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How to Help Prevent Academic Burnout

How to Help Prevent Academic Burnout

September 15, 2021

As the holidays drift ever and ever closer, many students struggle to maintain pace in completing their academic assignments. For some students, as the homework begins to feel overwhelming, they start to gain a certain amount of fatigue commonly referred to as academic “burnout.” 

Burnout in the academic sphere refers to students experiencing the loss of energy needed to continue with their studies. Binghamton University defines burnout as, "Academic burnout can be defined as a negative emotional, physical and mental reaction to prolonged periods of study that results in exhaustion, frustration, lack of motivation and reduced ability in school." 

With all this being noted, the question to ask is, “How do we help prevent burnout?”

How to Prevent Burnout

1) Provide Encouragement

As parents, we have the incredible opportunity to be a light and an encouragement to our children. We may not know exactly what it’s like to walk a mile in their shoes, but we do know what it’s like to feel overburdened. As Christians, we are called to “Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2; ESV), as well as using Scripture to provide encouragement (Romans 15:4). 

One of the best ways to begin doing this is within our own households, with our own children, who face a tremendous amount of pressure in today’s world. 

2) Set Realistic Goals

Another way to prevent academic burnout is to provide realistic expectations for your students. Rather than pressuring students to achieve perfection, the healthier option is actually just to be clear about what we should expect: responsibility and effort. 

As long as students are being responsible with the time they have and are displaying effort in their assignments, there’s not too much more we can ask of them. Be clear with your students that this is all you expect and everything else is not worth losing sleepover.

3) Take Breaks When Necessary

Although it is commendable to have a solid work effort, it is also important to know when to rest as well. This is what God seems to show us by resting on the seventh day. He didn’t need to rest, but He did so as an example to us. It is necessary for us to take breaks sometimes and to just take joy in life and God’s creation. 

When developing the schedule for your student, make sure you schedule in breaks as well! There is no shame in taking time to reorient yourself and to allow yourself to rest mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. 

4) Keep a Biblical Perspective

Be open with your student that grades aren’t everything. Considering we ourselves are a school that prides ourselves on academic excellence and our STEAM-based curriculum, we realize it is a bit ironic for us to say this. However, we must always remember that our faith supersedes everything else. Where is your student spiritually? 

This is a much greater question than where they are academically. After all, each Christian parent should “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6; ESV). 

The way we prioritize things is often the way our children prioritize things. As parents, we must always remind our students that their primary identity is as beloved children of God, not as students. If we are able to consistently provide this perspective, our children will hopefully realize that academics should not be a source of stress and anxiety, but rather just a tool in which to train themselves in order to further God’s kingdom!

We hope this blog post has inspired you as a parent in ways to prevent academic burnout with your own kids! It’s never too late to be godly role models for our children! If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at Emmanuel Lutheran School today!

Emmanuel Lutheran School is a private Christian school in Asheville, North Carolina. Because we are a private school with limited class numbers, our teachers are able to focus more fully on individual students, recognizing ways to help them grow and whether or not they are displaying signs of academic burnout. 

At Emmanuel Lutheran School, we truly care about our students and make sure they are always directed back to the One who can provide true rest, whose yoke is easy and the burden is light (Matthew 11:28-30).