3 Ways to Prevent Your Child from Having a Burnout
Long hours at school coupled with homework, tuition and extra-curricular activities that your child attends in school and after school can lead to high levels of stress. When a child has to deal with high levels of stress daily, he or she can easily end up in a state of burnout, which could affect their mental health in the long run. In fact, recent reports regarding several young students facing mental health problems in school have led the Ministry of Education to take a more active approach in helping students navigate through stressful periods in school.
While feelings of burnout can be fleeting, it is ultimately a mental, physical, and emotional state of exhaustion that happens to children who undergo long periods of stress or frustration without a break or a chance to rest and recharge. Learn how to spot signs of burnout today to offer the right support for your child.
1. Spot the Signs of Burnout
By being more observant, you can easily spot signs of burnout in your child. The first and most common symptom of burnout is a constant state of exhaustion.
During this stage, you will find your child complaining multiple times about feeling emotionally and physically depleted daily. Physical signs of exhaustion include loss of appetite, headaches, constant stomach aches, and changes in sleeping patterns.
Another common sign of burnout is procrastination, which basically means the act of postponing school or homework and other activities due to inertia and the lack of motivation to start work. For example, a child who used to be motivated to do his or her schoolwork promptly may start complaining, stalling, and finding excuses to postpone the task. You will most likely find yourself giving more reminders than usual before the work is done.
Children who are burnout tend to feel overwhelmed and may stop socialising with friends and family. They prefer to keep to themselves in isolation and can show signs of moodiness and irritation. They might easily lose their cool with close friends and family or become easily annoyed or upset by minor issues.
Just like other consequences of long-term stress, burnout can also lead to frequent illnesses as it can reduce your child’s immune system and make them more susceptible to colds, flu, and insomnia. If not addressed on time, burnout can also lead to long-term mental health problems in children such as anxiety and depression.
2. Incorporate Daily Exercises
Once you have spotted symptoms of burnout in your child, it is time to take the necessary measures to remedy the situation before it advances to more serious mental or physical health problems. The most effective way of preventing burnout is through regular physical exercise.
Exercising is not only good for your health but can also boost your child’s emotional well-being. For instance, physical exercising helps to increase the level of endorphins in your body and this is great as endorphins are natural mood lifters.
Regular exercising will also help your child to regain normal sleep patterns and more importantly provide the child with an enjoyable activity to focus on and achieve a sense of accomplishment. However, daily exercises don’t have to be a strict and tedious regimen. You can do easy mini-exercises or even take a walk in the park. Consider completing the exercises with your children to give them the motivation they need.
3. Encourage Your Child to Ask for Help
Another effective way of preventing burnout from schoolwork is by helping your child develop time management skills and teach them the benefits of taking breaks after completing each task.
You can also encourage them to reach out and seek help whenever they feel stressed. As their parent, you can lead by example by being vulnerable with them to show them that sharing one’s weaknesses can be a sign of strength. Let your children know that you are always available to provide them with whatever help they need - be it a listening ear, a sounding board or simply a dependable and reliable adult for advice.
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