By Jillian McIntosh
Psychology senior Gianna Pupino is one of the many students who experiences burnout at Youngstown State University.
“I usually start to feel it [burnout] in the middle of the semester,” she said. “It’s like you physically cannot do it anymore, but you have to.”
Burnout is a state of exhaustion caused by stress over an extended amount of time, often described as feeling overwhelmed or lacking motivation.
Kristin Bruns, a professor in the college counseling and Student Affairs program coordinator at YSU, said it’s important students stay aware and address any change or seek support when burnout is suspected.
“Everyone experiences burnout differently,” she said. “They might see a lot of negativity, not having the same level of motivation as they did before.”
Amy Williams is a YSU professor who teaches graduate students in the counseling program how to use techniques that involve maintaining self-care. She said practicing self-care and seeking support are vital in preventing burnout.
“The pandemic did unprecedented things … which impacted every aspect of our life … and in ways that made it harder to be resilient against the stressors and challenges,” she said.
Williams said self-care is described in four wellness pillars: biological, psychological, social and spiritual.
In addition, she said students should seek support when needed in coping with stress and challenges professionally and personally.
Bruns and Williams are contributors to a new grant-funded project, Bouncing Back from COVID-19. It will offer wellness workshops throughout the semester, providing advice and information on various mental-health topics.
“We have special events every month, which are open to the campus community,” Williams said. “Then we have the small group workshops, which are the focused small-group type activities that students can choose to come for.”
Williams also said training will be offered to YSU faculty and staff. It will cover subjects such as prioritizing their own wellness and supporting students.
YSU Counseling Services and the campus chapter of National Alliance on Mental Illness also have been working to prevent burnout within the community.
Student members of NAMI raise awareness and advocate for the importance of mental health. The organization recommends YSU Counseling Services when a student needs a professional resource.
Pupino is president of NAMI and said recognizing when your body needs to take a break is a method to prevent burnout.
“With school, not allowing yourself to feel appreciated after you finish an assignment can cause a lot of resentment for upcoming assignments,” Pupino said.
To keep up to date with Bouncing Back from COVID-19, visit the Instagram homepage @ysu_bouncingback
Key words: “Bouncing Back from COVID-19,” National Association on Mental Illness, YSU Counseling.