5 signs you're headed for burnout
It’s that time of the semester where things are starting to get a bit too much. Exams are only a few weeks away and you’ve still got a whole heap of things to tick off your to-do list. You’re pushing yourself to keep going but what you really want to do is curl up into a foetal position and slowly rock back and forth until it’s all over. Here are some signs to look out for if you feel like you’re starting to burn out.
1. Feeling fatigued and exhausted all the time
All your energy is gone and you just feel tired all the time. Despite the fact that you have at least 101 different things to do, you decide it’s time to take a quick power nap to “re-energise”. Slowly but surely, that 20-minute nap turns into a 3-hour slumber. Then you wake up too sluggish to do anything so you just lay there doing nothing.
You start to compromise on everything – sleep, exercise, your diet and even your sanity. You blow off plans to go out with friends so that you can spend time “studying” instead. You’re stressed and grumpy all the time because just you want to give up and the whole world seems to be against you (trust me, it isn’t).
3. Lowered expectations and aims
You started off the semester a fresh-faced keen bean, ready to take on the world. You were so motivated you told yourself “This semester will be different. I’m going to be so disciplined and do the very best that I can”. Remember that?
Fast forward to now. You hope and pray that you can at least pass. It’s okay, you’ll work harder next semester. For now, you just want to get through without failing.
4. You. Just. Can’t. Do. It. Anymore.
You can’t stay focused, even for short periods of time. You feel a sense of dread when you realise how many things you have left to do. You don’t have any motivation to study. You spend your whole day working on a task that would normally take you 20 minutes. Even with deadlines nearing, you just don’t care anymore.
5. You do anything but study
You decide to take a quick little “break” because you really do deserve it (but really, you’ve basically done nothing all day). You end up on Facebook for the 54th time in the past hour, expecting to see something new. You move on to YouTube to watch a two-minute video and you tell yourself you’ll get straight back to work once it’s done. Three hours later you’re watching a documentary on how cheese is made. That really lame and boring show that you said you’d never watch? It suddenly becomes the only thing you want to watch all day. You find everything but your work extremely interesting. Heck, you could watch paint drying and it’d be more productive than your study sessions.
If you really are feeling burnt out, make sure to take care of yourself. It’s really easy to lose yourself in the end-of-semester madness. Remember, “The flame that burns twice as bright burns half as long.” Don’t push yourself too hard, because it WILL take a toll on you later on. Pace yourself. Take breaks. Breathe. You got this.
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