Keeping up societal expectations can often be the root cause of a lot of stress.
Making sure that you behave a certain way, act a certain way, present yourself in a certain way and listening to people telling you to conform in a particular way can take a toll on a person- with some being forced to repress their emotions (just in case how they really feel about certain situations ends.)
In this context and in many other situations (such as being overworked or getting too stressed out), there tends to be a risk of entering a certain headspace- leaving you to feel the effects of burnout.
We’ve all been at a point- where we’ve forced ourselves to stay up just a little longer to complete an assignment, or postponed plans to relax and have fun in order to catch up on work. While working hard isn’t a bad thing, a consistent lack of a work-life balance will lead to the stress from all these activities piling up- and if left unmanaged, that is when burnout starts
Symptoms of burnout usually include;
- always feeling tired,
- feeling less engaged and more spaced out,
- feeling dissociated with reality and what's going on around you, feeling constantly overwhelmed, and (most importantly),
- ignoring your mental and physical health.
When burnout first happens, it might not always be noticeable- you may think that always feeling tired is nothing major and you might feel like things are perfectly alright.
But sooner or later, almost without realising, you begin isolating and distancing yourself from others, which can lead to depression if untreated for long. This can then spiral into anxiety, and before long, you find yourself being unmotivated and yet, constantly feeling overwhelmed and on edge.
But that does not mean that it cannot be overcome.
In cases of friends or loved ones, you can always reach out if you feel like they are withdrawing from hanging out and constantly seem stressed. This may be a sign that they are on the verge of burning out- but you can help make it feel less stressful by being there for them.
While as a student, personally, it may feel hard to make time to spend with your loved ones on top of classes, assignments that seem to never stop coming in and more- but every once in a while, simply taking a walk outside or just stopping to relax can be healthier for your emotions in the long run.
There is no shame in feeling burnt out or overwhelmed. Remember-you are human, and there's is only so much you can load yourself with before it becomes too much to bear. What matters instead is that you understand what you need, and take the time to overcome whatever is holding you down. Give yourself the space and time needed to recover- and you'll be back fighting fit before you know it!