Academic burnout can be defined as a three-dimensional syndrome which includes emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and reduced personal accomplishment” [Maslach & Jackson, 1981]. According to a research conducted by Yang and Farn in 2004, individuals with academic burnout might experience the following —
- Lack of interest toward academic issues
- The inability to attend academic classes continuously
- Disaffiliation in class activities
- Sense of meaninglessness in academic activities
- Incapability in the acquisition of academic issues
Sorting out your commitments
If you resonate with most of the above, then you might be undergoing an academic burnout. So, here are three ways of dealing with it —
As students, we have a lot of commitments, be it academic or social. When we try to tend to every single commitment, it’s only natural to feel like we are spreading ourselves too thin. That ultimately causes us to experience burnout. From this video of Thomas Frank, I gathered the reasonable course of action in this scenario would be to sit down, jot down all the commitments and take note of the expendable ones. It will help clarify our priorities and make it easy to say “no” to trivial things. We would have more time to ourselves to recover from burnout and get out of the rut.
Taking a time out
It is normal for most students to cram the night before exams, rather than spreading the study time out over days. Sometimes it could be due to poor time management; other times it could be because of having unexpected academic obligations. It can put a student under immense pressure and stress. Thus, leading to burnout. So taking a break to unwind from the stress is crucial when one is on the verge of or experiencing academic burnout.
Spring Health states consistent self-care as one of the most effective ways to avoid and reduce burnout. They claim it could “increase productivity, decrease stress, and improve overall physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing”.
Understandably, you might not feel like doing self-care when you are experiencing burnout. But it is necessary to ensure that you are practicing self-care. Getting enough sleep, consuming healthy food, staying hydrated and working out regularly — could be some basic examples. Otherwise, you might be unable to wriggle out of your burnout state, and your academic performance might take a hit.
Everybody goes through this situation at some point in their life and it is completely normal. If you feel burned out, I hope this article helps you find a way to recover. Once you recover from it, you can skim through this article to learn about how not to experience burnout once again.