How to spot and deal with the warning signs of burnout at university

You find yourself struggling to wake up in the morning, attend lectures and generally pull yourself out of a funk. You might think that it’s totally normal, it’s university, lethargy is part of the deal. And while that’s frighteningly true, if the exhaustion and prolonged spells of decreased motivation persist, you might well be experiencing burnout.

And you wouldn’t be the first to have this feeling at uni, the cycle of long-nights, short-days and overworked livers has to give in the end. The symptoms can include decreased motivation, ease to anger, an inability to find purpose, the feeling of isolation and the need to escape.

It’s pretty deep stuff but easily treatable. The first thing you need to do is spot the warning signs. They are quite obvious but only once you know what you’re looking for (such is life).

This cracking infographic from Instant Offices runs through the top three warning signs of an oncoming burnout. After that, with colourful cartoons, it talks you through what the best course of action is. Ever so helpful.

For example, after a long period of stress (maybe leading up to exams or a deadline) you might find yourself disengaging from your work, friends and problems by ignoring them. This is a huge warning that you’re starting to burnout. It’s like your mind saying: “Fine, I give up!”

By slowing yourself down, you can identify the source of your anxiety and indifference to everything. You’ll, most likely, find that they are irrational and exaggerated. Spend some time doing something you love and pay attention to why it makes you feel good.


Image credit: Instant Offices

So there you have it. Hopefully this has given you a better insight with how to deal with a burnout, regardless if you’re at university or not. Unfortunately something like this isn’t like a blister you can just ignore and expect it to fade away. You have to take action, even if that means asking for help or taking some time off.