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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UC Berkeley chapter.

With midterms in full swing, my daily schedule has consisted of studying, eating, and sleeping. This monotonous routine has led to difficulty finding free time to relax and destress and has led me to fall into a pit of burnout, feeling overworked, and stressed. However, I’ve found ways to beat this kind of stress and exhaustion, and I thought you could too with these helpful tips! 

1. Lean on your support systems

One of the best ways I’ve dealt with stress is by talking about what it is that’s making me feel so stressed with close friends and family. Venting helps me get all of my negative emotions out and enter a clear and more comfortable headspace, allowing me to return to my work and study in a better place. A strong support system can also help you delegate what you need to do and feel less alone in your workload.

2. Take Breaks

I struggle with letting myself take breaks when I’m busy and stressed, but even a five-minute break from studying or homework is enough to refresh my mind. Everyone needs time to recharge, and the longer you put off taking care of yourself, the worse you’ll feel and your burnout will be. Taking care of yourself is the first step to being an efficient student and person, so take breaks!

3. Evaluate your Priorities

Sometimes, what we feel we have to do ends up feeling so large and overwhelming that we can’t get anything done at all or even start working. What helps me combat this is using effective time management strategies, such as setting priorities, creating to-do lists, and breaking tasks into smaller, more manageable steps. While I might not finish everything in one day, breaking things up into smaller parts and getting those parts done is still making progress, which helps me feel secure and less stressed about my work.

4. Practice Stress-Reduction Techniques

Stress-reduction practices like mindfulness, meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises can help you feel more centered and ready to take on your work. I also journal to help clear my mind of all the pesky thoughts bugging and keeping me from being productive. Even a good cry can allow for a release of stress and negative emotions. 

5. Prioritize Self-Care

As mentioned before, it’s essential to take care of yourself, and such isn’t limited to just taking breaks. Eating full meals and getting enough sleep and exercise are key activities we need. When physically and mentally healthy, you’re better equipped to cope with stress and recover or even prevent burnout.

In the whirlwind of midterms and academic pressure, remember that your well-being should always be a top priority. Implementing these strategies can help you emerge from the pit of burnout, allowing you to thrive and succeed with a balanced and healthier approach to your academic challenges. You always come first before any exam, homework, or grade. 

Sophia Brunet

UC Berkeley '27

Sophia is a freshman at UC Berkeley, intending to major in English, with minor in Public Policy. She enjoys writing about pop culture, personal blogs, and listicles. Sophia has experience in creative writing and journalism. After graduation, she hopes to enter the publishing and editing industry, determined to sharing the joys of creation and writing with others. In her free time, when she's not writing, Sophia enjoys going to concerts, thrifting for new clothes, and spending time with her friends and family.