Whether you are new to college or it is your senior year, college days are all about meeting new people, having new experiences, and probably new freedoms that were once restrictions at home.
That can be a lot to handle on top of the papers, exams, and research that classes entail. Stress is common in college, and in the world for that matter, yet it’s critical that college students are taught or given the tools to succeed in how to manage their time, emotions, and energy during this exciting time of their lives.
It is possible to recognize signs of stress ahead of time before it gets to the burnout stage. Maybe you even see these signs happening within a peer. Our goal here is to provide you with information on what burnout actually is, how to prevent it, what to do if you are already in that stage of the game, and how to manage stress.
What Is Burnout?
Burnout is the prolonged emotional, physical and mental stress that over time can result in feeling overwhelmed and unable to keep up with the responsibilities in one’s life.
Fatigue, detachment, and lack of interest in academics are ways that chronic stress can show up in the college world.
Burnout can look different in each student. Decreased motivation can ultimately translate into a dip in academic performance, a loss of interest in social activities, and withdrawal from friends. Sleeping patterns and appetite may fluctuate as well due to perpetual stress.
What Factors Contribute to Burnout?
Recognizing that you are feeling burnt out is the first step towards addressing your burnout and overcoming it. Of course, it is beneficial to notice burnout early on if possible, to avoid going down a path that could take much longer to pull yourself out of.
Check in with yourself on a physical, emotional, and mental level to see where you are at and how you are feeling. Chances are if you are reading this article, there is something drawing you to learning more about burnout and managing stress.
We are here to help. Let’s discuss some common factors that can contribute to burnout.
Living On Your Own
There is a new sense of freedom that comes with living in our own space where we make the rules. New responsibilities and new atmospheres can be exhilarating — while at the same time stressful, with more unknowns to think about.
With this new sense of freedom, are we still making the best choices for ourselves? Are you getting enough sleep and eating quality foods? Setting aside time to complete your assignments? These are just a few things to take into consideration.
It may be obvious that the standards in college are different from those in high school, but you may not realize the magnitude until your college classes actually start.
Often, if someone has an academic or sports scholarship, they must maintain a certain GPA to be in good standings. The mental and emotional pressure here can be high.
Exhaustion could set in because of the combination of a new living situation and feeling unable to manage expectations.
Or there may be a lack of motivation if a student feels they cannot meet such high expectations.
Take inventory of your mental health and if you need to, consult a trusted source who will understand these high expectations and allow you space to communicate what you are going through.
Weakened Immune System
Constant stress affects our emotional, mental and physical wellbeing, and if it’s not addressed, our immune systems will eventually be affected as well.
Our bodies give us signs and clues about how we are handling the world around us. Over time, stress and burnout can result in physical symptoms and make us more prone to illness.
If your physical health isn’t up to par because your immune system has taken a hit, it may be harder to keep attention to the task at hand, and brain fog may start to creep in.
Pay attention to what your body is telling you and seek professional support if it is needed.
Every college is different when it comes to housing setups. More than likely, a college student will be interacting with another in some sort of roommate situation.
It can be a test in itself to see how well you get along with roommates while you both are acquiring different levels of stress and learning how to manage it.
It’s important to remember that communication is vital.
Whether you are coming from different backgrounds or not, you have had different experiences in life that shape the way you see the world.
Increased irritability in a living situation can, after some time, affect how a college student shows up and performs in class.
Whether multiple of these areas are highlighted for you or even if it’s just one, it is pivotal to recognize burnout as early as possible. New levels of responsibility are required when reaching college and living on your own.
Do you need to pull back the reins on some of the new freedoms so you can learn to balance this new lifestyle?
Is it time to find a way to healthily communicate with a roommate or parent to let them know you are stressed?
Maybe it’s time to take a better look at your physical health and see if a dietary change or more exercise is needed to maintain a vibrant immune system. Just reaching out and talking about the academic pressure with a professor or other resource can help you work through your burnout.
If you are in a burnout stage, know you are not alone!
How Can I Prevent Burnout and Manage Stress?
If we are aware of the burnout potential, we can be proactive in finding ways to move through the stress in our lives.
Here are some key ways to manage stress and create a healthy foundation for wellness that you can use even after your college years.
Identify Your Warning Signs
Since stress and burnout do not look the same for each person, it’s vital to know how it shows up for you in your life.
What are the warning signs that you receive that tell you to slow down? Sometimes they are subtle, but once we are aware of these signs, they can be easier to spot each time they arise. Unusual irritability, changes in appetite, trouble sleeping, and social withdrawal are just a few indicators of burnout.
When sleep disturbances strike, ASYSTEM’s Complete Calm Sleep Gummies with wild berry and melatonin can help you get better rest that leaves you rejuvenated.
We know what it’s like to not get enough sleep — and what that feels like the next day. ASYSTEM is here to support you in receiving the quality sleep you deserve so that you can wake up ready to take on the day.
Let’s talk about boundaries.
It can be hard to say no, especially if we do not want to hurt someone’s feelings by telling them we can’t (or don’t want to) do something. When we honor our own needs, it can protect us from giving energy to something we are not ready to take on.
It is impossible to say yes to everything that comes your way, so choose the things that light you up and give you a spark.
Find a Passion
If there is a class or experience that you look forward to participating in, it will fill up your cup! It can be the boost of energy you need to sustain you throughout the other mandatory classes that you must take.
Make sure to find some time to focus on the things you love and enjoy, even outside of academics. Sports and hobbies are crucial aspects of well-rounded health, so spend some time engaging in them.
Develop Healthy Habits
Self-care is a big topic these days, yet it is critical to our well-being. Are you getting the proper sleep, nutrition, and exercise?
Healthy habits can look different for different people. From journaling and meditating to starting a skincare routine or finding a new study place, many factors can help you spark a better routine that can sustain you throughout the semesters.
At ASYSTEM, our De-Stress Gummies are a perfect support to your nervous system to help you relax in times of burnout. With award-winning, clinically-proven ingredients like Safr'Inside™, these gummies can assist with reducing tension.
They can even help enhance your focus, which is extremely important when writing that research paper or studying for your next exam.
Reach Out For Support
If at any point you feel like things are too difficult to manage on your own, ask for help.
Campuses have mental health professionals, and the internet is at the tips of our fingers. Sometimes all we need is a little help identifying our triggers, and having someone else there takes off some of the burden.
If you feel like you have reached this point, see it as a sign of strength that is getting you back to a happier path.
College burnout is a real struggle, but identifying the signs can help you recognize it early on and stop it in its tracks.
Making a few lifestyle changes or building healthier habits can help you more effectively manage stress, prevent burnout, or totally turn things around after being in a burnout phase.
ASYSTEM can help support your productivity and wellness journey with our supplements and systems that work to address issues like stress. When life feels overwhelming, we may be able to help you support your body.
Meet our Experts
This article has been reviewed by members of our Scientific Advisory Board.
Former Olympic Athlete, Founder, B2ten Foundation (coach to multiple Olympic Champions)
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