By Shout 85258’s Clinical Experts.
This past year has been incredibly difficult for many students. Virtual classes and social distancing have meant that many have not had the chance to make new friends and have been left feeling isolated, while others may feel worried about their finances, their course, or about upcoming exams or coursework assignments.
There are many pressures presented by the pandemic and students have been dealing with them for nearly a whole academic year. If you’re finding yourself feeling exhausted and a little fed up, that’s normal right now, but for many, burnout is something that can be brought on by a number of chronic stressors over time, which eventually leave you with a lack of motivation and interest in very much, particularly studying.
Burnout can affect anyone at any time, if you’re feeling overwhelmed and emotionally drained, it can become harder and harder to meet constant demands in your life.
Left to its own devices, burnout can creep into your life and wear you down. It’s a problem, because when allowed to build up over time, stress can take a long time to recover from. But what is it and how do you know when you should do something about it?
Symptoms of burnout
The feelings and physical symptoms associated with burnout can be noted as the following:
Extreme tiredness or exhaustion
It’s understandable to be feeling lethargic at the moment. It’s been a colder and wetter spring than usual and we’re in a pandemic. But if you find yourself completely running on empty, and your exhaustion is emotional or physical, then that sense of not having any energy is something to address.
Feeling frustrated or negative
The things that once made you happy about your course are suddenly making you feel disillusioned or even irritated. While we all feel frustrated from time to time, if you’re feeling like nothing matters anymore, it’s important to understand when these feelings are becoming more frequent for you.
Burnout and stress can impact your brain’s ability to concentrate and stay focused. It’s what some people refer to as ‘brain fog’ where you can’t quite bring your thoughts to the surface and make sense of them.
Long-term stress can lead to other factors that can impact your physical health such as headaches, stomach problems and digestive issues.
If you’re reading this and identify with the points above, it may be a sign of other issues such as depression, but if you’re feeling this specifically around studying, you may be wondering what you can do to stop the burnout creep, particularly when so many things feel out of our control at the moment.
It’s also important to remember that you don’t have to face what you’re going through alone. You could try reaching out to your university mental health support services, your tutor, or speak to a friend or family member.
You can also text SHOUT to 85258 for free, confidential support, any time of day or night. Taking the time to open up is an important step to getting the support you deserve.
For more advice and information, visit giveusashout.org
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