Dear Parents: Your Child Isn’t Lazy, He Might Just Be Burned Out.

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Is your child getting below-average grades, getting disinterested in social activities, or falling asleep a lot? He might be burned out. Recently recognized by the World Health Organization as an occupational phenomenon, burnout is said to be caused by mismanaged chronic stress caused by school or the workplace – it is when a person fails or is unable to adapt to their stressful environment. This is usually caused by the overwhelming amount of work a student takes on, which forces them to cut out healthy habits and social activities in order to save time.

 Burnout can manifest as extreme exhaustion, disinterest in previously enjoyed activities, disappointment in oneself, and inability to attend to responsibilities. If left unmanaged, It can be a hindrance to progress in school and may even lead to depression.

Once signs of burnout in your child is recognized, it is advisable to address it immediately to assist them in managing this syndrome. Here are a few ways you can help your child overcome burnout:

1.  Manage and organize your time well.

            Talk to the child about their school life and what they have going on. They might be overwhelmed with the amount of work they have to finish and might be foregoing necessary activities and breaks. Guiding them through how they can tackle tasks more efficiently through time management and organization so they don’t have to sacrifice needs and breathers will surely help.

2. Set realistic goals.

            Burnout is a vicious cycle that may be caused by unrealistic goals that the child has imposed upon himself. Because of these high expectations, when the student is unable to achieve it, he might react in a fatalistic way. This propagates the vicious cycle of failure-disappointment that leads to burnout. Managing expectations objectively and track little wins will help motivate the student more by reassuring him that they are progressing even when it isn’t obvious.

3.  Don’t forget their physical health!

            Having a good physical foundation by helping your child eat better, exercise more, and sleep enough hours will be of great help to get them back on their feet mentally. Give gentle reminders and make it easier for them to adapt these good habits.

4. Make slowing down together a priority.

            Finally, as a parent, setting a good example for your children to adapt good physical and mental habits will help them recover or even avoid burnout altogether. It isn’t just students who get burned out, people of all ages can be affected by this phenomenon. By adapting good coping mechanisms and health habits practice the age-old anecdote “Prevention is better than the cure” can be applied.