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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If You've Ever Been Called Overly-Emotional Or Too Sensitive, This Is For You

Despite what they have told you, it's a gift.

Emotional: a word used often nowadays to insult someone for their sensitivity towards a multitude of things.

If you cry happy tears, you're emotional. If you express (even if it's in a healthy way) that something is bothering you, you're sensitive. If your hormones are in a funk and you just happen to be sad one day, you're emotional AND sensitive.

Let me tell you something that goes against everything people have probably ever told you. Being emotional and being sensitive are very, very good things. It's a gift. Your ability to empathize, sympathize, and sensitize yourself to your own situation and to others' situations is a true gift that many people don't possess, therefore many people do not understand.

Never let someone's negativity toward this gift of yours get you down. We are all guilty of bashing something that is unfamiliar to us: something that is different. But take pride in knowing God granted this special gift to you because He believes you will use it to make a difference someday, somehow.

This gift of yours was meant to be utilized. It would not be a part of you if you were not meant to use it. Because of this gift, you will change someone's life someday. You might be the only person that takes a little extra time to listen to someone's struggle when the rest of the world turns their backs.

In a world where a six-figure income is a significant determinant in the career someone pursues, you might be one of the few who decides to donate your time for no income at all. You might be the first friend someone thinks to call when they get good news, simply because they know you will be happy for them. You might be an incredible mother who takes too much time to nurture and raise beautiful children who will one day change the world.

To feel everything with every single part of your being is a truly wonderful thing. You love harder. You smile bigger. You feel more. What a beautiful thing! Could you imagine being the opposite of these things? Insensitive and emotionless?? Both are unhealthy, both aren't nearly as satisfying, and neither will get you anywhere worth going in life.

Imagine how much richer your life is because you love other's so hard. It might mean more heartache, but the reward is always worth the risk. Imagine how much richer your life is because you are overly appreciative of the beauty a simple sunset brings. Imagine how much richer your life is because you can be moved to tears by the lessons of someone else's story.

Embrace every part of who you are and be just that 100%. There will be people who criticize you for the size of your heart. Feel sorry for them. There are people who are dishonest. There are people who are manipulative. There are people who are downright malicious. And the one thing people say to put you down is "you feel too much." Hmm...

Sounds like more of a compliment to me. Just sayin'.

Cover Image Credit: We Heart It

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