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Le-Anne

April 17th, 2024

Surviving the Grind: How to cope with Burnout

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Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

Le-Anne

April 17th, 2024

Surviving the Grind: How to cope with Burnout

0 comments

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

In the last few weeks of the Autumn Term, I remember being so overwhelmed with assignments, society activities and my personal life that I crumbled under the weight of work. I was struggling to complete my day-to-day activities and was physically unable to work on my deadlines. That was my very first burnout after coming to LSE and it took me a significant time to recover from the overwhelming feeling of struggling in an academically challenging environment. With more awareness on mental wellness in recent times, the topic of burnout among students becomes an especially important issue to address. While many of us aspire to be high flyers in school, the reality is that we are not a superhuman that can power on without sufficient physical and mental breaks. With the upcoming revision season for the final examinations in view, here are some tips to mitigate the stress that arises from studying:

 

Identifying burnout and stressors

The occurrence of burnout can usually be confused with stressors that are already present in our daily lives. Burnout is the experience of physical and mental exhaustion that usually arises from long-term stressors. For instance, an impending deadline might be stressful for most people, but when burnout happens, it is often common to find that the stress impedes one’s ability to continue to work or achieve a certain outcome. Identifying feelings of not being able to cope with work, the feeling of being drained or even suffering from irregular and poor sleeping patterns, may be signs of burnout that you should not push away so quickly. It is important to recognise these flashpoints early, as not addressing them in a timely fashion can worsen the state of one’s mental health in the long run.

 

Managing burnout before it happens

As the saying goes, prevention is always better than cure. Tackling symptoms of burnout, before it blows up into a full episode, can be more effective in balancing work and health. I’ve realised that making an effort to take regular breaks, despite how busy my week can be at times, can be a very useful way to regulate my life. This makes sure that my day is not entirely consumed in work and work alone, as this can have the counterproductive effect of lowering your productivity. Make it a point to go out during the day to engage in simple activities like a jog, or even going to a park or other green spaces to get some fresh air after a period of working. At the same time, I find it helpful to have a daily schedule to stick to in terms of when to eat and sleep, as I tend to skip meals or sleep less when I feel that I have too much work on my plate. Having a pattern of living that you stick to on a daily basis helps to regulate busy periods as well, as eating and sleeping well are extremely important in preventing episodes of burnout.

 

It’s always okay to seek help

Lastly, if you ever find yourself going through serious burnout, do not hesitate to reach out! One of the hardest things for me to do when I felt that I was not in a good mental space was to seek help as I initially felt that it was embarrassing, and perhaps even guilty that I was unable to cope with schoolwork. Nevertheless, seeking help early helps you tackle the burnout before it worsens, and it always feels good to have someone to talk to about your struggles and concerns. The LSE wellbeing office has been nothing but helpful in providing me with a safe space to talk to a counsellor about my worries, fears and stressors. From there, my counsellor has supported me in my journey and worked with me on how to better manage my burnout episodes. Reaching out can be intimidating — after all, the negative stereotypes associated with it are not completely gone — but working with a professional to address your stressors can help you feel a sense of relief, which may be what you really need!

 

Despite the hustle and bustle of life, it remains important to always been in a good mental space because nothing is more important than being healthy and happy. Remember that there are always options and avenues that you can seek help from, and that you are not alone in this journey!

About the author

Le-Anne

Hi there! My name is Le-Anne, and I'm a third-year exchange student on the GO LSE programme. I am from Singapore, but I studied in France for the first two years of university before arriving in London this year. My academic interests are in Politics and History, and I love to do anything related with these areas of study. In my free time, I enjoy cooking, dancing, making music and video editing. I'm also an avid fan of solo travelling and hope to visit as many European countries as I can before I complete my studies at the LSE. I'm really looking forward to sharing fun and interesting content with everyone!

Posted In: Study Abroad

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