The human brain and body can only handle so much workload as it is physically and mentally capable. Even the greatest of athletes and the wisest of mathematicians need rest once in a while else they succumb to fatigue and risk injury.
Ever wondered why after studying the whole night away, you still have trouble understanding what you studied, given that you have been studying non-stop? Or how your body seems so sluggish and tired whenever it is time to attend classes or study? A constant air of exhaustion creeps around you whenever you do anything academically related, and you feel like giving up on what you are doing and just do nothing.
This regularly occurs among different kinds of students, but is especially prevalent in high school and university students. The feeling you have right now may be a case of academic burnout, a condition which has haunted students due to too much workload, poor time management, academic stress, and other factors which result to the student losing interest in academics.
Academic burnout is a phenomenon which occurs in students which may lead to physical and mental fatigue, constant exhaustion, and difficulty to keep one’s focus during academic related activities, and loss of motivation. There is often a variety of causes for study burnout which range from too much workload, mental fatigue, insufficient nutrition, difficulty with current curriculum, or lack of sleep due to academic related activities.
Early detection of whether you have academic burnout can help greatly to limit the effects it comes with. By choosing to ignore symptoms and early signs of academic burnout, one can risk endangering both their physical and mental health which could lead to even bigger problems down the way.
Because academic burnout is a psychologically and physically affiliated phenomenon, the symptoms and effects may vary from one individual to the other. However, there are symptoms present much more often than others which could help you determine if you truly have academic burnout. A few of these symptoms include:
Other symptoms vary from one individual to another but the ones, mentioned above are the most prevalent and common symptoms of academic burnout and can help you diagnose yourself if you are truly experiencing academic burnout.
Now that we have determined whether or not you have study burnout, we can now proceed to discuss various ways on overcoming this fearful phenomenon.
To prevent and overcome academic burnout, one must burn it from the roots up. Improper time management is one of study burnout’s roots and is the first issue you should address and give attention to.
By creating a daily schedule and routine to do specific tasks given to you previously, and by strictly following your pre-determined schedule, you essentially weed out one of the major causes of study burnout. And because you are the one creating your schedule, you have the freedom to do anything you want with you schedules (given that you set enough time to do your schoolwork of course).
Following a strict schedule will allow you to keep yourself in the rhythm for studying and doing academic activities while also limiting your ability to procrastinate. You can then, in theory, become more productive and do more tasks which will help you avoid cramming all of the activities on the day before they are due.
Following the first step to overcoming academic burnout, we then proceed to the next one which is limiting your procrastination. Procrastination is a student’s worst enemy as it ruins your pre-determined schedule, keeps you from being productive, and it promotes last minute cramming which is never healthy.
To do this, you can start by following your personally made schedule which limits any openings for procrastination due to your schedule being full all the time. However, if you still find yourself unconsciously scrolling through your phone even if you already have a tight schedule, then it may be wise to set a limit for the amount of screen time your phone has. Most smartphones have a built-in screen time tracker which you can tweak to alert you that you have been idling and procrastinating for too long.
After you have ruled out procrastination from the equation of your everyday schedule, it is time for you to rest. There is a well-known strategy to divide your time in order for you to get the adequate amount of rest and prevent fatigue which is the 50-minute method.
By giving yourself a 50-minute time period to perform tasks, you essentially replicate the feeling of taking a quiz or test which may improve your productivity to an extent. After the 50 minutes are over, you give yourself a 10-minute break for every hour you spend doing academic activities, you recharge your strength and revitalize your focus. This can help improve productivity as well as every new hour comes with a brand-new surge of energy and ideas to supplement your study.
During your 10-minute break, doing something fun to entertain yourself can help revitalize your energy and improve your mood to prevent you from tiring yourself out. Activities which you like or enjoy doing such as scrolling through the internet, watching cute or funny videos, reading articles, or playing your favorite game for a few minutes can go a long way to give you a fresh feeling after you have consumed your 10 minutes as opposed to the feeling of exhaustion and dread you feel after procrastinating and getting back on track with your tasks.
By giving yourself adequate rest and entertainment, you enable your brain to subconsciously store what you have learned during your study session or academic tasks. It also enables your brain to incorporate what you have learned into things which you often do or find interesting which in turn makes the memory much more accessible and easier to remember.
However, entertaining yourself is different from slacking off and procrastinating as entertaining yourself for 10 minutes and getting back to work is still considered following your schedule which in turn promotes discipline. Entertainment also leaves you with new vigour and ideas as opposed to feeling drained and empty after a session of procrastination.
After hours of your carefully planned study session, you may start to feel physically tired or sore even if you have followed the steps above. This is a normal physical response which is your body’s way of telling you that you have been sitting or have been staying still for far too long.
Doing stretches in between study sessions or doing warm-up exercises before you start studying or doing academic tasks can help relieve tension from your muscle fibres and tendons. If you know you are going to sit and face your desk for about 4 or more hours, then it would be advisable to do a 45-minute warm up beforehand to increase blood circulation all trough out your body and limit the risk of possible health ailments.
Proper and adequate sleep is necessary to keep a healthy lifestyle and also helps prevent the physical effects of academic fatigue as well. Although highly debated upon, sleep has been shown to recover the body’s lost energy and has also been shown to replenish the brain’s ability to become fully alert and active.
Sleeping for about 7-9 hours can help you relieve your fatigue from the previous day and get you pumped up for another day at school or university. This can help you overcome academic burnout as a healthy and adequate body can lower the chances of your brain getting tired as well.
Now that we are on the topic of health, it is also a god idea to watch what you eat and to make sure that you are eating properly. Proper nutrition can go a long way to help you fight academic burnout as the constant and proper sustenance of nutrients can enable the body and brain to function properly.
Consuming the adequate amount of protein and calories can help the brain maintain its proper functions. The body also benefits from this as continuous sustenance can give the body the energy it needs to do tasks and keep you from feeling sluggish. Vitamin B is also a nutrient to include in your diet as it helps alleviate that tingling sensation in your hands and feet after sitting for too long.
By supplying yourself with the right amount and variety f nutrients needed for daily use, you are essentially hitting two birds with one stone. You keep yourself healthy and energized for other activities other than studying, and you also keep yourself from the mental drawbacks of not eating enough which may lead to burnout.
A great way to overcome academic burnout is to set goals to achieve which you can achieve. Having a goal motivates you and pushes you to do better to achieve such goals. A goal helps you to mentally pump yourself and limit your brain to think of negative thoughts like academic burnout.
It would also be advisable if the goal you set seems to be quite hard but is still attainable. This would give you a strong feeling of accomplishment and happiness whenever you achieve a goal you have set. For instance, if you somehow happen to set a goal to get a perfect score on your next test and you pull it off, this would give your brain a boost in morale and push you to pursue more goals you have set.
For this step we have to go back to the first one, which is time management. By giving yourself leeway to socialize and do things which you enjoy like partying, you can give yourself a break from your regular, time-oriented activities.
As human beings are social creatures, it wouldn’t hurt to give yourself a reward by having the weekend off and hanging out with friends, given that your schedule is not that booked.
As we have previously discussed, human beings are social creatures, and we can infer that it would be better if you can have a friend or two to accompany you in your study session to limit the chances of you having academic fatigue.
However, if you cannot find a friend to stick to your schedule then we, at FamilyTutor have the perfect solution. We can recommend you a home tutor to aid you in your studies which can help lift weights off of your shoulders as you no longer have to study by yourself. We offer tutors which can handle students from pre-school up to university level. We ensure that our home tutors are highly skilled and qualified to help you in your studies and thus prevent academic burnout.
However, if you have followed all the step mentioned above, and still cannot overcome your academic burnout, then it may be high time to ask a professional psychologist for help. Because academic burnout mostly affects mental health, it would be wise to ask a professional for help. Your mental health is far more important than any grade you may or may not achieve.
Mental health is a serious issue and should not be taken lightly. Academic burnout may be a subtle symptom of something even bigger and should be handled with utmost care.
With that being said, we hope that we have given you a vague sense of what to do to overcome academic burnout, and it is up to you to figure out how to overcome it completely.
However, should you need help, our home tutors at FamilyTutor are willing to assist struggling students. We as leading private tuition in Singapore guarantee not only increase in development academically but also building relationships and values.
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