Overcoming Academic Burnout

Understanding and recognizing the symptoms of academic burnout is necessary in overcoming it and preventing it from reoccurring. At Saint Anne Parish School, we consider the mental and physical health of our students to hold priority above everything else, so we’re explaining what academic burnout is, how to identify it, and what can be done to overcome and avoid it.

What is Academic Burnout?

Academic burnout is not the same as having a rough night of staying up late studying or being annoyed with this year’s homework load. Rather it is a state of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion due to excessive and prolonged stress. It can develop from long-term study, schoolwork, and related activities. As a student constantly juggles this lifestyle, if they don’t have or take enough time to relax and recharge, they may find themselves facing academic burnout. It often leads to a lack of personal accomplishment and interest, which in turn leads to poor academic performance.

Identifying Symptoms of Burnout

Because stress is usually par for the course at some point in a student’s educational journey, it can be easy to overlook or fail to recognize academic burnout when it is happening.
Stress in mild form can help to motivate us to work harder and achieve goals. Many students will push through it as long as they can. But when certain symptoms or behaviors start to appear, they may be warning signs that a burnout is on the horizon.

Common Academic Burnout Warning Signs

Mental & Emotional:
  • Loss of confidence and motivation in academic abilities
  • Lack of inspiration and opinions to share in class projects or discussions
  • Lack of desire to attend classes or start assignments
  • Inability to keep deadlines
  • Making careless mistakes that are not a normal part of behavior
  • Feelings of anxiety or depression
  • Unprovoked irritability and frustration or lashing out at others
  • Feelings of boredom or disinterest in things that are typically enjoyable
  • Constant exhaustion despite getting adequate sleep
  • Not sleeping well or insomnia
  • Frequent headaches or dizzy spells
  • Higher frequency of illness caused by stress and exhaustion
  • Increased pain or tension in the body
  • Increasing bad habits or unhealthy behaviors such as overeating or stress eating, staying up late, nail biting, or any other stress-induced behavior caused by a lack of taking care of one’s self
If you have recognized some of these symptoms in your child’s behavior lately, they may be suffering from an impending academic burnout. So the question is, what can be done to overcome it?

How to Overcome Academic Burnout

Academic burnout needs to be addressed when the warning signs present themselves. This isn’t something that will just go away on it’s own. It will likely continuously get worse. Overcoming it involves awareness and action. The following steps should be taken to move into recovery:
  1. Recognize Symptoms
    Knowing the warning signs above is the best way to see academic burnout looming, either in yourself, your child, or in others.
  2. Don’t Ignore It
    Don’t try to push through a burnout or ignore it. It will only further exacerbate the problem.
  3. Make Changes
    Changing habits and schedules can get your child out of the place that put them into burnout in the first place.
  4. Get Help
    Academic burnout is serious and may require the help of a professional. Talking to a guidance counselor, school counselor, or other mental health professional can be a great way to overcome burnout. Family and friends can also lend a helping support system.
Academic burnout can take months, or even years, to develop. Don’t expect recovery to be instantaneous. It’ll take time and commitment.

Avoiding Student Burnout

After recovering from academic burnout, the last thing you want is for your child to go through it again. To help prevent this from happening, the below consistent changes should be implemented:
  • Get plenty of sleep each night – 7 to 9 hours
  • Maintain healthy eating habits and drink plenty of water
  • Take plenty of breaks throughout the day
  • Set reasonable goals for schedules, activities, and expectations
  • Avoid procrastination and stick to deadlines
  • Practice effective time-management
  • Establish good relationships with educators
  • Make time for enjoyable activities
  • Spend some time outdoors
  • Maintain friendships and good communication with friends and family

How Saint Anne Parish School Can Help

At Saint Anne, we completely understand how the pressures of life, school, and expectations can lead to excessive stress in children. That’s why we promote a different kind of academic environment for our students. We believe in providing an enriching atmosphere where students can develop academically, spiritually, socially, and emotionally. Our whole child approach to learning creates a balanced experience so that our students not only feel supported, but free from the overwhelm of conforming to a system that doesn’t necessarily work for them.
Our faculty embraces each and every student as the unique individual that they are. This sympathetic connection encourages our students to turn to faculty for support and encouragement through challenges they may experience. Additionally, this places our faculty in the perfect position to notice if and when a student is exhibiting signs of academic burnout so that the proper changes can be implemented in a timely fashion.
Contact us online or give us a call at 847-381-0311 to learn more about our programs and how our learning environment combats issues such as academic burnout.