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I Don’t Have Energy to Study; Do I Have a Burnout?

08 January, 2022
Q I constantly feel I cannot do things that I once wanted to do. Currently, I find it difficult to study for my master's. I feel I don’t have the energy. Do I have burnout?

Answer

In this counseling answer:

I kindly suggest thought you make a list of your symptoms and how they are related to how you are feeling.

Please do contact a counselor in your area for an evaluation and possible ongoing counseling.

What we eat and drink as well as the quality of our sleep has a big impact on how we feel.

Take self-care seriously. Relax, do a hobby you enjoy.


As salamu alaykum dear sister,

You have indicated that you are so fatigued and have no energy that you are finding it difficult to study. I imagine this is most worrisome sister as you are probably not used to feeling this way. However, many people do experience “burnout “at various times in life. It is common.

School and Studying can be Intense and Stressful

A severe lack of energy and/or burnout is a common problem for students and others who have constant or busy schedules, or who are seeking to attain things that are farther in completion.

Research has shown that intense tasks with a short time frame that produces positive outcomes are less stressful than long-term intense activities. School studying is a long-term activity and yes it can be stressful and intense.

What is Burnout?

According to Psychology Today, burnout may be caused by problems at work, school, or home, which are ongoing with no reprise. This repeated or prolonged stress, or pressing work, which does not reach a goal fast enough can cause burnout.

Symptoms of Burnout

Symptoms of burnout include possible feelings of depression, lethargy, as well as possible headaches fatigue heartburn food misuse, and gastrointestinal problems. Burnout does not always involve all of the symptoms and may include others, however, the state of being emotionally, mentally, and physically exhausted is present and can be troubling.

Examining Self

Sister, I kindly suggest thought you make a list of your symptoms and how they are related to how you are feeling. Look at your list, if you are noticing that you are more depressed than burned out and tired feeling, please do contact a counselor in your area for an evaluation and possible ongoing counseling.

As depression can also make one feel burned out, fatigued as well as exhibit similar symptoms, it is best to rule out depression when looking at the possibility of burnout. Please refer to these signs and symptoms of depression.

Examining Responsibilities

After you’ve made your list of symptoms and you do not feel that depression is at the root of how you feel, I would encourage you insha’Allah to make another list that would include all the responsibilities you have outside of school and studying which may be impacting your energy levels. It may be that you are over-extending yourself and just need to take some time for self-care.

Creating a Balance

While it is possible that that constant work, or attending to a task such as studying for school, caring for parents or children 24/7 can be taxing and lead to burn out. It is also evident that self-care and relaxation create a balance so one does not develop burnout or stress as intensely.

Self Care

Self-care includes our mental/emotional, physical, and spiritual being. Insha’Allah you are getting enough quality rest, eating good, clean foods, and drinking enough water.

What we eat and drink as well as the quality of our sleep has a big impact on how we feel. Insha’Allah you are praying and able to maintain your closeness with Allah as Allah swt is our mercy and our healing.

Self-care may include taking walks in nature, exercising at home or going to a gym, getting out and socializing more, sitting and listening to some pleasant music well you are relaxing, doing mindfulness breathing, taking a long warm bath, as well as other recommended self-care techniques. Please see these tips on self-care.

Conclusion

Sister, Insha’Allah I encourage you to choose a few self-care techniques to do daily. It may take a week or two for you to notice a change in how you feel, but in sha Allah you will begin to feel better.

If you noticed that self-care is not helping, I kindly advise that you make an appointment with your physician just to rule out any medical factors as well as to schedule an appointment with a counselor to see if a more intense approach may be needed to help you manage stress, learn to relax, as well as manage your workload.

Lastly, remember that burnout is not unusual and can be remedied!

We wish you the best.

***

Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general. They are purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

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About Aisha Mohammad
Aisha has a PhD in psychology, an MS in public health and a PsyD. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years at Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York. She has worked with clients with mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, panic disorder, trauma, and OCD. She also facilitated support groups and provided specialized services for victims of domestic violence, HIV positive individuals, as well youth/teen issues. Aisha is certified in Mindfulness, Trauma Informed Care, Behavioral Management, Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, Mediation, and Confidentiality & Security. Aisha is also a Certified Life Coach, and Relationship Workshop facilitator. Aisha has a part-time Life Coaching practice in which she integrates the educational concepts of stress reduction, mindfulness, introspection, empowerment, self love and acceptance and spirituality to create a holistic healing journey for clients. Aisha is also a part of several organizations that advocates for prisoner rights/reentry, social & food justice, as well as advocating for an end to oppression & racism. In her spare time, Aisha enjoys her family, photography, nature, martial arts classes, Islamic studies, volunteering/charity work, as well as working on her book and spoken word projects.