Students, staff struggle with burnout

As the end of the semester approaches, students and staff manage burnout.

According to the Mayo Clinic, burnout is when individuals feel exhausted both physically and emotionally, resulting in a loss of motivation. Guidance counselor Jessica Kempa said burnout is an existing issue that affects many students and teachers especially during this time of year.

“Burnout is real and it can be really difficult to cope with. I think this time of year is especially tough. Students are trying to balance school work, extracurricular activities, jobs, etc., all while managing the stress and chaos of the holiday season,” Kempa said.

Health teacher Jill Grimshaw said she believes students can feel a lot of pressure about their grades which can lead them to burnout.

“Students have a lot going on outside of academics so I think that adds to the level of stress they are feeling. All of the tasks they have to complete may feel the most daunting because it impacts your grades,” Grimshaw said.

In addition, Kempa said she believes that the semester finishing after winter break contributes to additional stress, because new semesters come with a fresh start.

“I think the fact our semester has extended past winter break also adds an extra level of burnout. Starting the new semester with the new year used to help revitalize me, but I think coming back to school knowing you still have a couple weeks to conclude the semester almost adds to the stress, anxiety and burnout,” Kempa said.

“I think other students and I experience burnout because many people have so many things to worry about when it comes to school, jobs, and sports so it can pile up and become a burden to do so students loose motivation.”

Grimshaw said she believes making to-do lists and taking breaks stops students from feeling overwhelmed.

“I think it is super helpful to have a to-do list. if you don’t, you can be thinking about all the things you have to do and it feels like a lot when it really isn’t that much,” Grimshaw said. “If you just have three big things to do, write them down and try to knock them out one at a time. It’s also important to take breaks.”

Kempa said it is crucial to focus on yourself, do things that bring you joy, and get plenty of rest to combat burnout.

“The good news is there are tons of things you can do to prevent burnout! Essentially it boils down to making time for yourself and your needs. Remember what it is that makes you happy or feel better. Whether that’s going outside for a walk, making plans with friends, cooking, or watching your favorite reality TV show. It’s also crucial to get plenty of sleep – your body and brain will thank you,” Kempa said.

Kempa said the counseling department is open to help if you are feeling overwhelmed anytime.

“Please don’t be afraid to talk about feeling burnt out with someone. We have a fantastic counseling team here at Summit who can help support you if you are feeling overwhelmed or burnt out,” Kempa said.