Mojza Blog

How to prevent burnout during the academic year?

by Nabeeha shakeel | 22 october 2023

Is an unexplainable pain crippling in your chest? Are you lacking the motivation to study, attend classes, do assignments, and feel a lack of confidence in your abilities? If so, it’s important to acknowledge that you may be going through burnout. Exam pressure can be mentally straining, and in this competitive world, it often feels like taking a break means losing the race. However, I want to share some ways to prevent burnout and help you regain your energy.

Learn to Say No

Sometimes we feel the need to hustle all the way to make sure we get into a good college and attain good grades. This is why we forget to prioritize ourselves and try to check in every slot for our college acceptances. At times it’s best to let some things go. Opportunities come and go, but you won’t be at this stage of your life again, so let loose and have some fun. Doing activities you are not willing to do becomes harder to bear and can exhaust you. This is why it is important to learn to say no.  It is not necessary to always think about the future. Look after yourselves and your emotions first.

Have a Schedule

Nothing can go wrong with organizing your thoughts and goals in a synchronized manner on a piece of paper. Not only would it bring clarity to your thoughts but it would also give you a sense of what you are working hard for each day as you look at this schedule every day. It would help you balance fun and work harmoniously to create a perfect routine so that burnout will not be an option. Try waking up early and forming a schedule that complements your personality. More on building your schedule here.

Make Time for a Social Life

The extreme pressure caused by social factors and constantly comparing your productivity with others makes it challenging to maintain a healthy mental balance. To gain balance in life, we must prioritize social events along with studies. Getting dinner with friends at Mcdonald’s on a weekend is not always a bad idea. Refreshing your brain is as important as having a break between each study session. If you are going to study for 9 hours a day, it can be exhausting and may affect your memory retention. Whereas, hanging out for an hour during the day to refresh your mind is an excellent way to have effective study sessions. And even if you do struggle with social anxiety, know that it is alright and that you’re not alone in this. We have our very own guide on Dealing With Social Anxiety for you to check out as mental wellness is of utmost importance in today’s ever so chaotic world.

Pursue New Hobbies

Having a fun hobby is always better than nagging thoughts bothering your peace of mind. Activities like arts and crafts, painting, baking, writing, gardening, reading, photography etc. are some great ways to ease your stress. We, as teenagers, go through immense stress and pressure because of the overbearing thought of our future, so by redirecting our thoughts and adopting different hobbies, we deal with the tension and find ourselves in a bewildering mood. These hobbies not only teach us different productive techniques but are a way to distract ourselves from the chaos of this world too.

Prioritize Your Sleep Over Anything

The root of burnout is often the lack of sleep. Many students find themselves in a competition of who slept the least because according to them a student who sacrifices sleep over studies is bound to be the one who excels academically. To make it clear, sleeping less does not at all improve your productivity; it can not only be damaging to your health but also weaken your memory retention. Getting at least 6 to 7 hours of sleep daily is necessary for a human to function. Sleeping 8 hours a day should be a priority for everyone. Oftentimes, there is an immense workload on students and they can’t sleep 8 hours, but 6 hours of sleep is the minimum.  The best bridge between despair and hope is sleep. So get enough sleep, dissolve all your stress, and make goals that can be your drive to success. 

Exercise + Eat Healthy

Making sure your body is getting enough nutrition is important. It’s time we stop making our mothers worry and learn to take care of ourselves. Without a proper diet and exercising regularly, you feel weak, which can be detrimental as you need strength to go through an entire academic year. You can start doing sports regularly for an hour daily. It may be swimming, badminton, football, basketball, cricket, jogging etc. An hour of daily exercise helps you stay fit and makes you feel more content with yourselves.

Make New Friends

Going to different social events and gatherings helps you meet new people that may have a positive impact on your life. Throughout an academic year, teenagers go through a lot in terms of studies and friendships. However, at times, such friendships get so toxic that you need to distance yourself from your so-called “friends”. You should try to meet new people and enlarge your horizon. It’s your own choice who you wanna befriend and who you don’t. They can be your new friends that know you for you, and not just the schooled version of you.

Turn to Different Study Techniques

During an academic year, we have limited time to get our concepts clear and study effectively, which, at times, disrupts our mental health and results in burnout. To deal with this, try techniques like Spaced Learning (having fixed short study sessions with breaks in between een), the Pomodoro Technique (studying for 25 minutes, then take a 5 min break, and repeat), group study sessions, Distributed Practice (practice is divided into several short study sessions), Feynman Technique (a 4-step system in which you select a topic to teach it to yourself or others, then return to source if stuck, and create small explanations and analogies). Explore these and a plethora of other study techniques, tips and tricks  in our blog on The Most Effective Study Techniques.

Ask for Help

If you are going through a hard time, mentally or physically, ask for help. Sometimes, we just want someone to listen to us. So, share your problems and concerns with your classmates, and seniors and ask for their advice. Maybe their advice would help you organize your thoughts and concerns. It’s okay to ask for help even if it requires visiting a therapist and sharing all those thoughts inside. Never be shy about asking for help. Their job is to help you. It does not mean you are not normal; it just means you want someone to listen to you.

Make sure to check out this blog — a detailed guide on dealing with academic stress.

In the end, everything is going to be okay. We must try to find a work-life balance to make sure that we have a healthy relationship with our studies all year round. Nothing is more important than health. Even if you are going through a burnout, it’s okay. It’s all going to work out. Turn to different resources if something is not working out; if you don’t understand one of your teachers at your school then turn to online resources. 

If exam pressure is kicking in or anxiety about the future is disturbing your thoughts, then give yourself some time and engage yourself in other things rather than overthinking.  Remember, there are no shortcuts to achieving your goals. I know it is hard and no one’s listening to you. No one knows the amount of pressure you are working under, but imprint it in your mind that when you achieve your goals, this period is going to be an everlasting memory urging you that you never gave up. I assure you success would taste even sweeter!


Author: Nabeeha Shakeel
Proofreaders: Syed Muhammad Shaheer Ali, Abeer Ansari, Sarim Ismail


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Published: 22 October 2023
Last Updated: 22 October 2023
Written by Nabeeha Shakeel