Although we all know that overworking ourselves is no good, it still happens pretty often.
Constant stress, anxiety, and lack of sleep might result in burnout and even depression – something particularly dangerous to students as they tend to neglect physical and mental health for the sake of academia and try to overwork themselves without taking a break.
The first step to feeling and getting better is to recognize the symptoms and act upon them. There is no reason to wait until stress turns into burnout. Yes, keeping up with grades and the college curriculum is important, but if one overworks themselves to a limit, they won’t be able to do it.
There is nothing wrong with asking for help. For instance, if students cannot keep up with papers, assignments can rely on professional services. Things like edit my paper make sure their essays or case studies are polished to the maximum. Taking a break is not only normal but necessary for overall well-being.
If you are feeling like constant stress might be taking a toll on you, here are the signs you need a break.
Signs of High Level of Stress or Burnout
- You are in a bad mood all the time
One bad day is okay, but when it takes a lot of effort to feel happy, this is a bad sign. Overworking and depression are linked, according to several studies, so if you wake up already in a terrible mood and nothing feels good, it is time to stop.
Constant feelings of misery without any light moments can be an early symptom of depression or burnout.
- You are easily irritated
A common thing for people who overwork themselves is that they start to lose their cool often. It might be a simple mistake, a little inconvenience, or a change in the plans that make you extremely irritated.
This can endanger relationships with friends and family, particularly if the irritation response is not equivalent to the trigger. Pay close attention to how you act and feel and what makes you irritated. If you are getting angry much more often than usual, it can be a symptom of prolonged stress.
- You wake up nauseous or feeling dreadful
Human bodies always try to signal what’s going on. It goes to mental health as well. Bottling down emotions can lead to such symptoms as:
- Lack of appetite;
- Aches and pains;
- Constant headache.
These can be especially noticeable in the morning when you just wake up. Pay attention to how you feel physically and emotionally and make observations for a couple of days to figure out the possible reasons.
- You make a lot of careless mistakes
Another sign of academic burnout is the lack of focus. It becomes incredibly hard to concentrate even on easy tasks. As a result, people tend to make a lot of mistakes that they wouldn’t let slip in normal conditions.
One can make more errors in a couple of hours than in a week. This is a red flag that shows you are exhausted and cannot do normal tasks right. This is a dangerous situation as some errors might be easily fixable.
- You have no motivation
Internal motivation is a huge driving force that helps achieve goals. If you feel a lack or no motivation at all, this is a warning. This can happen because of exhaustion, feeling drained, or being underappreciated.
If you feel like you force yourself to do things, even get out of bed and go to classes, you need a break. There even might be resentment toward all things related to college and academia. If you do not want to do it to the verge of tears or anger, it is time to take a pause and rethink what is going on.
- Your health is getting worse
Mental and physical health are interconnected. So it is pretty common that overworking and constant stress result in issues like lower immune response and various aches. The deteriorating physical health is a sign of serious problems one needs to address as soon as possible.
This can manifest through:
- Increased heartbeat;
- Increased blood pressure;
- Stomach aches and digestive problems;
- Weight gains or loss;
- Sore muscles;
- Jaw tension.
These might seem like small problems at first, but when not treated, they can lead to serious problems. Perhaps its time for a break.
- You are not as confident as before
Another symptom to look for is the sudden lack of confidence. It is replaced by more anxiety that makes even enjoyable things unbearable. This might be prominent among workaholics and people that depend on others in terms of their confidence.
When a person is stressed, they make more errors and cannot concentrate properly. As a result, they lose confidence in their skills and abilities. And the fear of failure sets in.
- You start to isolate yourself from others
If you miss personal events, meetings, or communication with peers, it can also be a warning sign. Humans are social creatures, and it is not normal to start isolating yourself out of nowhere. This might be a result of resentment toward all things college, including mates.
Or maybe you do not feel like you have the energy to go out and talk to people. It becomes a chore to act like everything is fine and you are in a good mood.
Notice if you have been isolating more than usual. Maybe you’ve missed lunches, parties, clubs, or even birthdays. Try to think why it happens.
What Can You Do?
If you find that several symptoms from this list are true for you, it is time to take a break. There are ways to make yourself feel better. Here is what one can do:
- Take time to do something you enjoy. Spend quality “me time” by watching a movie, going for a walk, or interacting with animals;
- Start exercising regularly. A healthy body keeps the mind healthy as well. Even if you do not feel like doing it, after the session, you’ll be more energized. Start with small things and 15-minute training;
- Go outside and enjoy nature. This is a proven way to reduce stress levels and get a serotonin boost. Students can go hiking or jogging. Or you can read in a park;
- Reach out to friends and family. Talk about your feelings and fears. Do not isolate yourself. It is important to have quality social time and bond with others. You’ll find out that they are ready to support you and listen to you;
- Incorporate stress-relieving techniques in your daily life. This might meditation, breathing exercises, yoga, journaling, etc. Find what works for you.
- Re-evaluate your goals, priorities, and schedule. Set only reasonable goals with clear deadlines and reminders.
- Learn to say “no” to things you have no energy or time for.
- If nothing helps, seek professional help (college counselor or psychologist).
It is important to take a step back, make a pause and take a closer look at what is causing all these problems.
To prevent serious mental and physical health problems, look out for these symptoms of constant stress and burnout. If they apply to how you feel, it is time to take a break and regroup.