According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, burnout is the exhaustion of physical or emotional strength or motivation usually as a result of prolonged stress or frustration.
As many schools have canceled spring break, many students have reached or are reaching their breaking point. For many, spring break is the time to recharge for the rest of the semester. Without it, college students everywhere are experiencing burnout like never before. Two instructional break days are not enough. Classes may not be held on those days, but in many cases, instructors do not change the number of assignments for that week. That leaves students no choice but to use their so-called ‘break’ to work on assignments. College students desperately need time to recharge, so they can perform their best, and they are not getting it. As stress stays persistent for months at a time, students are left feeling exhausted, overwhelmed, and helpless.
How can students bounce back from this?
Make an Immediate Change
It is extremely difficult to recover from burnout without lightening the load that is the root of the stress causing your burnout. Consider taking a personal day away from classes or rescheduling a commitment or two. Sometimes this feels impossible, but many instructors are willing to work with you. Making a small, but immediate change to your commitments will give you more time to catch up or take a mental break, bringing you some much-needed relief.
Take Back Control
After giving yourself a chance to catch up or a moment to recharge, taking back control of your situation is of the utmost importance. Prioritize your needs and commitments that are the most important to you. Be firm with prioritizing your needs and don’t let yourself remove them from your to-do list. You simply can’t do your best work if you are not taking care of yourself.
Take Care of Yourself
Take care of yourself. This can include taking care of yourself physically by getting enough sleep, eating nutritious meals, drinking plenty of water, and participating in some physical activity. Do not forget that taking care of yourself also includes taking care of yourself mentally. Do whatever brings you joy, peace, and relaxation.
Burnout is difficult, but please do everything you can to take care of yourself. Do not hesitate to reach out to someone you trust for support. You are not alone.