16 Smoking-Gun Signs Of A College Burnout, Because Where There's Smoke, There's Fire

16 Smoking-Gun Signs Of A College Burnout, Because Where There's Smoke, There's Fire

How to notice something is wrong before it's too late.

We are hitting that time in the semester where midterms are coming, and spring break is almost upon us and we are tired of the hustle and bustle that life brings. It is a stressful time of year for most of us and for some, myself included, it’s when we start to burn out. This is something a lot of overachievers, like myself, hit and don’t realize it because we have that “I can do everything” attitude and take on too much.

What is burnout you ask? Burnout is a state of chronic stress that leads to physical and emotional exhaustion, cynicism and detachment, and feelings of ineffectiveness and lack of accomplishment. This is something that takes time to build up. It doesn’t happen suddenly so the goal here is to recognize the symptoms to try and avoid it. Some of the symptoms include:

1. Chronic fatigue

At first this may just feel like a lack of energy and just being tired most days. But as time goes on you begin to feel emotionally exhausted as well and begin to dread things ahead.

2. Insomnia

Basically, no matter how tired you are you can’t fall asleep or stay asleep.

3. Forgetfulness/lack of concentration and attention

Self-explanatory here. But as time goes on you won’t be able to get your work done and things will pile up.

4. Physical symptoms

This includes chest pain, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, gastrointestinal pain, dizziness, fainting, and/or headaches.

5. Increased illness

Because of your exhaustion, your immune system is weakened and therefore unable to fight off sickness

6. Loss of appetite

It may start off as skipping a few meals here and there, but then you lose your appetite altogether and lost significant amounts of weight.

7. Anxiety

I think we can all relate to this one where we begin to worry and become edgy but then grows so large that your productivity is affected, and you can’t any work done.

8. Depression

Again, another a lot can relate to. Starts off mild with some sadness and maybe some hopelessness but then escalates to feeling trapped and worthless and that the world is better without you. (For the record it is NOT. The world is always a better place with you in it.)

9. Anger

This one I may relate to a little too much. It can start off with some tension and irritability but then it escalates into outbursts and serious arguments that can cause problems. (Unfortunately, this led me to break a door at work because of lashing out at one of my coworkers, who may have deserved it but not to that degree.)

10. Loss of enjoyment

You lose all interest in the things you used to enjoy. You can stand work or school and avoid everything and everyone altogether.

11. Pessimism

This is kind of my whole personality so its hard for me to consider it a symptom but if its abnormal for you than it is. This is negative self-talk and can lead to distrust in those you love.

12. Isolation

I am all too good at this one. You pull away from people and pull out of activities and sometimes at its worst you lash out when people approach you.

13. Detachment

This is related to the last one and another one I am too good at. This is feeling disconnected from others or your environment and result in you removing yourself from your responsibilities. This may be seen as “calling in sick” to work often or habitual tardiness.

14. Feelings of apathy and hopelessness

This like depression and pessimism. You are negative towards most things and have that “what’s the point?” feeling.

15. Increased irritability

This comes from feelings of ineffectiveness that you get when things aren’t getting done like they used to. This can destroy relationships if it gets out of hand.

16. Lack of productivity and poor performance

Despite long hours, chronic stress prevents you from being as productive as you once were, which often results in incomplete projects and an ever-growing to-do list. At times, it seems that as hard as you try, you can't climb out from under the pile.

Cover Image Credit: hackny / Flickr

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50 Things To Be Happy About

It's the little things in life.

It is always easier to pick out the negatives in life. We tend to dwell on them and drown out the happy moments. I asked a friend to tell me something that made them happy. They sarcastically laughed at my question then thought about it for a minute. Nothing. But they could easily come up with things that made them unhappy. Then I read them my list, and they were smiling and laughing in agreement the whole time. There are so many more things to be happy and laugh about than we realize. After all- it's the little things in life that can mean the most! Here are 50 things that make me happy. What are your 50?

  1. The first warm day of the year
  2. Laughing so hard your abs ache
  3. Freshly washed sheets
  4. Looking through old pictures
  5. The smell of a coffee shop
  6. Eating cookie dough
  7. Reading a bible verse that perfectly fits your current situation
  8. Seeing someone open a gift you got them
  9. Eating birthday cake
  10. A shower after a long day
  11. Marking something off your to-do list
  12. Drinking ice cold water on a really hot day
  13. Dressing up for no reason
  14. Breakfast food
  15. Being able to lay in bed in the morning
  16. Finding something you love at the store
  17. And it’s on sale
  18. Cute elderly couples
  19. When a stranger compliments you
  20. Getting butterflies in your stomach
  21. Taking a nap
  22. Cooking something delicious
  23. Being lost for words
  24. Receiving a birthday card in the mail
  25. And there's money in it
  26. Finally cleaning your room
  27. Realizing how fortunate you are
  28. Waking up from a nightmare and realizing it wasn't real
  29. Fresh fruit
  30. Walking barefoot in the grass
  31. Singing along to a song in the car
  32. Sunrises
  33. Sunsets
  34. Freshly baked cookies with a glass of milk
  35. Summertime cookouts
  36. Feeling pretty
  37. Looking forward to something
  38. Lemonade
  39. Comfortable silences
  40. Waking up in the middle of the night and realizing you have more time to sleep
  41. Surviving another school year
  42. The cold side of the pillow
  43. The smell of popcorn
  44. Remembering something funny that happened
  45. Laughing to yourself about it
  46. Feeling weird about laughing to yourself
  47. Printed photographs
  48. Wearing a new outfit
  49. The sound of an ice cream truck
  50. Feeling confident
Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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Tips To Manage Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

Those dark winter nights can be hard, but there are tips to help.


The temperature drops, the layers increase and you find the colder weather a great excuse to climb under the covers and binge watch your favorite shows, but how do you know when a seasonal slump is becoming a problem?

According to the Mayo Clinic, "Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that's related to changes in seasons — SAD begins and ends at about the same times every year.

If you're like most people with SAD, your symptoms start in the fall and continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody. Less often, SAD causes depression in the spring or early summer."

SAD symptoms often appear during late fall or early winter and often go away during the sunnier days of spring and summer.

Some of the symptoms of SAD include:

  • Feeling depressed most of the day, nearly every day
  • Losing interest in activities you once enjoyed
  • Having low energy
  • Having problems with sleeping
  • Experiencing changes in your appetite or weight
  • Feeling sluggish or agitated
  • Having difficulty concentrating
  • Feeling hopeless, worthless or guilty
  • Having frequent thoughts of death or suicide

While Seasonal Affective Disorder can leave you feeling hopeless, there are some tips for managing SAD till the warmer weather rolls around.

Tips for managing SAD:

  1. Aromatherapy: Essential oils can influence the area of the brain that is responsible for controlling moods and the body's internal clock that influences sleep and appetite. Adding a few drops of essential oil to your bath or a bit on your neck can help you relax.
  2. Get Moving: Like other forms of depression, exercise can help promote a variety of positive changes in the brain including neural growth, reducing inflammation and new activity patterns that promote feelings of calm and well-being. Exercising can also help with the weight gain that is common with SAD.
  3. Get Outside: While it's sometimes hard, getting outside and taking advantage of the sunshine can be beneficial when dealing with SAD. Bundle up and try to get outside around noon and take a walk for as long as the cold will allow to soak up some sun and breathe that fresh air. Also when you're indoors, it's helpful to leave your blinds open and let in as much natural light as possible.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is not easy to manage. On those dark days it is easy to feel helpless, but try to remember that this is only temporary and it will get better and brighter.

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