Self-care tips for avoiding burnout at college

Jennifer Dawsonon 27 October 2021
Student stressed surrounded by books

Academic burnout can be devastating, but it can also be avoided if you practice self-care and self-kindness.

Over 80% of US college students feel overwhelmed by their lives, with almost 40% feeling so depressed that it affects their ability to function, according to a study taken before the start of the pandemic. These figures will have doubtlessly increased further following the events of the past two years. Academic burnout can severely impact the student experience, manifesting through increased stress, poor sleep, an improper diet, or a lack of exercise. So, how can you keep student burnout at bay?

Self-kindness lowers stress and starts with your diet

Researchers at the University of British Columbia found that self-compassion is the key to making it through your first year at college. To exercise self-compassion, start with proper nutrition. Research has shown that consuming a Mediterranean-style diet for three months can improve your mental health and well-being.

Seek healthy protein sources, Omega-3-rich fats, pulses, grains, and plenty of fruits and vegetables. Regulate your meat intake too. Fibre-rich food promotes the growth of healthy bacteria in your gut, which can reduce your likelihood of having depression.

Resilience is the key to avoiding student burnout

A Yale study found that certain forms of resilience can help college students reduce burnout. These include self-belief, a willingness to solve problems, goal orientation, and interpersonal skills. All of these traits can be learned and built upon.

How to cultivate resilience

When the going gets tough with your studies, sometimes the best thing a student can do for their well-being is learn how to manage the situation. With the right support, students can learn how to utilise their skills better and develop their problem-solving skills. To achieve this, you should lean on your peers, relatives and tutors where needed.

To fight burnout, you have to be kind to yourself and live a balanced lifestyle. Developing key skills like time management and taking a solutions-based approach to problems will ensure you manage life’s challenges more effectively than ever.

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Jennifer Dawsonon 27 October 2021