Protect yourself against burnout this school year


September 4, 2017

By Jordan Pickell

Going back to school or starting your first year at university is a time of transition that can bring up feelings of excitement, stress, or anxiety. You can get so focused on trying to accomplish the tasks related to being a student that everything else becomes second priority, including your health and well being. And then, when life presents other challenges on top of going to class and getting your work done, it can become a struggle to keep up. I want to share with you two key things you can do to build up your emotional and mental resilience for the school year.

Unpack unrealistic expectations

Take a careful look at your workload. Are you putting too much on your plate? Are you creating a recipe for burnout? Our culture glorifies busy. We applaud people who hustle. If you take any time or energy to focus on yourself and your well being, you are being lazy or selfish. This idea is not only unsustainable, it’s harmful. Pressuring ourselves to do it all and do it perfectly actually undermines our wellness.

Get support

In our individualistic culture, there’s so much pressure to handle your business on your own. The reality is,  we all need and deserve support. Surround yourself with people who believe in you, people that you know have your back.

For some people, this can include a counsellor. For example, a counsellor can support with the stresses of being a student, coping with life’s challenges that come your way (depression, anxiety, grief and loss, trauma/violence), navigating identity and belonging (Who am I and where do I fit?), and dating and relationships.

Student health plans in Metro Vancouver

University students in Metro Vancouver enjoy access to student health plans that include coverage for counselling. Learn how much your student plan covers.

BCIT students (70% up to $300 per year)
Douglas College (80% up to $450 per year)
Kwantlen Polytechnic University (80% up to $500 per year)
Langara College (100% up to $500 per year)
UBC students (100% up to $300 per year)
SFU undergraduate students (80% up to $500 per year)
SFU graduate students (80% up to $600 per year)
VCC students (100% up to $300 per year)

The plans listed above cover a variety of different credentials a counsellor can hold (Registered Clinical Counsellor, Social Worker, Psychologist, etc.). Some may require a physician’s note in order to access coverage. Before you make your first appointment, check with your provider.

If you want to come see me, I offer a student rate to help you make the most of your student health plan. I am a Registered Clinical Counsellor and all of the above plans cover RCCs.

This year, be kind to yourself and enlist the help of people who will hold you up. Getting through school is tough. No one should go it alone.

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