Tuesday 9 July 2024

Burnouts? I’ve got you.

From his journey as a student, Bach shares some of his experiences and tips from his experience of burnout. 

- Bach

We know this too well: education can be so tiring and challenging for a lot of people, where you have so many things to do yet not enough time to finish them all. Personally, in my experience as a student, there have been some times that I overworked myself, trying to fill in the 24-hour timeframe with a lot of stuff: doing coursework, hanging out with friends, planning club activities, and so on. As a result, just as any of you would face if you work too much without taking care of yourself, I faced burnout. When burnouts occur, you typically feel exhausted, and you don’t have the strength to do anything - for me, during that period I felt sick and found it hard to sleep. But as someone aware of the importance of protecting my health, I practised some skills that have proven effective in dealing with this issue, and now I’ve learned to take care of myself and haven't faced burnout since. 

In one of the occurrences when I faced burnout, I felt as if I was unable to do anything - everything was just tiring, and I felt very stuck. I still wanted to do things, but my emotions and body just wouldn’t allow me to. During that time, I went to journaling as my very best friend. I know that many people may become bored when even just thinking of doing it, but honestly, please try to do it. Journaling my emotions, really helped me with sorting out my feelings by letting myself have the ability to figure out the problems that are going on with myself. Simply by doing that, everything just became a bit easier when I was able to find out the main cause of my burnout. With that, I was unable to sketch out some plans for how I could solve that issue. 

The burnout period has taught me a lot about the importance of taking frequent rest. Rests don’t have to be long hours of napping or something - simply, things like taking a break after you study. For the majority of the time, burnouts come from the fact that you are doing so many things continuously that you don’t leave yourself time to rest, which means you have no time to take care of your mental health. Something I have practised when studying is called the Pomodoro technique - there are two main things with this technique: first, for every 25 minutes of studying, let yourself rest for 5 minutes; and second, for every 3 to 4 of these 30-minute intervals, give yourself a rest for around 15 minutes. Doesn’t seem so difficult to do, does it?

Something I have also done and found very effective is that you shouldn’t hesitate to reach out to your loved ones when talking about this issue, because it really helps when you are able to share this problem with someone. When I told my parents about what I was going through, they were extremely empathetic and gave meaningful advice on how I could protect my health. I have a strong belief that you shouldn’t keep your feelings bottled up in your mind all the time. By letting them out I felt much more relieved.

Burnouts can be such a horrible period of your life, but just like me, you don’t have to go through it alone! Through these occurrences, I have learned so much about how crucial it is to balance your time between working and resting, and I hope that you are able to do so so that you don’t have to face this alone.

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My name is Bach Le, and I am currently studying in Hanoi, Vietnam. As someone who cares about others and is interested in learning about the mental well-being of students, I wanted to share the tips that I find helpful to others in dealing with different problems we commonly face.

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