May is Mental Health Awareness Month and with kids nearing the close of their school year, there’s a lot of stress floating around. From final exams to research projects to multi-page essays; all these things and more can mentally weigh down your child until the stress is too much and they experience burnout. Burnout is someone’s negative physical, mental and emotional state as a response to the stress in their life. However, we may not immediately recognize the signs that our kids are feeling burned out at school. Let’s look at the most common indicators of burnout and suggestions for helping kids cope with their stress.
Common Triggers of Burnout in Students
- Having a heavy academic workload.
- Moving out from their home.
- Choosing a subject or class.
- Receiving lower grades than usual.
- Competing with peers.
- Losing friends from home.
- Struggling to make new friends.
- Feeling isolated due to remote learning.
Management Technique #1: Create a Routine
Before developing a routine, it helps if your student can identify any activities, they can temporarily put a hold on. Then help them create a daily routine. Developing their time management skills can speed up your student’s burnout recovery. While having some structure in their life can make them feel more in control, don’t forget to encourage your student to carve time out of their schedule for themselves.
Management Technique #2: Set Priorities
A big part of setting priorities is teaching your student how to say ‘no’ to activities that can’t fit into their routine. As a student, they’ll have plenty of academic and social opportunities they can’t participate in, plus it’s worth declining an activity for the sake of recharging. Next, identify with your student their priorities. In addition to academics, make sure they prioritize their health, relationships and overall well-being until the burnout has fully left.
Management Technique #3: Get Outside
Don’t dismiss the importance of making sure your student gets to spend some time outdoors. At times, a short walk outside each day can be a simple yet surprisingly effective solution to burnout for your student. Teach your student to adopt a healthy lifestyle that includes plenty of breaks, nutritious meals, eight glasses of water and at least 30 minutes of physical activity per day.
Management Technique #4: Good Sleep
Not even the brightest minds can function at their best without some good ol’ sleep. Lack of sleep makes life’s stresses harder to manage and increases the risk of burnout. If your student is already feeling burnout, getting better sleep helps with their recovery. So, aim to develop healthy sleeping habits with your student, such as turning off electronic devices an hour before sleep, keeping their bedroom well-ventilated and using curtains to block out unwanted light.