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Beating burn out with rest

Ergh… How do you know if or when you are reaching burnout? It can be triggered by multiple chronic stressors over an extended period of time. It can leave you both physically and mentally drained, which consequently impacts your performance.

Here are signs you may be experiencing burnout:

  • Exhaustion – feeling tired all the time, both mentally and physically
  • Lack of motivation – no longer feeling enthusiastic about work or study
  • Feeling frustrated – snapping at a family or friend that was out of character
  • Brain fuzz – finding it hard to concentrate on a task, or remembering things

Burnout is a consequence of lack of rest and an increase in workload. It’s pretty common for students to experience minor burnout towards the end of the trimester. However, there are ways you can minimise the impact of burnout and reverse its effects on you – so we’re writing this blog so you’re prepared!

If burnout had an antonym, it would be rest. Rest is more than just sleeping adequately every day, in fact, there are six different types of rest that you should consider in your daily routine to help combat burnout.


The most obvious rest is physical rest. But did you know there are two types of physical rest, passive + active?

  • Passive physical rest is sleeping, that of course is the most important type of rest
  • Active physical rest involves an activity that fuels your body, such as yoga or massage therapy


Mental fatigue is very common during busy periods. As much as we want to, no one can do 100 things at once which is why taking breaks is really important. Try to incorporate breaks into your day, and schedule. Even just 10 minutes away from your laptop and phone screen can make all the difference. Some of our favourite ways to take a break involve a short walk around campus or around the block, sitting in a quiet place for a few minutes, and reading a few pages from a magazine or book.


Take a moment to see what’s going on around you. Noise, lights, screens, all contribute to sensory overload. When you come home from work or university, try and resist the temptation to lie on your phone or put on Netflix. Instead, use this opportune moment to go for a walk, run a bath, or just simply lie down for a few minutes and close your eyes #reset.


Experiencing writer’s block on that assessment? Creative exhaustion is a thing! It’s uber important to balance creating + consuming. Try doing something creative that has zero pressure or obligation. Find a hobby that you enjoy that can help rejuvenate your innovative thinking! It might be dancing, reading, drawing, acting, singing, the possibilities are endless!


Often, we find ourselves struggling to deal with our emotions when we are experiencing burn out. As much as you’d like to, sometimes it’s fine to say no to an event or taking on a new project or more shifts at work. You need to think of your own emotional wellbeing. Say it again now… it’s okay to say no!


Similar to the above, it can be hard to say no to your friends when FOMO is a thing! Being around people 24/7 can be emotionally draining…. can you hear all the introverts agreeing!? Make it a priority to spend your time with people who replenish your life, rather than take from it. No need to cut all your friends out, just find the balance between who you want to be around, especially when life is a little crazy!

We hope these tips help you during the busy period this trimester! It is also important to remember that if you are struggling with your university workload or life in general, there is support for you at UNE.

You’re never alone at UNE.

Our team at Advocacy and Welfare offers confidential support to students! Contact us here.
Student Success also has confidential counselling for students, you can find them here.
Lifeline is also a 24/7 hotline and you can call them on 13 11 14