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Burnout in your studies - tips against burnout

23. July 2021, INFO, TIPS

No energy, tiredness after the slightest effort and no longer being able to perform properly: many students know the symptoms of burnout. After all, studying is demanding on all levels: Money worries, little free time, pressure to perform at universities and uncertain job prospects. These conditions are spurring more and more students to push themselves beyond their limits. We explain burnout and give you advice on what you can do about it.

Burned out in your studies: symptoms of burnout

The threat of burnout is not just a problem in the working world. More and more students complain of a mixture of the following symptoms that may indicate burnout:

  • Permanent state of exhaustion
  • Fear of failure, not only during exams
  • The feeling of being worth nothing
  • Lack of joy in life
  • Concentration problems and learning difficulties
  • Incessant circling of thoughts
  • Not being able to come to rest
  • Lack of drive and isolation
  • Impulsiveness and emotionality
  • Sleep problems
  • Physical ailments such as headaches or digestive problems

If you or others around you are suffering from the symptoms, you should definitely get to the bottom of it. After all, it may also be depression.

Is burnout an illness?

Even though sufferers feel ill, the burnout syndrome is not classified as an illness in the health care system. In medicine, being burned out belongs to the category of “problems related to difficulties in coping with life.” This is also where the state of total exhaustion or lack of relaxation or leisure time is classified. However, this does not mean that burnout is to be taken lightly. This is because this time is usually experienced as very crisis-like and requires good support from others.

Burnout or depression?

Depression is an illness that is often associated with a stressful situation. However, the boundaries between a burnout and a depression are often not easy to draw. That’s why it’s important to make an appointment with a doctor if you notice the symptoms mentioned above. But regardless of the diagnosis, if you are suffering from any kind of depression, it is important to get targeted and immediate help.

5 tips for students: What you can do in case of burnout in your studies

Many of those affected are actually in need of help during this crisis. If you suspect it, you should definitely contact your family doctor. These tips can help if you suspect or are certain of burnout:

1) Own up to your situation.

In a performance-oriented society, admitting that just nothing works anymore is difficult. But it is the underlying conditions that have led to the situation. Things are bad for you? Then admit it and don’t be ashamed of it. There is no reason to be. Quite the opposite. This is the first important step towards change.

2) Get support

There are phases in life in which you will always have to rely on the help of others. Burnout is definitely one of them. Go to your trusted doctor and get checked out. Psychotherapy can also help to reduce the stress and reorganize your life.

3) Turn to your university

Unfortunately, burnout in your studies is no longer a rarity. This is because more and more students are burning out due to the switch to bachelor’s and master’s degree programs, the set standard study times and financial challenges. Many universities and colleges therefore offer counseling. Your university’s psychological counseling center is an important place to go in case of overload.

4) Re-establish your priorities

In burnout, it’s important to rest and fill your life with things that are good for you. Stress, deadlines and pressure to perform are absolutely out of place here. Maybe you also need some time off from your studies. After all, your health is your top priority. Find ways to relax: Take short walks, eat a balanced diet, and try mindfulness exercises. If your mood is low, ideally avoid alcohol altogether.

5) Talk to friends and other students

Reach out to those around you and tell people what’s going on with you. That way, others can better relate to you and your needs. And even though you may not fully believe it – your friends will want to help you and be understanding of your situation.

5 tips to prevent burnout in your studies

During intense periods in your life, it’s important to take care of yourself and recognize the signs of impending burnout in time. These measures will help you avoid burning out in college:

1) Pay attention to your energy levels.

If you notice the symptoms listed above, you should pull the ripcord in time and respect your limits. Instead of trying to get through your studies by hook or by crook, you can also add a semester – for the sake of your health.

2) Prepare for exams properly

Of course, every person has a difficult phase. Exam time is certainly a classic. But if you approach your exam preparation in a structured way, you can save yourself a lot of stress. For example, take a look at our tips for studying properly. Even if you suffer from test anxiety, you should not remain idle. These tips against test anxiety can help you.

3) Work on your time management

You are always late? That can only end in stress. Good planning is half the battle in everyday university life. Our time management tips for students can help you with this. However, it makes a difference if you don’t keep track of your deadlines or if you knowingly put off important things. Procrastination often has to do with a lack of motivation in your studies. You can learn more about self-motivation and what you can do about it in a separate article.

4) Fill your free time with activities that you enjoy.

In the short term, people can handle stress well. But if the counterbalance is missing, the stress can have serious consequences. Making it a point to have enough free time is just one of our many tips for managing stress in university.

5) Lead a healthy and balanced life

If you accomplish a lot, you have to pay all the more attention to your own health. A good stress killer is regular exercise and a healthy, balanced diet. Of course, parties are also part of student life. But if you know that stressful times are ahead of you, you should pay all the more attention to your body and get enough sleep.

Conclusion: The ‘’Too much’’ is very individual

People have different stress limits. Failure is also a natural process that is part of life. But through every difficult situation you can learn something. So that stress and exhaustion do not become a worrying permanent condition, it is important to deal with the issue. Take our tips to heart and share the information with other students.



Marie-Louise ist unsere Marketingassistentin und kennt viel zu viele Fakten über die Welt. Sie liebt es zu Reisen und verschiedene Sprachen zu lernen. Wenn Sie mal nicht ein Museum besucht, ist Sie wahrscheinlich beim nächsten Burrito Stand.

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