Symptoms and how to prevent burn out

UK students suffering exam burn out

As exams are approaching for UK students, many will feel their academics are suffering due to burnout. 

Whether it be from taking too many extra classes or pulling all-nighters to study for exams, eventually the workload from assignments along with trying to maintain a social life will start to catch up with them.

The experts at Delamere share insight into the symptoms of burnout, the impacts it can have on everyday life and how to prevent it.

What are the key signs of burnout?

Burnout is recognised in three signs; feeling exhausted, negative feelings about your studies and reduced effectiveness. The key component to preventing burnout is identifying the symptoms as early as possible before the demand becomes too much, leading to depression. 

Feeling worn-out is quite normal, especially during the study season, with extended working hours and changes to your daily routine. But it’s easy to recognise when you or a peer is beginning to display symptoms of burnout.

Feeling exhausted 

Students on the verge of burnout, due to either stress or increased workload, can begin to experience and display emotional and physical signs of exhaustion. 

People begin to feel a lack of physical energy, but they also develop feelings of being emotionally drained and depleted. A common sign of exhaustion is the lack of motivation to get out of bed in the morning, or day-to-day work life becomes more challenging than normal. 

Over exhaustion and extreme tiredness can result in sickness amongst employees. The shortage of energy from burnout can lead to common colds and cases of flu. 

Feeling sensitive and irritable 

Aggressive behaviour is also a common indicator, this could be both within a place of study and outside study hours. Irritable students may experience a level of sensitivity and aggression towards their family, friends and colleagues. 

While many people will experience some negative emotions within education, it’s vital to recognise when these feelings are becoming unusual. 

Feeling unmotivated

Students may begin to feel more socially withdrawn and find themselves disconnected from friends or peers. This could be recognised as not getting involved with class discussions, a negative attitude towards work and slipping performance. 

Changes to work motivation can lead to students having additional days off or turning into class late. This is something teachers should look out for before it becomes untenable. 

How can you deal with burnout in your place of study?

Recognising the three key signs is crucial, but there are five strategies and tools you can use to avoid burnout even before you’re burnt out. 

Finding the root of the problem 

Burnout is a response to stress, increased working hours, and increased workload. But finding where the issue has stemmed from can be beneficial in helping you deal with the situation. 

For example, if you are faced with mass amounts of work to revise, it may be that you need to take more regular breaks and begin revision earlier so you aren’t cramming it all into a short period of time.

Ask for help 

Getting external advice can give you a different perspective on the situation. Counselling can provide you with a solution to the problem before it develops and help you to discover what is causing the burnout you are experiencing. 

If counselling isn’t an option for you, reaching out for help to your friends and family during stressful times can benefit the situation. Your teacher may also be able to provide you with the support you need. 

Eat a balanced diet 

Healthy body, healthy mind. Eating the right food, drinking water frequently and keeping a balanced diet is one step in the right direction. Foods are fueled with natural vitamins and minerals that can give your mind and body a boost. 

Exercise and keep active 

Keeping active and regularly exercising can give you a physical and emotional boost. Take a short stroll during your lunch hour or spend 15-minutes stretching after work. You don’t need to hit the workout machines to feel motivated and enthusiastic, it’s as simple as heading outdoors for some fresh air. 

Correct your sleeping habits 

A lack of sleep or too much sleep can cause exhaustion and fatigue when studying and breaking out of this pattern can drastically improve your day-to-day mood and motivation. 

Drifting off at bedtime is a challenge for most people, but there are simple ways you can improve your sleeping habits, try switching your nightly scroll on social media for a relaxing book or cut out coffee before bedtime. 

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