A student Burnout: Tips on How to Deal With It

The subject has been in the news for years: students who suffer from burnout-related complaints. Recent research by the student organization ISO has shown that more than 70 percent of students often to very often experience pressure to perform. In addition, another 53 percent of the students also appears to suffer from burnout-related complaints, such as emotional fatigue. But what causes so many students to suffer from burnout or burnout related complaints? And what can you, as a student, do yourself to prevent burnout or related complaints? Psychologist Yara van Gendt tells you more about this in this blog.

Social Pressure, Fear and Student Debt as the Cause

There are many reasons for the pressure to perform and any burnout that students experience. As a student you can experience social pressure to choose the right study. Completing this study as soon as possible because of the financial costs also puts students relatively under pressure. If you stop a study or take it longer, the costs will increase, which means that your student debt will grow. In addition, friends, “influencers”, celebrities and “celebrities”, post messages on social media about their “perfect life” with beautiful selfies, sunny destinations, great parties and cozy dinners.

This can give you the feeling that you have to work hard to be able to meet that perfection or think that your life is less beautiful than that of others. The fear of failing, disappointing others or the fear of not being good enough can also put pressure on students like you. As a student you do not always have an influence on these causes, some are within your control and others outside of it.

No control over:

The new loan system and the binding study advice will in any case affect you as a student. Nowadays there is more pressure on you as a student to complete your studies faster. In addition, you are expected to do it right from the start, because otherwise you will not receive positive binding study advice and you will not be allowed to continue your study. These are factors that make the context in which students now study completely different from the context in which students previously studied. It is good to let go of the desire to change these factors, because as a student you simply have no direct influence on this. Focusing on this too much will only create frustration and pressure on you.

Does affect:

What you can influence is how you deal with the situation and unpleasant factors. You can influence your own behavior, the goals you set, the expectations you have and the choices you make, for example.

How can you deal with it?

As I mentioned before, some external factors, such as the study system, are out of your control. However, there are plenty of (internal) factors that you can do something about.

Learn to listen to your body

We often only notice that we suffer from stress and tension when it is actually already too late: you are exhausted, have a blasting headache, sleep badly and don’t feel like doing anything anymore. If this is the case, you are actually already in the red. Looking back, you will see that a long period, in which you already noticed a number of complaints, has preceded this. You may have had problems with your shoulders and your neck muscles for a while, noticed that you were a bit short and had little energy. Yet you have gone on, on and on.

Through mindfulness, yoga and relaxation exercises you can train yourself to feel better in your body. By taking some time every day for your body and feeling what is happening in your body, you can be ahead of the red zone and act earlier.

A student Burnout: Tips on How to Deal With It


It is not only important to listen to your body, but also to reflect on what expectations you have of yourself. Take the time to examine these expectations: the expectations you have now, are they imposed expectations of others? Or are those expectations that you impose on yourself? Take a look at what you think is important instead of what the world around you thinks is important. So, what do you really want yourself? You probably think that others have a lot of expectations of you, but in reality that is not so bad. We often impose expectations on ourselves. What if you started to focus on doing things you want to do instead of focusing on all the balls you “have to” hold up.

Dealing with thoughts

There are many different factors that contribute to the development of burnout. These factors can cause negative and unpleasant thoughts. Those thoughts run through your head and you are unable to get them “out” of your mind. If you ask me, you cannot “turn off” these thoughts at all. You have no control over your thoughts. What you do have control over is the impact of your thoughts. You can choose to let thoughts turn you off. But, you can also leave the thoughts for what they are, namely thoughts.

Every person has thoughts; positive and negative thoughts. When your thoughts are bothering you, it can help to talk about them, distance yourself from your thoughts and / or hear that others are also having similar thoughts. You are very normal and certainly not alone.

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Let go of the “must”

In short, you can influence how you deal with the situation. By listening better to your body, looking at what you want (instead of what you need to) and by taking your distance from your thoughts, you can reduce the chance of a burnout. Let go of all “must” and decide for yourself what you want to do.

Healthcnd – Health Science Psychology

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