May has been dedicated as a month to monitor your mental health, and take any necessary steps to preserve it. But this isn’t just manicures or a spa day.
Burnout is a common mental drag for students, especially as we near the end of the school year. While this can be caused by an overload of school work and extracurriculars, many of the reasons are more personal.
According to https://www.helpguide.org, burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet constant demands.
Common reasons for burnout include life crises, a shift in normal routines, a lack of self care or attention skills, or going without a social support network, according to our KHS counseling department. Some of these are beyond our control, others are a byproduct of lackadaisical pandemic lifestyles, but several are within our abilities to solve or grow out of as a mindset.
It’s also important to note the difference between exhaustion and burnout. Burnout is a much more extreme form of exhaustion, which also includes a “down” mindset and reduced performance, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI).
Some of the best strategies for avoiding or recovering from burnout include getting enough sleep, reaching out to loved ones who can help you decompress, eating nutritious meals, developing an organizational system for personal scheduling, and avoiding sources of negativity like social media.
If you notice a friend is experiencing any of these challenges and you believe they have a capacity for harmful behaviors, either towards themselves or others, contact a trusted adult or emergency services. However, this is in extreme cases, and the more likely course of action is having honest conversations and practicing active listening.
The KHS counseling department would also like to remind you that they’re always here to lend an ear as well.