If you’re anything like me, you experience burnout at least once per semester. A lot of people don’t know this, but there are 4 stages of burnout. These include:
1. The Honeymoon Phase
If you’re in school, you usually experience this the first week of the semester. You’re excited and feel like this semester is going to be different. You tell yourself that you will be able to keep a strict schedule and stick to it. You make yourself work extra hard this first week because you are full of enthusiasm and your take on every lesson and assignment possible. You tell yourself that this is great, and you plan on continuing this way for the whole semester.
This overworking can cause you to not get proper rest and relaxation. This can be dangerous as the following week approaches because the tiredness is now catching up with you and you’re beginning to lose that productivity that you had.
2- Onset of Stress
At this stage you begin to realize that the workload you did last week is way too much for you. You notice that it’s very stressful, you get overwhelmed with balancing your workload with your social life. You detach yourself from the work you should be doing because it’s overwhelming you. You’re lacking concentration, anxiety is increasing, you’re lashing out on your friends and family because you don’t know how to fix it.
3- Chronic Stress
This is the stage where your high stress level takes a huge toll on your life. At this point, you don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, you can’t bring yourself to concentrate, you begin procrastinating greatly and it is beginning to affect your grades. Once you begin to see your grades declining, you sike yourself out and tell yourself that you will never score a high grade and that this semester is now “scraped.”
This is where the burnout itself begins. You have fallen so far behind, your grades are suffering, and you’re still trying to balance your work and social life. You feel like a failure. At this point, you’re always tired, you barely do your schoolwork, and you just give up.
So, how do we avoid this?
Now that we are aware of what burnout looks like, we can prevent it.
Don’t take on too many tasks.
Set an alarm at 5:00pm. At that time, stop all your schoolwork and use the rest of the night to relax.
Make a self-care list. For instance, on Monday nights take a relaxing bath.
Do a little bit of schoolwork each night, instead of piling it all on one day.
Don’t work too much if you can’t handle it.
Know your limits.
Get 8 hours of sleep.
Talk to your family and friends and tell them to warn you when they feel like you a beginning to experience one of the four stages.
Make a schedule.
When you are doing anything school related, get rid of all distractions.
Eat 3 meals a day to prevent low energy levels.
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