Burnout (noun): Exhaustion of physical or emotional strength or motivation usually as a result of prolonged stress or frustration.
The word Burnout is popping up an awful lot these days; being worn out to the point where you can’t really work or do anything. I have definitely been there. Younger people are experiencing burnout a lot more often, with students being a really vulnerable group at risk of burnout.
With exams just finishing and the semester two just beginning, College can be really overwhelming. As a student, you are also dividing your attention between your studies, your social life, growing up, and maintaining other things like a job and family/home obligations. That’s a lot! The high fees we have to pay are also a stressor, and accommodation has become another thing on the list for students to be concerned about.
Trust me, I have been there. I was lucky to be a student that could live at home, but I still had a part-time job and I was in a really intense course in DIT. There was a lot of pressure coming from everywhere, and I needed to find ways to cope. Here are some tips for things that I have learned along the way.
Don’t be Hard on Yourself
This is something I am still working on. There are so many external pressures on top of you, so there is no need to add another one onto the pile! While it is good to have certain expectations of yourself, you are only human at the end of the day. You won’t be able to keep everyone in your life happy. Make sure you are doing things that make you feel good and forgive yourself when you make mistakes.
Keep in Touch with your mates
Your friends should help build you up when you’re feeling low. I often isolate myself when I start feeling overworked, but reaching out to my friends always makes me feel a little bit better. It doesn’t have to be a big thing, but chatting to friends can be helpful, and sharing your problems can make them seem less intimidating.
Cut Down on the Alcohol
You know the spiel by now, but this is a reminder. Going out for a few drinks can be alright sometimes, but overdoing it can cause negative effects. I also feel terrible after drinking too much, and the next day can be a bit of a waste. You don’t need to drink or take drugs to enjoy yourself– challenge yourself to stick to coke the next time you’re heading out. If that’s too extreme, set yourself a small budget that you can spend on drink and don’t let yourself go over it.
Sometimes, burnout can happen because you are stretching yourself too thinly. Setting your boundaries from the beginning can be really helpful, so you can build yourself early in the semester so you prepare for the weeks ahead. Make a loose timetable for when you can study, and when you can spend time doing something you enjoy. Don’t say yes to everything; instead assess every opportunity and check-in with yourself to see if you are able to take something else on. Get enough sleep – 8 hours is the target, so get as much as possible throughout the year. Don’t forget, if you are feeling stressed with deadlines, chat to your lecturer to see if you can get an extension (they won’t judge!). You know yourself the best, so you set the boundaries you are most comfortable with.
Use the Services Available to You
TU Dublin has loads of services on the City Campus for students, and DITSU also supports you along the way. If you are feeling stressed or burned out, don’t delay speaking to someone.
- The Health Centre is Available in Linen Hall and Aungier Street, more info here
- The DITSU Advice Service is available across campuses with Student Advisors to talk to. Their email is firstname.lastname@example.org or you can drop into the office when it suits.
- The TU Dublin City Campus Counselling Service is available too – their information is here.
We are glad to welcome you all back this semester. Make sure to get involved in stay in touch with your Union. We have loads of campaigns and events happening in the next few weeks, keep your eyes peeled on our Social Media!