Identifying and Managing Burnout
Attending university is undoubtedly a stressful experience in some sort of way for all students, and the recent pandemic has only amplified these feelings. Stress can rise due to several reasons, it could be a higher perceived level of academic demands; attending zoom classes, tight deadlines; balancing of study and additional paid work, trying to acclimatise to a virtual personal life; and of course, financial pressures.
With all of this in mind, a build-up of constant stress can promote burnout. In this blog, we will identify the signs/symptoms you might be suffering from burnout, the 12 stages that can lead to burnout and explore tips to prevent burnout from occurring in the first place.
Trigger Warning: this article discusses multiple forms of mental health; eating disorders, drug abuse, suicide and self-harm, depression and anxiety.
Symptoms of Burnout
Worried that you may be experiencing burnout but unsure of the signs? We’ve compiled a list of symptoms that you can use as a loose guide.
The 12 stages of Burnout
Unlike a cold or the flu, burnout doesn’t hit all at once. It can waterfall down these stages:
(However, studies have shown that productivity plummets after 50 hours of work)
Please see below for organisations that can help you.
Stress may be unavoidable at times, but burnout is definitely preventable. Following these steps below may help you battle stress from getting the best of you:
Not only is exercise good for our physical health, but it can also give us an emotional boost.
Feel like you have no time? You don’t need to spend hours exercising or at the gym to reap these benefits. Taking it in bite sized pieces and building routine is key! Mini-workouts and short daily walks are convenient ways to make exercise a daily habit, take that time out to listen to your favourite artist or podcast.
Why not listen to our ‘Chillout playlist’ on Spotify!
Eat a balanced diet
Eating a healthy diet filled with omega-3 fatty acids can be a natural antidepressant. Adding foods rich in omega-3s like flaxseed oil, walnuts, and fish may help give your mood a boost. Over the next couple of weeks we’ll go into more detail over diet and how it can affect your mood. Make sure you check back every week to ensure your getting all our handy tips to improve your overall wellbeing.
Practice good sleep habits
Lockdown is a perfect excuse to look at your sleeping routine whilst we can’t get distracted with socials and weekly nights out. Our bodies need time to rest and reset, which is why healthy sleep habits are essential for our overall well-being.
What do we mean by establishing a sleeping routine? Try small changes such as, avoiding caffeine before bedtime, having a warm shower or bath, or banning smartphones and digital devices from the bedroom can help promote sound sleep.
(Or if like most people you can’t resist your phone on an evening, adjust the settings so it’s on night time mode to remove the blue light being immitted from your screen.)
Ask for help
During stressful times, it’s important to reach out for help. If asking for assistance feels difficult, consider developing a self-care “check-in” with close friends and family members so that you can take care of each other during trying times.
If you don’t feel like you can reach out to loved ones, here at UMAberSU we provide regular digital drop in services throughout the week or you can arrange a confidential chat with one of our staff members in Advice.
The Advice Service is operating as usual via remote means. You can contact the service using the contact the details below. The service will operate video calling consultations via Zoom as required during usual drop-in times of 10am-12pm and 1pm-3pm, Monday to Thursday. You can find the link on our Undeb Myfyrwyr Aberystwyth Students' Union Facebook page or on our website on the homepage underneath our Facebook handle.
Online: Using our enquiry form
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By Phone: 01970 621712
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During these uncertain times you don't need to struggle on your own. Togetherall is a peer-to-peer platform is a safe place to connect with others experiencing similar feelings, plus there are trained professionals on hand, 24/7. All members are anonymous to each other within the community.
Sign up here: https://togetherall.com/en-gb/
Whatever you're going through, a Samaritan will face it with you, We're here 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
By Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (response time 24hrs)
By Phone: 116 123
Try the Samartians Self Help App
One-to-one support for whatever challenge you’re facing, designed for students. Whether it’s your mental health, your studies, money, housing or relationships, we’re here to support you.
By text: text ‘STUDENT’ to 85258
By phone: 0808 189 5260
By Live Webschat: https://studentspace.org.uk/support-services/webchat-support
By email: email@example.com
Offers emotional support and information/literature on Mental Health and related matters to the people of Wales. Anyone concerned about their own mental health or that of a relative or friend can access the service. C.A.L.L. Helpline offers a confidential listening and support service.
By Phone: 0800 132737
By Text: text ‘help’ to 81066
Mind Aberystwyth is one of over twenty local Mind associations in Wales, working to improve the life of people affected by mental distress. We are an independent charity in our own right, run by local people, for local people
By phone: 01970 626225
By Email: firstname.lastname@example.org