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How to Recognize and Prevent End-of-Year School Burnout

May 25, 2021

What is school burnout? Burnout is academic stress that can affect a student’s ability to keep up with their schoolwork. Burnout can occur at any age when students are stressed and feel like they cannot keep up with their schoolwork or studying. With the end of the school year just around the corner, academic burnout can manifest in many ways.

It’s crucial to take steps to reverse burn-out if you recognize the below symptoms in yourself or your child.

• Exhaustion, fatigue, or insomnia
• Poor nutrition habits
• Grinding teeth and clenched jaw
• Lack of motivation to do assignments or go to school
• Increased irritability due to pent up frustration
• Lack of confidence
• Headaches, muscle aches
• Feelings of depression or anxiety
• Staying up late; not taking care of oneself

In younger children, often the signs can be subtle when they are feeling stressed, anxious, or burned out. They may not be able to articulate what’s on their mind. Look for subtle signs that your younger child may be feeling stressed.

  • Increased screen time
  • Excessive hand washing, nail biting, scratching the scalp
  • Trouble falling asleep, or suddenly asking to sleep in their parents’ bed every night
  • Being extra clingy with their parents
  • More frequent stomachaches and headaches
  • Intense, sudden mood swings

There is good news! Many easy lifestyle changes can be made by you and your child to prevent burnout in school or reverse it.

1. Take at least one day each weekend for your child to rest and relax.
2. Help your child set reasonable goals.
3. Practice meditation.
4. Get a proper night’s sleep.
5. Make nutritious meal choices and drink lots of water.
6. Take breaks throughout the day.
7. Set aside time during the week for enjoyable activities.
8. Get outside in the fresh air.
9. Spend time together as a family.
10. Get plenty of exercise.

In taking the right measures, you and your child can overcome the burnout and be motivated for the final stretch of the school year. Remind yourself why you and your child were excited at the start of the school year and the goals your child is trying to accomplish.

If your child is still feeling burned out, it may be wise to seek help from a mental health professional to find the root of the problem and come up with healthy ways to manage it. While academics are important, nothing is more important than being a kid.

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