What is academic burnout, and how it can be prevented

What is academic burnout?

               Burnout is coined from the phrase burn out.  It is the experience of long-term exhaustion and diminished interest, especially in one’s career (Dictionary meaning). Burnout is not a disease as such.  It is a state of being tired to the extreme because of overworking on a particular issue or job for a long time.  You become extremely exhausted both mentally and physically.  So, what is academic burnout?  By extension, academic burnout definition would entail being too tired in academic work because of prolonged reading and studying.  Academic work mainly engages your mind and intellect and therefore academic burnout makes you to be mentally fatigued as you do repeated reading and studying over a long span of time. Students who are likely to undergo academic burnout are those under pressure to complete a project, sit for an examination, complete an assignment or defend a thesis or dissertation.  Mental fatigue can lead to other physical and psychological problems which may end up hindering your academic progression.  It is therefore important for you to control stress that may result in academic burnout.

What are the academic burnout symptoms?

               Signs of academic burnout will vary depending on individual strength and your level of study.  A lot of research is being done in schools and colleges to devise an academic burnout scale to be used in determining whether students are experiencing academic burnout or not.  Some of these scales are the Maslach Burnout Inventory – Student Survey (MBS-SS), Big Five Inventory (BFI) and the Copenhagen Burnout Inventory (CBI).  The most commonly used scale is the Maslach Burnout Inventory.  The measure considers cynicism, emotional exhaustion and efficacy to scale academic burnout. The academic burnout scale would be useful in establishing the burnout symptoms in an institution.

However, the commonly exhibited signs and symptoms of academic burnout include the following: –

  1. Insomnia – the fatigue you get causes you to have sleepless nights however much you try sleeping. The lack of sleep is called insomnia.
  2. Motivation – you will lack motivation to attend classes. You will skip classes without a valid reason and even avoid doing assignments.
  3. Irritations – you will easily get annoyed at any slight provocation, yelling out at others due to frustrations.
  4. Creativity – you will show poor or no creativity at all in your projects, group activities and discussions.
  5. Confidence – lack of confidence in handling academic work will be seen in your activities. You will doubt yourself and express failure.
  6. Deadlines – meeting deadlines will be an uphill task. For example, you will always be late in handing in your assignments to the instructors.
  7. Concentration – you will show lack of concentration in class or during lectures.
  8. Socialization – you will not have an interest in social activities or co-curriculum programs and rather stay unaccompanied and isolated.
  9. Tension – your body will be restless and you will experience pains and constant headaches due to tension in the body.
  10. Anxiety – uneasy feelings and depression will be overwhelming.

How do you deal with academic burnout?

               When you experience academic burnout, you can do some of the following things to deal with the issue: –

  1. Take time to do something that you enjoy most such as dancing, playing a game and laughing out through light moments with friends.
  2. Do a lot of exercises away from your study time to keep fit and freshen up.
  3. Hang out with friends on a picnic or visitations.
  4. Join others in doing social activities like watching football and other games.
  5. When working on a project, set achievable targets and goals that will be comfortable to work out without causing undue pressure.
  6. Procrastination should be avoided because it can lead to pile up and anxious moments.
  7. Practice drills that can relax your body and mind such as yoga or taking time to meditate.
  8. Balance your reading habits with other routine activities and find time to relax.
  9. Get enough time to sleep and rest.
  10. Eat a balanced diet and keep healthy.
  11. Seek professional guidance and help when academic burnout persists.

How long can it take to recover from academic burnout?

               The time it will take for one to recover from academic burnout will depend on the degree of the burnout and its effects on the individual.  It can be as short as a week and as long as a year.  However, it will also depend on what is causing the burnout.  If the situation remains unchanged, then recovering from the burnout may be a challenge.  If, for example, your course of study takes six years to complete and you experience an academic burnout half way through, firm recovery measures must be taken because you still have to complete your academics in the next three years.  You have an academic paper to complete at the end of the course, and a capstone project to present as a special assignment.  You cannot perform well in these papers if you have an academic burnout.  It may be necessary to seek professional assistance for you to be able to recover and still continue with academic work to the end.  Therefore, full recovery will depend on your ability to re-assess your academics, reset your goals and follow a new program that will reduce academic stress.

What are the ways that can be used to prevent academic burnout?

               The following are some of the ways that can be used to prevent academic burnout: –

  • When setting out your goals and targets, ensure they are achievable and reasonable.
  • You should be able to complete tasks within the limits of time given. Avoid procrastination.
  • Develop good study habits and manage the time for each activity effectively.
  • Get at least seven hours of sleep every day.
  • Manage your time well creating time to relax and recover from stress.

How academic burnout can impact one’s academic path

Academic burnout can have a negative impact on your academic path. Your performance will be poor due to burnout and you will not achieve your goals with negative academic work.  Your efficacy will drop resulting in unproductive perception of your studies. Ultimately you will fail to achieve a high performance, and in the process, fall out in academics.  Working on a capstone project in your studies will not be achieved if you have already failed in your academic papers. The remedy for this situation is to engage in a Study burnout recovery process that will revert you to your academic path. A capstone project is a culmination assignment that will only be successful if you excel in your study field and you cannot do it if you are mentally and psychologically affected by academic burnout.

Can academic burnout have negative effect on a student’s health?

               It is possible for academic burnout to have a negative effect on your health as a student.  Continued stress occurring due to heavy academic workload can lead to anxiety disorders, psychological problems, insomnia and depression.

               Burnout can lead to mental problems in extreme cases. Psychological disorders, emotional disorders, hostility, withdrawal or isolation, feelings of a failure, hopelessness, worthlessness and the like are some of the mental issues emanating from burnout.  In extreme cases, suicidal thoughts may set in.

How to cope with burnout during exams

               In order to cope up with burnout during examinations, the following practices can be helpful: –

  • Develop good study habits and skills that will not cause stress to develop.
  • Revise the subject well to avoid anxiety.
  • Manage your programs and time well having breaks where necessary.
  • Control your fears and avoid last minute rush to revise and read large volumes of academic work.
  • Develop Post exam recovery activities that will make your body to recover and your mind to relax after the exam period.
  • Do not become cynic and callous.

Can academic burnouts be treated?

Treatment of academic burnout is possible although burnouts are stubborn.  Treatment of arising bodily pains can be done easily through normal medications.  Psychological problems will need professional treatment by trained specialists who can counsel and advise accordingly.  Satisfaction of some basic human needs and wants removes anxiety and builds confidence in an individual.  If the basic needs are not fulfilled, human beings will always be frustrated and will look for diverse ways of gratifying the needs, yet resources are scarce and limited.  Therefore, satisfying a need soothes the mind and heals the heart.  These are the basic principles of business studies. Consequently, what business school can teach doctors about academic burnout medicine is that basic human needs must be satisfied first in all aspects of life for doctors and businessmen alike. Food, shelter and clothing must also be provided by doctors as medicine for treating academic burnout.

How Essaytutors services can prevent academic burnout

Cheap research services that are provided online can help students achieve their academic goals and not be hit by academic burnout. You need to look for the best online academic service providers like Essaytutors that meet the specifications that you seek to get quality work in your field. We guarantee you that once you place your order with us, you will have solved part of the academic burnout that you might experience.

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