Woman with book over her head, looking exhausted

What is Academic Burnout—and How Can You Recover From It?

Natalie Daniels May 13, 2022

With every school semester comes a period of struggle. You’re tired, unmotivated, and maybe a bit sad or cranky. Classes might feel like an uphill battle that you’ll never win. In other words, you’re facing a never-ending cycle of academic burnout. But, you’re not alone. Many students are increasingly reporting these feelings and more, leading to an influx of what’s being called “academic burnout.”

OK, but what actually is academic burnout? Academic burnout is when stress from studying and schoolwork affects your mental and physical wellbeing. Symptoms range from increased bodily tension and pain, lack of energy and concentration, frustration, depression, and anxiety. Academic burnout can make you feel like minor tasks are too overwhelming to complete.

With constant pressures from personal life, family and social relationships, and school, plus the added pressure and anxiety from the Covid pandemic, it can feel harder and harder to just catch a break. And, with all of these stresses, you may wonder how to overcome burnout. Discover our tips and techniques on how to get over academic burnout.

Stay On a Schedule

Keep life organized with a planner. A planner will help remind you to study for that big test with time to spare or start working on that upcoming project before it’s too late. Throw the calendar planner in a new SuperBreak Plus backpack along with your laptop, and head to your chosen study location.

During busy moments of the school year, manage your time by keeping a consistent schedule. When planning out your midterms and finals, make sure to schedule in breaks. For example, if there’s an important exam coming up, study for about an hour without any distractions and then have a 20-minute break. By planning out school work, tasks become more tangible and manageable and help reduce stress. Do the same with your personal life too to keep on top of things.

Focus On Physical Health

Working on your physical health can help you feel better mentally. Take some time out of the day to do a physical activity of your choice. Pack up some gear in an Agave Backpack and hike in the great outdoors. Put your keys and phone in a Recycled Waistpack to go on a shorter, more casual walk. Check out the gym or take that spin and dance class you’ve wanted to try for so long. Either way, you’ll be releasing endorphins which will help your brain.

Along with exercise comes food. To keep your energy up, allow yourself time to consume three meals and multiple snacks throughout each day. Sleep is another crucial factor regarding physical health. Make sure you’re getting about 7-8 hours a night.  You can also put your physical and mental health first by practicing self-care. Try meditation or some other ways of self-care on a budget.

Create Goals and Rewards

Creating goals with rewards is the best way to promise beneficial results. When setting these goals, it’s important to make them achievable. Let’s say you plan to get 2-3 pages of a final paper done one day. After, reward yourself with your favorite things like binge-watching your favorite show, treating yourself to your favorite snack, or hanging out with friends.

Rewards will help make tasks feel less difficult and more enjoyable!

Set Up a Support System

If you’re really struggling, reach out to loved ones or people you trust. Whether it’s calling family or having in-person hangouts with friends, it’s important to have people you can talk to. The people in your life may be going through the same thing too.

Sometimes, you just need a good cry or laugh with people you love. If you need more resources, there are ways to seek professional help. You are never alone.

Academic burnout is challenging. However, through these practices, you’ll be able to recover and focus on your mental health.