What normally starts happening at this time of the year? Exam burn-out, when your child becomes overwhelmed and tired.
What is exam burn-out? Burn-out is a state of mental and physical exhaustion caused by a long period of stress. As you might guess, exam burn-out happens when you are stressed by your exams for a long time. For most learners, term 2 has felt particularly draining and learners are only getting started with the actual exams now.
The Covid-19 pandemic has made matters worse. Feelings of isolation and being away from the support of friends have affected learners negatively. Another cause of exam burn-out is pressure from friends and parents to achieve academic success.
Also, when unfinished tasks pile up, stress also builds. Things can get so bad that some learners cannot get out of bed and interact with the world. Clinical psychologist Quratulain Zaidi, who specialises in therapy for teens, gives us warning signs and suggestions to avoid burn-out. Zaidi points out that signs of burn-out may vary from learner to learner.
Warning signs of exam burn-out:
- Sudden decrease in academic performance
- Constant mental and physical exhaustion
- Zero motivation for what you used to enjoy
- Feeling bored more often than not
- Inability to concentrate on your schoolwork
Tips to avoid exam burn-out:
- Maintain a balance between your studies and hobbies. Make time for fulfilling yet energising activities, such as exercising outdoors or playing music.
- Take breaks while studying.
- Communicate how you’re feeling with trusted family and friends. Even if you don’t feel like talking at first, support from loved ones will help relieve some of the pressure you feel.