What Is Academic Burnout and How Can I Avoid It

'Burnout' - a phrase you've probably heard floating around classrooms or from your parents but never really paid much attention to. Surely it isn't possible to overwork yourself is it? It's easy to fall into the trap of thinking that doing more is better when in reality it can be counter-productive. I'm definitely a hard working person when it comes to academics but by the end of my A Levels I'd reached a point of exhaustion and was honestly burnt out. I thought I'd use this blog post, albeit a bit different to my usual ones, to talk a bit more about my experiences of being burnt out as well as how you can avoid it.

It's only as I've finished my A-Level exams that I realised just how damaging they were to me and that the intense cycle of working I carried out was incredibly unhealthy. The main source of this was overworking, which I definitely did on a daily basis but found it so hard to avoid. Sure I had the occasional break, but sitting in the college library from 9am til 7pm, followed by a further 3 hours in Costa working, isn't healthy. No matter what anyone says, that amount of solid, concentrated work in one day isn't good mentally. Although I know that I put my all into revision and physically couldn't have done any more, I know that I didn't attempt it in the healthiest of ways.

Although for me doing this amount of work seemed normal and fine, it became apparent towards the end of exams that I was burnt out. Sure I still had the motivation to work, but I was physically drained. The amount of Diet Cokes I drank to give me some caffeine was seriously an issue, and I remember countless times being on the verge of falling asleep in Costa while I powered through the work. But at the time, I thought this was completely normal. Exams are just tiring, right?

Another sign of being burnt out is not taking care of yourself, both physically and mentally. Although I still kept up with the basic standards of hygiene and living, there were certainly things I let slip. My bedroom was an absolute mess (no exaggeration, it was genuinely horrific!) but I just let the mess pile up and was never home longer than a couple of hours a day to tidy it. Meals were also put on the backburner, and having my tea at 10:30pm became a daily occurrence that seemed normal at the time but really wasn't healthy. Even little things like drying my hair were abandoned as I frequently slept with wet hair - all these little things which at the time seemed normal but once you step back it's clear how damaging exams were to my everyday functioning.

And then there's frustration and cynicism, which is a huge part of being burnt out. I'm a sensitive person as it is, but this was taken to a whole new level during exams. I owe everyone a huge apology for all of the days when I was snappy, irritable and stroppy, as the intense stress and pressure of exams definitely caused me to react more than usual. I also had way more down days than I normally would, days where I'd feel utterly defeated and with no motivation to continue exams, but thankfully I have wonderful people in my life who helped me get through these moments.

The final symptom of burnout I experienced was being preoccupied with working, to the point where it takes over your life. Don't get me wrong, I still had some breaks and chilled out evenings, but as a whole my life became dominated by work. The few hours of Lipa on a Saturday morning would be spent doing mind maps in the wings whenever I wasn't performing - even just a couple hours a week that I couldn't pull myself away from work. I think the most evident case of work taking over my life was one Saturday evening right before exams, where it was getting late yet my boyfriend and I were still quizzing each other on notes. At the time that seemed completely normal and getting in an extra hour of work was a huge score, but in retrospect it's clear that work had completely taken over.

What Is Academic Burnout and How Can I Avoid It

It's only now that exams are over that I've been able to see what an unhealthy life I was living and that putting my heart and soul into exams may have been damaging myself in the process. Burnout is different for everyone, so don't think that you're not suffering from it if you're having different symptoms than I did, but I wanted to share my top tips for anyone who feels burnt out or is just struggling from the exam pressures:

Relax - this is my number one tip, give yourself some time off! Your life shouldn't be dominated by exams, you deserve time to wind down and relax too. And I don't mean a 10 minute break whilst working, as although that is helpful it's sometimes not enough when you're burnt out. Have an evening off, or even a whole day, and step away from work to do things you enjoy.

While I had exams I know that I didn't touch my keyboard, write a blog post or even just chill on my laptop watching YouTube, all things which I'd normally spend a lot of my free time doing. It's important not to lose these, plus having a break from working will leave you feeling refreshed and ready to power on the next day.

Sleep - this is definitely something that I ignore, but sleep is incredibly important and is vital for you to function normally. I'm the type of person who has adjusted to late nights and early mornings, but you've got to realise that getting just a few hours sleep isn't healthy. Although in the moment it may seem like you're being productive by staying up an extra hour to learn some more for exams, this last-minute cramming won't do anything except leave you feeling flustered, and the lack of sleep means you'll be exhausted and working the next day will be incredibly difficult. Trust me, sleep is super important!

Step back and assess - it's incredibly easy to get lost in the exam mindset and be so focused on acing your next few tests that you forget to see the bigger picture. However, it's important not to lose sight of reality and remember that these are just a few exams that will mean nothing in years to come. Although you can't deny that exams like GCSEs and A Levels are important, your physical and mental health should always come first, and it's not worth sacrificing your wellbeing for a few letters on a piece of paper on results day. Step back and look at the bigger picture, and try to remind yourself of what's really important.

Know that it won't last forever - the exam period might feel like a never-ending struggle but know that it'll be over before you realise. Although a few weeks can seem like a lifetime, and that final week seems to stretch on for months, remember that the end is always in sight and that it's just a few short weeks out of your entire life. Plus, there's the entire summer holidays to look forward to once they're over, so think of all the good times ahead rather than letting yourself be consumed in work.

I hope that this blog post has been useful for any of you doing exams and perhaps feeling like you're burnt out, as well as giving you an insight into the brutal reality of my exams and difficulties I faced. Thank you very much for reading this blog post and I'll be back later in the week with a new one, so make sure you check back then!

Love from Daisy x
Makeup Revolution Fast Base Foundation Stick Review

It feels like forever since I wrote an individual product review, but as soon as I tried out the Makeup Revolution Fast Base Foundation Stick, I knew that I needed to write about it on my blog. This product definitely blew me away and I couldn't quite believe how good it was for just £5, so make sure you keep reading to hear all of my thoughts and opinions of this product!

This product is advertised as an incredibly fast, everyday foundation, as well as being blendable, buildable, sporting a satin finish and having cruelty-free status. Being like nothing I'd ever tried before, as well as constantly raved about on social media, I knew that I had to try it! Makeup Revolution have definitely been upping their game and the quality of their products are always insane, whilst still staying affordable, so my aim was to put this foundation stick to the test to see how good it is for just £5.

As easy as it is to say that you don't judge a book by its cover, it's impossible to resist the gorgeous packaging of this product. The sleek look of nude pink and rose gold are definitely Instagram-worthy and you certainly wouldn't presume this was a budget product at first sight. They definitely look more expensive than they are, but it doesn't stop there as the product itself is even more lavish.

This foundation is available in 18 shades, which is an incredibly vast range for a drugstore brand and means that you'll easily find a shade perfect for you. It caters for various undertones and ranges from light to dark, and there's also plans to extend the range in the future so you definitely won't struggle to find a match. The foundation shades also coordinate with their Conceal & Define Concealer, which is great for creating a flawless, cohesive base.

Makeup Revolution Fast Base Foundation Stick Review Swatch

The shade that I picked up is F7, which is perhaps a bit too dark for me right now that I'm not tanned. However, when I'm on a night out or a bit more tanned, this is a great match for me.

My immediate assumptions about foundation sticks are that they'll be incredibly stiff and tug at the skin, so I was pleased to see that this product was instead creamy and easy to apply. The stick makes it convenient for fast application, as all that's needed is a few swipes across the face and then it seamlessly blends out. The buttery, soft consistency means it glides onto the skin like a dream, and it blends really easily without losing any of its pigmentation. It's also really easy to build up this foundation and layer it to give the desired effect, making it versatile for whatever look you're wanting to achieve.

The Makeup Revolution Fast Base Foundation is the definition of high coverage, and I was expecting to need to layer it quite a few times for a full coverage look, but just one works wonders. However, the presumptions of full coverage foundations being really cakey and heavy on the skin aren't true here, as it has a dewy and almost radiant formula that I much prefer. I personally think just one layer gives the perfect coverage, but you can build this up depending on your preferences.

I seriously love how this foundation looks on the skin, as it gives a slight dewiness to the skin whilst still being packed with a punch in terms of pigmentation. It leaves your skin looking flawless and concealed with a healthy glow, and since it doesn't accentuate any pores or blemishes it truly does create an effortless appearance. It also doesn't feel heavy or uncomfortable on the skin, in fact it feels the same as wearing any other foundation, and other products apply effortlessly over the top, meaning it's ticks all round for this product.

Makeup Revolution Fast Base Foundation Stick Review

The final test for any product is how well it lasts, and I have to say that the Makeup Revolution Fast Base definitely exceeded my expectations. Even hours after application this foundation doesn't budge, even when I've tested it out on nights out amidst the sweaty conditions. Despite me being someone who struggles with makeup wearing away throughout the day, this foundation definitely locks into place and doesn't budge.

Overall, this foundation is a definite must-have from the drugstore and is the perfect budget option if you want something high coverage yet still radiant and flawless on the skin. At just £5, you seriously can't turn it down! I definitely loved trying out this product and can't wait to see what else Makeup Revolution have in store for us, so if you have any recommendations then I'd definitely be open to hearing them!

I hope you enjoyed this post, and make sure you leave a comment down below telling me your thoughts about the Makeup Revolution Fast Base Foundation Stick - I'd love to know what you think of it! Until next time!

Love from Daisy x

Whoa, long time no see! It honestly feels like forever since I sat down and wrote a blog post, but let me tell you it feels good to be back. The past few months have been crazy busy and blogging was subsequently put on the backburner - I haven't posted in a few months but for a while before that all of my posts were rushed and quickly put together. But now I'm back, armed with a Costa Salted Caramel Frostino and a new podcast episode, and ready to fill you in on everything you've missed over the past few months, so keep reading for the biggest life update you'll ever read!

The main reason for my blogging absence has been sitting my A Levels, which I finally finished on Friday. I'll be completely honest - A Levels are really tough. I've always said that academics come before blogging, and I've been dedicating a majority of my time to studying that left barely any remaining for writing posts. On top of a whole day of college, I started staying in the college library til 7pm to get in some extra hours of productive revision rather than procrastinating at home, and then during exam seasons extended this til 10pm in Costa to get in as many hours as possible, so when I say I barely had any time I meant it literally. Now that they're over, I can definitely see that I was working too hard and perhaps burnt myself out towards the end, as I reached a point of literal exhaustion, but I'm proud that I put my 100% all into revision, even if it did mean giving up a lot of my time. Regardless of what my results are, I'll know for certain that I literally couldn't have put in more effort or time. I might actually write a blog post about my A Level experience in more detail, if that's something you guys would like to see.

However, life hasn't been full-on A Levels, as I've actually had an incredibly busy few months that have eaten up any moments that I've not been revising. I thought I'd share a few of those things with you...

I've actually went to 2 concerts in the past couple months (which coincidentally fell within 2 weeks of each other), and although listening to live music isn't something I do often, I really enjoy it. The first was Bastille's Reorchestrated Tour, which is something I've been anticipating for years now. It's no secret that I'm a huge Bastille fan and have been since I was 13, so finally getting to hear them live was a dream come true, as well as Charlie Barnes and To Kill a King as the opening acts. The moment the first chord of The Anchor started playing was perhaps my favourite moment in the entire thing, and the concert as a whole was so well put-together with the choir and string section, making it an incredibly special and enjoyable night.

The second concert I went to was Eden's Vertigo tour, which was a very last minute plan but proof that spontaneous decisions are definitely worth it. I'd only listened to Eden's music for a couple of months beforehand so I was fairly new to it but I really fell in love with the music and the event was insane. My favourite songs were definitely Fumes and Rock n Roll, although all of them were reproduced incredibly, sounding almost identical to the studio versions. The entire concert felt incredibly special and is a memory I'll cherish for a long time, as I genuinely loved every second.

As I'm now 18, that has also warranted a couple of nights out in Liverpool with my friends. If I'm completely honest, I didn't expect myself to be a clubbing kind of person but I was pleasantly surprised, as I had the best time dancing and just enjoying life with all of my closest friends. These were definitely well-needed breaks from revision and even if they left me completely exhausted (and ill after the first one!) I thoroughly enjoyed both.

Another thing that won't come as a surprise if you follow me on Twitter is that I've also got a boyfriend! As cringey as it may be updating you on this, it's something that I couldn't leave out of this post. Over the past 3 months we've had some amazing times together, including bike riding around Albert Dock, doing an escape room (which definitely lived up to my expectations), bowling and lots of other fun activities, as well as many chill times in the park and revision sessions. I've genuinely had the happiest 3 months spent with him and I still find it mad how two people can get along so well, and so I knew that I had to share this huge part of my life with you guys (although if you follow me on Twitter, you'd already know about a lot of these things!)

I've also been incredibly busy with rehearsals lately, as the Lipa show is only a week away. This years show is 'Into the Woods' and I'm playing the role of Cinderella, which is both an honour to be awarded with a main role and a huge responsibility for me to fulfil. I've been at Lipa for 7 years now and this will be my last show before I leave for university, so it'll hopefully be the perfect way to end an amazing experience. There's a lot of preparation going into the show, with lines to learn, songs to rehearse and many last-minute adjustments, but hopefully it'll all pay off next week if the show goes well.

Portugal is also on the agenda as me and my friend Amy booked a holiday for mid-July, which I can't wait for! I'm honestly dying for some sun and time to relax after exams, so our getaway will be a well-earned break, as well as my first time on holiday without my family. You can expect a lot of holiday pictures on my social media so that's definitely something to look out for!

More recently, I also finished my time at college studying A Levels. Although exams ended for me a couple of days ago, my final day of college before study leave was actually at the end of May. As someone who doesn't bode well with change I was quite apprehensive about this, but what I do know is that I've had the best 2 years of college meeting new people and studying subjects that I genuinely enjoy, even if it was incredibly stressful at times.

I think that's pretty much everything major to catch you up on, so as you can see it's been a jam-packed few months with literally no free time. But now it's summer, I'm ready to get back into blogging, and the time away has made me realise just how much I've missed it.

So you're probably wondering what I'll be doing with my blogging schedule and if I'll be returning to my old upload routine. The good news is, I'll continue posting weekly on a Sunday, so there's no change there. However, as the next few months are the summer holidays, I'll also be posting more regularly from time to time. I can't promise how often this'll be, but you can expect quite a few extra posts on here through the week, so make sure you keep your eyes peeled for that!

I hope you enjoyed reading this blog post and that you're excited as I am to get back to blogging! If you want more regular updates (as well as hearing about what I'm doing on a day to day basis) then make sure you follow my social media accounts which are linked above, especially Twitter which I'm really active on. Thank you very much for reading this post and I'll see you again shortly with another one!

Love from Daisy x