6 Ways to Cope with Burnout in High School

Gia Chester

1. Start your day off well.

A study done in 2016 shows that employees at a call center who woke up in a good mood performed better at work and were more productive than employees who started their morning in a bad mood (How Your Morning Mood Affects Your Whole Workday). Eating a good breakfast, having a healthy morning routine, and beginning your day with a positive attitude are each crucial to having a good day. A positive attitude can be achieved simply by anything from having a morning stretch, meditation, or getting coffee.


2.  Manage Your Time.


Time management is the key to getting your work done efficiently. Learning how to balance your homework and out-of-school life at home is one of the biggest things to know in high school. You should not procrastinate your work at home; this will only make you work later into the evening and dread doing the work more. Instead, take a short break when you get home, and after the break, immediately start your homework with an organized schedule, such as the Pomodoro method. The Pomodoro method is a technique where you study in intervals, usually 25-45 minutes, then take short breaks, such as 5-15 minutes. Doing your homework the day it is assigned is the best thing to do for yourself. Taking advantage of S period and free time during classes can also significantly help to get assignments done.


3. Set Small Goals for Yourself.

People often set significant, unattainable goals when trying to achieve something. However, this method can cause you to lose sight of your goal and motivation quickly. Setting goals in baby steps is more manageable and has been proven to work more effectively than big goals. To start setting goals, try using a “SMART” goal.  SMART goals are Specific in that they define the who, what, when, and where of your goal. SMART goals should also be Measurable to track your progress, and they should be personally within your ability to Attain. Finally, they should be Realistic for you to achieve and set within a specific Timeframe.” (SMART goals help you achieve success – MSU Extension)


4. Stay Organized

Being organized makes everything easier. Whether you organize your room, planner, or backpack, all make you feel and work better. Organizing also helps you know where things are and when they are due and can even help you study. For example, if you color code and underline notes while going over them, it may help you remember the material more. Suppose you are unorganized and do not know where to start with organizing. In that case, some basic starters are: write everything down in your planner, put everything back in a designated place, and pick up your room as regularly as possible.


5. Prepare.

Coming to class prepared and attentive with all your materials and then going home and studying every day is the best thing you can do for your grades in high school. After you learn, you should think of questions you have from that material and ask your teacher the next day to ensure you thoroughly understand what you have studied. Based on your questions, you can figure out what you are having trouble with and what you should review more. Predicting what you will be doing in class in the future can also help you more thoroughly understand the key points of what you are doing in a subject. Here is an article with more tips and academic articles you can read about being prepared for school and more: How to Prepare for Class | Academic Resource Center.

6. Practice self-care.

   Just as school is one aspect of your life, self-care is another. You cannot produce good work without having time to recuperate. Self-care is defined as “the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress” (definition from Oxford Languages). After you are finished working, this should be your time to wind down. Depending on your preferences, this can be anything from watching a movie to reading to working out. Self-care is also a balance of time alone and with friends or family. The weekends should be your time to focus on the school work you are having trouble with, as well as your time to mentally and physically recharge.