Mar 10, 2021 08:16 PM EST
Is College Good for Your Health? Warning Signs of Academic Burnout
College student burnout is a real thing, but they often miss the subtle warning signs because they grow accustomed to dealing with high levels of stress. Toxic college culture that normalizes binge drinking and all-nighters do nothing to promote a healthy lifestyle. Even if you know you don't feel good, that doesn't mean you know what to do about it.
What Is Burnout?
Dealing with stress for a prolonged period known as chronic stress takes a toll on your mental and physical wellbeing. Burnout can mimic the signs of depression or even trigger the onset of it if left untreated. Burnout is a total state of exhaustion that makes it difficult for you to perform daily tasks. You don't ever feel fully rested, everything starts to feel dull and pointless and you likely can't even muster up the energy to fake a smile most of the time. Burnout is a serious mental health problem that can have serious physical side-effects as well, especially for people who already live with chronic medical conditions.
You're Skipping Classes
When you stop going to class because you just can't bring yourself to go, then your stress levels have reached a point where they're no longer useful. Stress in and of itself motivates us to get things done, and there's nothing wrong with positive stress. But when you are tempted to skip all the time or just straight up stop going to class, then it's time to intervene and address the bigger issue.
You Dread Every Day Before It Begins
A major warning sign of burnout is feeling tired before you've even gotten out of bed. The minute you open your eyes, your mind is filled with a checklist of all the things you have to do. It takes tremendous energy to even motivate yourself enough to get up and get dressed. Everything you do feels like a chore, and it's like pulling teeth to do the bare minimum.
You've Become More Anxious
Physical anxiety is your body's natural response to a threat, real or perceived. When it comes to burnout, your brain's threat response system might start seeing regular things as a threat because you are overwhelmed and stressed. Going to class, for example, could cause you to experience sweaty hands, an upset stomach, headache or dizziness. This is your body's way of trying to protect you and lower your cortisol levels, but it obviously doesn't work.
When you start to feel anxious about routine things you used to be able to do with no problem, it is a good idea to seek professional help. Telehealth services can put you in touch with a doctor or therapist no matter where you are. Digital healthcare helps improve the well-being of college students by offering confidential, on-demand care for a wide range of physical and mental issues.
You're Questioning Your Self-Worth
A big red flag that your mental health is declining is a haunting feeling that you're a failure. You might wonder if college is even worth it and feel like you're a loser who isn't going to get a good job anyway. You could start to fear the future, wondering what you'll even become after graduation. Everyone wrestles with fears and doubt now and again, but a healthy sense of self-worth always stays intact. You don't have to feel ashamed of your struggle, and getting help is the quickest way to start feeling better.
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