How to get ahead of your child’s back-to-school burnout

Lately, research has shown higher levels of burnout in students. According to the National College Health Assessment, over 80% of college students feel burned out from classes. Symptoms include depression, lack of motivation, short tempers, fatigue, and panic attacks. Burnout also results in lowered academic performance, according to 76% of college students in a Health Minds Study survey. However, burnout most likely started before your child even thought about college.  

Growing academic pressure, with higher demands for extracurriculars and advanced classes, has led to an increase in stress for all students, particularly high-performing ones. Your child might have recovered from some of the academic burnout over the summer, but it may return when the new school year begins—unless you take measures beforehand.

Here are a few lifestyle changes for your child to prevent back-to-school burnout:

Find the systems that work  
One way to fight burnout is to use systems that make life easier. Your child should find ones for organization, productivity, and time management that work best for them personally. This will provide a sense of control over workloads, time, and energy.  

If your child often feels scatter-brained and overwhelmed, then they should organize with planners, calendars, properly-labeled folders, or Post-its. There are productivity systems, like the Pomodoro Technique, Action Method, and Eisenhower Method, for accomplishing tasks without burning out.  

Our JEI Self-Learning MethodⓇ is also scientifically proven to help each student perfect a healthy learning style for their individual needs. Our method is more effective than tutoring because your child finds what works long-term rather than quick fixes that work short-term. Once your child experiments and adopts the right habits under our guidance, they will spend less time making last-minute decisions, worrying about forgetting things, and forcing themselves to do the work.  

Learn to Prioritize
Help your child take back control of their life through prioritization. For example, a filled-in calendar or planner will give them an overview of all projects and due dates so they can judge which ones they should be working on first. This will also help them learn to prioritize breaks and socializing, as needed. Those are just as important as periods of work, which is why productivity systems like the Pomodoro Technique include breaks.

For a healthy mindset, your child should learn to prioritize curiosity, wonder, and the general process rather than results, such as grades and GPAs. By doing this, there will be much less resistance in tackling tasks and projects. They may learn to enjoy and appreciate what they’re learning and doing for school. There are also ways to take care of their minds outside of  school.

Engage in self-care routines
Self-care was chosen as a must-have skill for children because it improves mental health. Burnout is an implosion of various mental and emotional issues that have gone on for too long. Set up a defense with a healthy lifestyle of self-care practices like meditation (or simply moments of silence), exercise, and journaling.

If prioritization is about knowing when to take breaks, self-care is about the ability to fully enjoy them. Your child should rest their minds and bodies without guilt. Breaks should also be taken away from social media and digital screens, especially as some classes are resuming online for the new school year.  

Communicate openly and ask for advice
Your child should learn the importance of communication. This way, they do not keep things bottled up. Those emotions and concerns will fester and lead to burnout. Encourage them to speak openly with you about how they’re feeling or whatever situation they’re going through. This is extra important right now because the future is uncertain and the world is changing. For example, videoconferencing in general is seeing a rise in education and may not end with the pandemic.

As the parent, try to listen to their concerns, give advice when asked or as you see fit, and consider other outlets for your child’s mental health, such as therapy, counseling, or mentorship programs. Being good at expression and communication are signs of strong emotional health, intelligence, and resilience.

Prevention is the best solution for burnout. Your child may already be on the path to burnout even thinking about the school year ahead, but replace any anxiety and concern with excitement and preparation. Create good habits and a growth mindset now, and burnout won’t stand a chance.

To help your child develop those habits and mindset, find a JEI Learning Center near you. We focus on teaching not only Common Core but also the best way to learn for life, specializing in time management, focus, and eagerness to learn. Our programs are meant to engage rather than burden your child’s minds.  

Learn more about how we can help by finding your local center here.