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Overwhelmed and exhausted

Hi guys, 

Just wondering if anyone else out there is struggling with uni/school going back and trying to stay afloat? 

If anyone has some tips to get by to avoid giving up completely could you please share? 

I might not reply right away cause I'm exhausted but if I kudo the post then I've read it and really appreciate your support. Just don't quite have it in me at the moment sorry. I will try and reply when I'm more myself though. Thanks in advance, you guys are awesome! 

Re: Overwhelmed and exhausted

I start back in a couple weeks @MB95, not looking forward to that stress.... Hm what's helped me in the past is lowering perfectionist expectations for myself and doing the best I can with the time and energy I have. Setting up the pace to what suits you, even if that means 10 mins of work and then a break and then another 10 mins, can help. Also making sure you have someone backing you up if you need any extensions or anything. Sometimes it can help to take it a day at a time rather than focusing on the big picture. I'm not sure sorry, has anything worked for you in the past?

Re: Overwhelmed and exhausted

I start uni next week. To avoid burnout and deferring late into the semester like I did last year, I will schedule more time each day to do what I want to do

Re: Overwhelmed and exhausted

@MB95  I started back today, I am not really sure if I have any super helpful tips I guess just try and keep up with a good sleep schedule and set aside a little time each day to get some work done. Sorry I am not much help. 

Re: Overwhelmed and exhausted

Hey @MB95,


It's wonderful that you are reaching out to the forum to seek tips regarding hanging in there at uni, particularly as you are struggling so much with being overwhelmed and exhausted.  It can be very difficult to ask for support when motivation is weaning.  


I'm wondering if your uni has a counsellor on campus or a wellbeing coordinator that you can chat and check in with?  They may be able to discuss activities, support and services that the uni offers for students.  Some uni's have all sorts of activities and you may find one activity that is interesting to you.  This may help you to get through your days at uni a little easier.  

Re: Overwhelmed and exhausted

Hi @MB95, I can really empathise with your feeling. I think what helped me the most was trying to use relaxation techniques and changing my mindset to lower the stress. Also taking care of self, eating well, exercising and getting enough sleep. Also don't be too hard on yourself and remember to take a break.

I have linked some youtube videos i found helpful in the past. I hope you feel better soon

How to Bounce Back from Burnout in 3 Simple Steps | Allan Ting | TEDxWilmingtonLive - YouTube

watch this when you're struggling with a subject & wanna give up. ❤️ || Motivated Monday - YouTube

How To Give 200% - YouTube

How To Handle OVERWHELM - YouTube

How To Handle OVERWHELM - YouTube

Re: Overwhelmed and exhausted

Hey @MB95 

This is a really good question, I'm glad there have been some awesome responses so far <3

Something that helped me when I was really on struggle st at the beginning of my uni years was to get a really nice journal/planner. I started using a bullet journal and then a passion planner (this is not an add I promise, but they are heaps cute) and it helped me to enjoy the process of getting organised and look at it as part of looking out for my wellbeing. I have never been the most organised person, so making the organisational process more pleasant was a huge gamechanger for me! I also got a bright orange laptop case cause cute colours make me smile Heart

Re: Overwhelmed and exhausted

Hey @MB95 , so much great advice on this thread already! 


I'll be honest and say my first time around as a uni student straight out of high school was an excellent lesson in what not to do - I was a weird combination of a disorganised (and procrastinating) perfectionist - I would often end up spending hours and hours researching papers and assignments and be paralysed by anxiety and the fear of failure, and end up writing things at 2am. I didn't ask anyone for help, thought that everyone else had their shit together except for me, and tried to deal with everything on my own.  Do not recommend this approach!! 


Things that helped me (especially when I went back to uni with a small kid in tow!) were being really pragmatic about time management and learning what working environments worked best for me- I tend to study better at the library or away from distractions at home, and I often find my 'flow' in the afternoon.  I definitely had to learn that sometimes things just have to be done rather than perfect! I also found having visible reminders of deadlines was super helpful - I got one of those giant wall planners which I used to map out deadlines etc, as well as using a diary/ phone, I also blocked out time for exercise, family time, doing nothing time. 


The last big one for me was a huge dose of self-compassion - remembering to be gentle with myself, and accepting that often uni can feel like a totally stressful shitfight of an experience for everyone, and it's OK to have bad days! I ended up dropping down to a part time study load for a few semesters when family and life responsibilities all became a bit too much to juggle, unis are often much more supportive and understanding than you think they'll be with these things. Sending everyone massive good luck at uni vibes! It can be painful but it was definitely worth it. 




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Re: Overwhelmed and exhausted

Hi @MB95! I hope things are getting a bit better. I'm also stuck feeling overwhelmed at the very beginning of semester, I'm doing three very difficult subjects this semester plus I'm also running a university club when the university has made it incredibly difficult for us to keep afloat. Here are some things I'm planning to do.


First of all, I've realised I do really well with momentum- not necessarily a to-do list kind of person but someone who is either 0 or 100 with productivity. So for me my main challenge going back to uni is going from being lazy and anxious to getting myself ticking off one thing at a time until I have a rhythm. If you've been at uni previous years maybe it might help to see what your best working style is.


I'm with @Hannah-RO on the journal point- clearly having all of my classes, assessments, lectures and readings put down in one place (I spent all of my day doing this today) has made me feel a LOT more in control of things. I like weekly planners as well because you can focus on the space between assessments rather than how they all seem to be looming on the horizon. I use the university's planner because I got it for free and it has the map of the uni in it so I don't get lost Smiley LOL


Start changing your procrastination habits early. I know I'm a sucker for sitting on Facebook and Instragram when I should be doing work, or maybe not doing work but kicking collateral things off my to-do list like responding to emails, and then I feel bad because I'm not only wasting my study time but also my time off. So I'm trying to streamline my social media use atm. Also trying to go to bed earlier because if I'm not doing anything productive I may as well get some sleep a little extra and hopefully get up a bit earlier!


On that note, I love oversleeping so I'm trying to move my sleep schedule so I go to bed wake up earlier more consistently and feel like I have more time to get ready for my classwork during the day since I know I like to have free time at night. Not sure it's going to work since I'm also a night owl who wants to do creative writing late at night but we'll see! 


Start looking at your weekly patterns and how you can incorporate your schedule consistently every week. For me, I see which times and days are most convenient for me to look at classwork for an upcoming class, when to do readings, etc. I prefer to work in chunks of time rather than hour by hour. That being said, schedule quality free time for yourself into your week. Someone once described it to me as being like scheduling a doctor's appointment but for your self care. This works for me because if I make sure I have time for free time I don't resent my suddenly packed schedule and I value all of my time more. 


I'm also with @Janine-RO- if you realise that the problem is bigger than just figuring out how to get going and is actually an overwhelming study load or impractical commitment, be honest about it to yourself early so you can decide to withdraw or lower your expectations. Sometimes it's just better to be kind to yourself than blame yourself for what you could be doing in a perfect world. 


I hope you're doing okay and just remember- it's always hard when uni goes back and it seems like you've gone from being free to being expected to be the best student ever who does all of their readings and lectures on time. It's okay to not be that perfect student! 

Re: Overwhelmed and exhausted

Thank you so much guys. I've just read back on all these again and you guys have some great ideas and suggestions so thank you! I'm just so exhausted that every minor thing is sending me into meltdown mode atm. I'm trying really hard but I'm just worried I'm already like this in week one and not sure I'll make the semester. Time will tell I guess. 


I don't quite have the energy to reply to everyone properly sorry but I'll try.. I'm gonna try lower my perfectionist standards and not be the perfect student @Lost_Space_Explorer5 @StormySeas17 


I also think schedules are definitely a must for me @hunginc @Eden1717 @A_Friend .. I'm trying to plan up a weekly one at the moment but even that has me overwhelmed 😂 I just feel guilty if I put self care things in and things that aren't uni related cause I feel like I don't have the time for it. Idk. It's stupid! I do looovvee that passion planner though @Hannah-RO - that's so cool!! 


And @Janine-RO literally EVERYTHING you said resonated with me! 'Disorganised procrastinating protectionist' umm.. YES! 😂 Also being paralysed by anxiety at the fear of failure.. YES. My anxiety is so intense lately that I have no confidence to even try anything anymore cause I'm so scared I'm going to fail. I hate it. And I don't know how to stop it. 


Also @MaryRO I'm a regular with the support services lol They know me pretty well cause I was on a weekly basis with them, but things have changed a bit so yeah. I did have an appointment today but not sure. But thanks for the advice! I'm going to touch base with our disability supports team cause they asked me the other day if I wanted some help or new adjustments put in place so I'm thinking I might need to take them up on it. 


Thanks for all the suggestions everyone 💙