The exhausted superkid

Illustration of girl with satchel running against time concept
Photo: © Canbedone / 123RF Stock Photo

Do these words describe you?

  • Overworked
  • Overburdened
  • Overwhelmed
  • Overcome
  • Underprepared
  • Worn out
  • Out of time

Superkid is a term to describe a hyper-accountable child or an adolescent who is always seeking a competitive edge. Of course, that’s great; which parent would not want that for their kid and who today doesn’t crave to excel in what they do? Success is always sweet and achievement is much coveted but it should all come at a reasonable cost. What we pay for it should justify what we get out of it. In an era of high academic expectations, numerous extracurricular involvements and all-embracing social distractions, over-achievers really stand to suffer extreme stress.

The rat race

Stress in adolescence is not always about studies. Peer pressure, wanting to stand out in sport or elocution, seeking the attention of a prospective girl or boy, longing to make parents proud, concerns about the future and career; all seem like justifiable reasons to worry about performance. How we see things however, changes the way they impact us. Healthy competition isn’t bad. The race drives us to perform better, enhances focus and deters distractions. We want the prize and we feel driven to struggle to achieve it. But if we are rats running in a maze we’re not attaining anything meaningful. A rat race by definition is endless, self-defeating and pointless. We get exhausted and are left with no time for any relaxation or enjoyment.

Don’t be a rat!

Run the race but not in a locked maze with no prize and no exit door. Success comes from working smart, alongside working hard. When you’re young and seeking to establish an identity it is natural to be on a quest to impress. But setting the right goals and using the correct strategy to accomplish them keeps spirits high and prevents exhaustion. So often we spend precious time doing things we don’t like, and doing things we don’t need, to impress people who don’t matter. Here are some ways to get out of the maze and be a Superkid without getting exhausted:

Sleep enough: Sleep is that one unique activity that prevents exhaustion, replenishes lost energy, enhances memory, retains focus, allows optimism and well, costs nothing. And yet it’s something we seldom do justice to. If we do the math right, we don’t lose time when we sleep; we rather become efficient and get more done in the same time or even less. Do yourself a favour; sleep at least 7 to 8 hours a day.

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Dr Shefali Batra
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Dr Shefali Batra

Dr Shefali Batra is a Senior Psychiatrist and CBT Expert, and is the Founder of Mindframes. She posts and conducts regular ‘lives’ on Instagram @drshefalibatra.