly have an hour to spare for the gym? But you don’t really have to do that. A stretch in the morning, 30 minutes of yoga before bed, a walk around your campus – all these things don’t take too much of your time. Yet, they can really make a difference to your mental health.
Taking 30 minutes to focus on your body will make you feel grounded, help you relax, and let go of stress. Meditation and focusing on your breathing will help you regulate your emotions and make you feel less stuck. Besides, when you exercise regularly, your body gets used to it and produces more energy to accommodate that new routine. Not to mention the endorphins you get from working out, even if it’s just a 10-minute stretch.
Insufficient sleep is detrimental to your health, both physical and mental. Students are notorious for not getting enough sleep, thinking they are young and can get away with sleeping 4-6 hours a day. But maintaining a schedule like that is unsustainable.
It all starts with proper planning. Once you have a clear schedule, you will find it easier to see what takes away your time, what requires more attention, and what you can improve on.
Start by writing down all your tasks. Dedicate your day to it and write down everything you did and how much time it took you. It might seem tedious, but it’s just one day. Then, look at the results and see what you can improve on. Where is your time wasted, and where can you insert a 30-minute workout? Then, once you learn to live by that schedule, you will see your days improve. Remember to account for the unexpected and always leave enough time for rest.
Sure, traveling during the semester might not seem realistic for many students. Yet, if you manage to save some money, you can go somewhere during your winter or spring break. Traveling can help you reboot, change your perspective on things and meet new people.
You could also take group tours or try sports retreats, like yoga or hiking. Focusing on your body, putting yourself in completely new surroundings, and all that with people you’ve never met before might sound stressful. But it can also be a liberating experience. You will get to know new people you wouldn’t have met otherwise while also paying attention to your physical and mental health.
Many students ignore the fact that you can’t survive on instant noodles. They say they can’t cook or they don’t have enough time for it. But if you really look into it, many people are just afraid of failure or wasting food. Start with trying out simple recipes – like the ones that don’t require actual cooking. You can make a healthy salad that is packed with nutrients and will also keep you full. Just remember to add some protein to that. You can buy cooked chicken or beans to turn a bunch of greens into a nutrient-rich meal.
Once you are ready to start experimenting, get cooking. Add whole grains, lean meat, fish, and vegetables to your diet. According to WHO, a perfect plate looks like this:
- ½ is non-starchy vegetables
- ¼ is protein
- ¼ is carbs, like pasta, rice, etc.
This is really not that hard to follow, but once you master this technique, you’ll see how much better you feel. You will have more energy for working out, your skin might clear up, and you will have an easier time falling asleep.
Once you follow our tips, you might not get magically cured of depression and student burnout, but if you don’t have those problems, our suggestions can really help keep them away.
One more thing to remember is that you can’t deal with everything alone. If you see yourself struggling with your mental health, it’s always best to approach a professional right away. See your school counselor or a private therapist. It might only take a few sessions to see your life get better.
Getting a buddy to work out with can help you stay motivated, motivate each other and see more progress. You can do bodyweight training together in a park on campus or just go for walks or hikes. Make sure to schedule your sessions, so you don’t get lost in homework and eat a healthy meal afterward. You’ll sleep like a baby after a day like that. It’s all connected!