The Burden of Burnout: tips and resources on coping with burnout

Photo by Elisa Ventur on Unsplash.

Well, it’s that time of the year again. Something about early November always creates the most unproductive energy. Now that midterms are over and Halloween has passed, I thought that I would feel like I crossed a finish line. The only problem is… we’re not finished. There’s still another month left in the semester – man, even writing that makes me feel exhausted. So, now that both your mood and my own are ruined, how can we deal with this feeling of burnout?

What is ‘burnout’?
Burnout is a feeling of emotional, mental and physical distress or fatigue. It is usually caused by extreme or constant stress, commonly arising in work and school environments. Although burnout can look different for everyone, some common symptoms are unhappiness, lack of motivation, constant procrastination, excessive tiredness, lowered self-esteem, feeling helpless and emotional detachment, according to the World Health Organization.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, keep reading! If you aren’t but you know someone who is, consider sending this article their way.


There are many types of self-care, so set aside some time in the morning or the evening for yourself. For physical stress relief, try napping, yoga, going on a walk, exercising or having a snack. For emotional wellbeing, try journaling, venting to a consenting friend and meditation. And for personal happiness, you can never go wrong with a facemask and manicure – and a RESPONSIBLE shopping trip.

Time your breaks
The ”Pomodoro Technique” helps with focus and productivity through timed breaks. First, set a timer for 25 minutes before beginning a task, then when those 25 minutes are up, take a five-minute break. Repeat this four times, and the fourth break will be longer. This method incentivizes you to get as much done before the timer goes off – kind of like a game. If 25 minutes is too long or if five minutes is too short, play with the numbers until you find your groove!

Ask for help
It can feel daunting to talk with your professors about mental health and burnout, but I have learned that many of my professors have experienced these same frustrations and don’t mind sharing their tips! Nine times out of ten times, your professor will be understanding and willing to work things out with you. If you need an extension on a paper or if you need to take a day off, just communicate with your professor about your needs so that they can help you before it’s too late. Remember, they were (and maybe still are) students, too.

Talk it out
It has been shown that talking about your problems helps. Putting your feelings into words helps your body release that tension, making it easier to sort through the negative emotions. Find a friend who is willing to listen for a different perspective on your issues or try out a therapist for a professional opinion. Journaling and writing out your frustrations can help with organizing thoughts and finding solutions on your own.

Set boundaries
Time and time again, people end up stretching themselves thin by trying to do everything others ask them to do. This is NOT healthy! Your time is valuable and important, so manage it well. Make sure that you are giving yourself enough room to do what you need and want to do before you hand it over to others. When you end up agreeing to things you don’t want to do, it shows either through body language, tone or (usually a lack of) planning. It might feel bad for the first five minutes, but saying no can save a lot of physical and emotional energy.

Try something new
Hobbies can help get your mind off of the hard stuff. But if you are too good at something, multitasking becomes a lot easier. Finding something new to do like knitting or dancing to keep yourself busy can help you find fulfillment until you can deal with other things. But remember, hobbies are hobbies and should not be used to avoid dealing with life.

There are plenty of people and places around campus that can help support you when you’re feeling mentally, physically and academically down. Here are a few options.

Counseling Services
Located on the intermediate level of Curry Hall, the Counseling Services provides confidential psychological support and mental health resources. The Counseling Services offer individual TeleHealth therapy through AcademicLiveCare (ALC), where students can connect with professionals for psychotherapy, 24-hour crisis and support services, nutrition, psychiatric services, discounted prescription programs and urgent care. 

Additionally, students can talk with the Counseling Services every weekday through Let’s Talk, a brief in-person counseling meeting for more problem-solving issues. If you just need to talk, then Let’s Talk is for you!

Monday and Wednesday: 11:00-11:50 a.m. and 2:00-2:50 p.m.
Tuesday and Thursday: 9:30-10:20 a.m. and 1:00-1:50 p.m.
Friday: 10:30-11:20 a.m.

Lastly, the Counseling Services provide group support sessions where each week a relevant new topic is discussed.

Accessibility Services
Down the hall from the Counseling center in Curry Hall, the Accessibility Services provide support and resources to those with disabilities as well as learning, academic, housing and dining accommodations at Jewell.

Health Center
Also on the intermediate level of Curry Hall, the Health Center is free for all current students and $15 per visit for graduate students and employees. The Health Center is open Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Telehealth medical visits are also available and can be used for health services like medication refills, allergies, asthma, stomach issues, colds and flu, infections, sprains, injuries, rashes and so much more. If you have something going on, our nurse practitioner can help! To get in touch with Telehealth services, email

Student Success Center
The Student Success Center offers many resources and support systems to ensure that your time at Jewell is… well… successful. The Student Success Center offers tutoring, writing labs, test preparation and more. For more information on the Student Success Center and its resources, you can enroll in the Brightspace course (from the homepage, click ‘Discover’, then search ‘Student Success Center’ and enroll in the course!)

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