Graduate students have to go through a lot to successfully attain their degrees. The stress of working long hours, shortage of funds, really high expectations from parents and peers and many other traits play a vital role in leading to a burnout in graduate students.
In this article, we’ll discuss problems that cause burnouts and how to prevent them from happening so you can relax and continue to focus on your goals without too much of a strain on your back.
The Main Factor Behind a Burnout
Stress is something that every person has to inevitably face in life from time to time. For graduate students, it is even more relentless. As a student, they have to focus more on attaining promising results to be awarded with a degree and most of them pay for their studies by working part-time or, in some cases, full-time jobs. The three things that keep us thriving, physical, mental and emotional well being, get severely restrained as a result which is a guaranteed recipe for a burnout
When stress remains unchecked, it leads to a burnout – which is something that nobody should have to experience. However, don’t mix up a burnout with stress. The latter is something that can be managed and still allow you to work, or in this case, study. A burnout on the other hand, leads to nothingness; a person doesn’t feel like working and he/she doesn’t have the motivation to do anything rather than spending time in bed or generally a non-productive way. For the time being, he/she has almost completely exhausted his/her mental capabilities due to “overdoing it”.
How to Prevent a Burnout
Thankfully, there are solutions to this dilemma. Usually, a burnout is caused by lack of rest, motivation and physical activity. In order to prevent burnouts, you have to keep certain things in check; your body is getting all the nutrients essential to function normally and that your mind has a chance to relax as you do what you love, apart from working or studying. To avoid burnouts, make sure you:
Sleep at least 7 to 8 hours a day to recover mentally and physically from your daily routine.
Eat a balanced diet which includes proteins, nuts, dairy, green vegetables in particular to rejuvenate your mind and body.
Meditate as it can help a lot when you want to escape from chronic stress.
While the above mentioned tips are necessities for a healthier you, there are several other things that you can do to prevent burnouts while working hard as a grad student:
Give Yourself Some Time in the Morning
Most of us wake up in the morning and pick up our phone, tablet or laptop and check for emails to get ready for work to know what’s headed our way. Unfortunately, this puts you in that proverbial work mode where your stress receptors are automatically activated and you sometimes even forget to breath properly.
It is highly recommended that you break away from this habit and engage in tasks such as yoga, meditation or reading before you get ready for work.
Keep Away from Technology as Much as Possible
While this might seem like counterintuitive at a glance, detaching yourself from smartphones, tablets, computers and social media platforms in particular, will keep you away from a lot of stress. How? You’ll have plenty of time for yourself which means getting more work done; you’ll be completely fresh and ready to hit the books hard, rather than getting bombarded with technology left and right. Don’t drain your brain juice prematurely. Pull out your smartphone or tablet screen only when you have to. .
According to Dailymail, people spend almost 9 hours a day using technology, which is 3 hours more than a quarter of 24 hours. This is why you’ll be more stressed because you have less time for yourself and probably even less to complete really important daily tasks such as studying.
Separate Your Professional and Personal Life
We see a lot of people taking their work home. This may look like a good solution to completing daily work tasks, but in reality, it is one of the most major causes of a burnout.
What you need to do is keep your home and personal life separate from your professional life. You’ll immediately start to feel the stress slipping away from your shoulders.
Know When to Say Yes or No
Graduate students have to indulge in a lot of hard work to be able to gain a PhD degree in their respective field. However, there are times when this isn’t always possible; for example, the need to help others when you don’t even have time for yourself or neglecting secondary projects so you can focus more on your primary one.
This prevent you from having a normal and productive day, which if consistent, leads to a burnout.
Share Your Burden with Someone Else
We all know there are people who set their emotional well being aside just to socially blend in. There are even people who’ll appear very look happy on the outside, but from the inside, their emotional well being is not at peace and they are burned out without even knowing it. If that’s the case with you, consider sharing your problems with someone, particularly those who are or have been in similar circumstances.
This can reduce the stress that’s on your shoulders and will effectively detach you from other problematic tasks that lead to burnouts. Remember, sharing is a good habit. So share away and get that load off your shoulders.
Make a Habit of Taking Breaks
If you have dedicated yourself to working and studying only, you’ll find that the road to getting burned out is right in front of you. It’s only a matter of time.. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you get involved in some fun activities and take breaks during weekends or even in the evenings when it all gets a little too much.
Give yourself a chance to break away from that work/study routine because we all need variety in our lives and need to have fun. Besides, all work and no play really does make Jack a dull boy!
Maintaining a healthy routine and incorporating the above tips guarantees that you do not risk a burnout and continue to pursue your goals and dreams as a graduate student.
By Laura Carter, who writes for dissertation writing service blog. She’s a former educator and now academic writing and higher education blogger. Laura’s passion is psychology and entrepreneurship. Follow @carterlaura15 to see more of her works.