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Effective ways to De-stress & Be Productive (because school is just that overwhelming)

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

POV: You are in your bed after your nightly routine, and as you sit and reflect on your day you are filled with a sense of anxiety and stress because you feel ineffective, unproductive and just not the best version of yourself. Trust me … like Pitbull himself, I have been there, done that. It is a constant battle between what you expect from yourself and what you can actually do, plus a little sprinkle of your mental well-being, or not-so-well-being. It sucks. So to vanish your midnight blues, here are a few ways that you can simply turn that frown upside down and truly enjoy your life, even if school is a big part of it. 


Now I know what you are thinking. The statistics of college students having some form of an attention-deficit problem are insane. I know a thing or two about that myself. But, meditation doesn’t have to be you sitting in silence and thinking of an empty sky. It can simply be you driving or listening to music that you vibe with. Meditation can even be exercising. As long as you feel free and relieved after doing it, you’ve done it right! Feeling that light airy sensation after meditation or self-care is the best feeling on earth, and it makes you so much more likely to be able to focus afterwards and crank assignments out.

Incorporate hobbies:

You may think you do not have time for this and that you have too much on your plate. But, see, when you start acting like everything you do every single day is a chore, you will start to lose motivation and your willingness to keep your work ethic going. Try to incorporate hobbies or things you enjoy doing. Give yourself time to enjoy things that make you who you are. So yes, feel free to write poetry on the ride back to your apartment or dorm. Feel free to go sit under the clouds and listen to some Ariana Grande because we truly stan. Do not be afraid to make time for yourself. (Pro tip: whenever you feel like you can’t focus on work is the perfect time to do this. It is okay to take a break because you deserve it :)) 


Most of you probably already have a planner but if you don’t … STOP. DROP. ROLL. What are you doing? Go get one! A planner will be your best friend regardless of your year in college. I like to use small paper ones that I can quickly jot down my plans in. However, I have heard of some incredible online planners that will save your life! I have so many friends that simply rave about Trello and Notion being the best thing that has entered their life. I recommend getting any type of planner though, whatever suits your needs

Cutting your to-do list in half:

This goes in conjunction with getting a planner, but for your sake and for the sake of peace of mind, cut your to-do list for everyday, even just a tiny bit. We all know that we as students have the tendency to write down every single task we could possibly do into one day. But I am telling you, DO NOT DO IT! I can remember so many times where I have done that and felt like I was a failure at school because I didn’t complete everything on my list. Make sure to only write things you need to get done that day, and in addition to that, add a “free time/study” bullet point. In this time slot, if you have time to spare at the end of the day you can get a head start on tasks you have set out for tomorrow! This way, you can go to bed feeling accomplished and fulfilled.


I cannot stress this enough. Whenever I feel like I am in a slump, it’s usually because I forgot to journal for a week or so. Just to be able to write your thoughts out on paper is such a healthy release of stress. I have personally made it a habit to try and journal every day especially if I have something to say or if I feel overburdened with a plethora of emotions. It is also super fun to look back and see your overall progress as a person and recognize how far you have come!

Wake up early:

Waking up early is the best thing you can do for yourself and I do not mean that lightly. Even if it is hours before you feel like you need to wake up, even better. Take time to breathe, sip coffee, meditate, get things done and out of the way, make your bed. Do tiny little tasks that make you feel just a bit better and help start your day off right!


The best way to stay productive and motivated is to be able to see a goal and to look forward to something. Usually, when I am studying for an exam, I tell myself that if I focus now and work really hard, I will treat myself to something, and that something could be anything. It could be a nice dinner out, a night out with friends, concert tickets, a nice purse, etc. The list goes on. Incentives are very important to avoid burnout and hopelessness. As my dad always says, “keep your eyez on the prize” (yes he says it with a z on purpose)! Good luck and you got this!

If you have any fun ways you like to stay productive and destress, contact me! I would love to know!

I am a college student interested in Human Biology and Creative Writing. In my free time, I love writing poetry and I cover topics such as mental health, racism, global, and social justice issues! Being a writer for her campus inspires me to keep writing!
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