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Mental Health

Academic Burnout: What Is It & How to Combat It

Are you feeling more frustrated and exhausted than usual? Have you lost motivation to do well academically? If your emotional, physical, and mental reaction to studying is deteriorating, there is a chance you have academic burnout.  It’s no secret that online classes being routine is testing our patience, and as this academic year is coming to a close, it can be hard to muster up motivation. If left unaddressed, burnout can not only make it difficult to do well academically, but can affect your ability to function due to chronic stress. 

 

Ways to Recover from Burnout

 

Practice Self-Care

First and foremost, you need to take care of yourself both physically and mentally. This includes keeping up with a consistent sleep schedule, going outside and getting plenty of exercise, and prioritizing a balanced nutrition. By taking care of your body, it helps sharpen your mind, which improves your overall mood and performance. Self-care can also be through taking care of your emotional and mental health, such as meditating, journaling, or talking through problems with others. 

 

Make Time for Activities You Enjoy

Work-life balance is a vital part of combating increasingly unstable mental health. It’s just as important to make time for fun activities as it is for academic responsibilities. Although it can feel like you’re procrastinating on schoolwork, your mental health should always be more of a priority. This can be in the form of social activities (especially since your friends and family are a great support system), but you can also give your mind a break through individualized activities. By taking time just for you and your enjoyment, it gives your mind a much needed break. 

 

Set Reasonable Goals

If you’re feeling unreasonably stressed and unmotivated, it’s important to take a step back. Ask yourself, why did I choose this academic path? Why did I choose to go to college in the first place? By rediscovering your passion for the subject you’re majoring in, you won’t lose sight of the end result. Then, re-evaluate and set realistic academic and career goals, and stick with them. Similarly, try to avoid procrastination and strengthen your time management skills. This can be achieved through creating a schedule or checklist, prioritizing specific tasks, and eliminating possible distractions. 

 

Academic burnout is difficult to experience, let alone combat. But, remember that you are not alone. And don’t hesitate to reach out to others for support, including the UW Counseling Center or someone close to you that you trust. 

Annie Melnick

Washington '24

Annie is an English major at the University of Washington, where she is a contributing editor and writer for Her Campus. She is originally from Los Angeles and enjoys creative writing, reading novels, listening to music, traveling, and drinking coffee.
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