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Dealing with burnout?

I dealt with serious burnout from one of my classes last semester. We had so much material to learn weekly and the tests were brutal, plus I was working part-time during the week. Has anyone else dealt with it and what strategies did you use to fight it/deal with it? #college #student

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Katherine’s Answer

Hi Gwen! I experience this feeling all the time. I have such lofty goals for myself everyday because I want to learn as much as possible and be as productive as I can with my time. I constantly have to remind myself that I am only human and there is a certain amount I can do in a day and still be happy and carve out time for myself!

There's really no point in doing anything if you're not happy doing it, so I try to maintain productivity at a manageable level of stress. One way I do this is by writing down my goals for the next day the night before (so for you maybe it would be your study schedule), and then taking look at the list and being realistic with myself. If there are too many things (to learn or study) prioritize the top 3 things and make sure those get done, and be okay with the fact that some things on that list will have to be pushed to the next day. You're literally only human (I have to remind myself that too)

Hope this helps!
Thank you comment icon Thank you! Great advice! Gwen
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Nora’s Answer

Hi Gwen,

I dealt with this a lot in college too. School is important but so is self-care, especially in the current climate. In addition to all the earlier answers about time management you should also schedule in some time for yourself. This whole period of your life is about growth and learning who you are, and you can't do that if you're so bogged down running from activity to activity. Meditation/mindfulness is a great way to manage burnout, even for just 10 minutes before you go to bed at night can really help you recenter and appreciate all the learning and growing you're doing. There are some great meditation apps you can use on the go that offer the flexibility to be used at any time when you need to reset and remember why you're doing the things you are to help alleviate burnout.

Good luck!
Thank you comment icon Thank you for your advice. You are right, taking on too much isn't a good idea sometimes. I'll keep that in mind. Gwen
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Ricardo’s Answer

Try not to overwork yourself, by taking frequent breaks and breaking down your work step by step. Here are a few examples on how to prevent burnout,

1. Work with purpose.
2. Perform a job analysis, and eliminate or delegate unnecessary work.
3. Give to others.
4. Take control, and actively manage your time.
5. Get more exercise.
6. Learn how to manage stress.

These are some way to help prevent burnout. If something has to be finished by the end of the week finish each task one step at a time.
Thank you comment icon Thank you! Gwen
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Katya’s Answer

Hi Gwen, yes I had similar experience when I was in college and even when I was working at certain time in my career. Once you are burned out0 you have lost all sense of energy and interest and the question is how do you regain it back?

I do the following and of course it took too many years to come to this point but now I know I have to have a routine for myself and my work/life balance to sustain happy work flow.

So, you could try the following:

1) wake up at least 30 minutes or if you can 1 hour earlier-

2) have time for yourself in the morning- to exercise and do cardio for at least 20 minutes- you will feel so much energy flowing in the morning and it should be your norm routine

3) have a healthy breakfast-

4) take breaks from your phone, emails-you need to have time to just read, walk or even connect with people but not texting or being on social media-your brain needs rest-

5) always have water with you

6) have a discipline of your eating habits- try not to snack or wait until you finish all your work and then eat-you need to have solid lunch, walk for 15-20 minutes, listen to positive music or meditate in the middle of he day and then go back to work

7) before going to bed0 don’t drink Caffeine- your body needs to rest-I know I slept not enough before finals but it only created anxiety. Try to read, put your phone away so you can get a good night sleep or even few hours without your phone constantly beeping

8) try to breath, take notes in class, have a peer who can re tell the material to you-that’s how I find learning for me as an option as well

9) sometimes- you want to accomplish so much and you don’t get up -remember your brain is not a rubber material-it needs energy, food, and break-learn in steps. 5 mixtures break every 45 minutes to jump, to walk, to drink water-is a must.

10) meditate or run before bed time- clear your mind

remember, your day needs to have a strategy and you need to be in control-there will never be more or enough time- so utilize what you have 24 hours and create a break/self care time for yourself-it will make a difference.

Good luck
Thank you comment icon Great advice thank you! Gwen
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Aaron’s Answer

Hi Gwen,

Sometimes you can be stuck with a bad professor. I had one course that was ridiculously hard in college. I studied 14 hours for the first exam and got a 60% which included a 20% curve. Everyone did in the class did poorly on the exam; there really wasn't enough time to finish the entire thing. The professor spent about 75% of class time more or less rambling on about the same "life" advice, and would blast through his powerpoints. After trying to study for the second exam, I realized I was so stressed out, my other grades were suffering, I wasn't eating right, sleeping right, etc. So, I ended up not taking the exam that day and instead told the professor I'm dropping the course.

There is only so much time management one can do. I am a very determined person, and before that, I learned the hard way about just trying to "push through" and I bombed all of my classes I had that semester and ended up doing grade replacements later on. This time I began to see the same signs and knew I needed to drop the class.

My point is sometimes it's better to not overwork yourself, and it's okay to back out of things, especially if they are not worth it or if you are dealt a bad hand. Your at a stage where your learning how you operate and what your own energy needs are. If you can only do 12 credit hours a semester instead of 15, then do it! Don't burn yourself out, have all the stuff you do be of poor quality, crash, and spend more time picking up the pieces. I know this may not be the "typical" answer to this question, but had someone gotten this point across to me earlier in my life, it would have saved me a lot of suffering.

Only you know what your own limits are. Best of luck!

Aaron
Thank you comment icon thank you for sharing your experiences and advice! i found it very helpful. i may take fewer next semester. Gwen
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Yasemin’s Answer

Hi Gwen! I agree with the advice of everyone else, and adding to it I would try to reach out to someone on campus too. Right now with the COVID situation these services can be remote but nonetheless still helpful! When I was in college we had a lot of counseling resources and sometimes talking to someone can be helpful instead of letting your emotions be pent up and lead to burnout. Organic chemistry was stressful for me, but one thing that helped me was exercising, I would use my school's gym and spend about half an hour to an hour just working out and listening to music. Sometimes you need to detach yourself from the environment in order to go back to it with a clear head and more relaxed. Also yes, do not take on too much because life is not a race but a journey and if you take a class later or even graduate later than everyone else it doesn't matter! Your mental and physical health should come first. Take your time and take things slow if needed!

Best of luck!
Thank you comment icon thank you for your advice it's greatly appreciated! you are right, this is a journey not a race. Gwen
Thank you comment icon You're welcome Gwen! I hope all goes well! :) Yasemin G.
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Angela D.’s Answer

Hi Gwen! Great question! Frankly, one of the best strategies to avoid burnout is time management. You don't need to study harder, but smarter. By doing so, you will free up a little more time for: precious sleep (crucial for memory formation/retention/retrieval); some exercise (endorphins are hormones/chemicals released by the brain that can relieve pain and stress); and more opportunities to prepare nutritious meals (you need brain food!). Okay, what I mean about studying smarter is outlined in the website below. Edutopia is an organization primarily for K-12 teachers to teach smarter, but also has great resources for students. A brief summary of smarter studying is to eliminate multi-tasking and engage in high intensity habits (pre-testing, spaced practice, self-quizzing, interleaving practice, and paraphrasing/reflecting). Short term mastery can be attained with easier, less effective studying techniques...which may be enough to get you through a quiz/test, but not for long term memory/mastery. I hope this helps...best, Dr. B

https://www.edutopia.org/article/5-research-backed-studying-techniques

Angela D. recommends the following next steps:

Check out the Edutopia website
Thank you comment icon Thank you! Gwen
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