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Do you ever feel anxious when you’re laying in bed and not doing anything, even though you’ve crossed off everything on your daily to-do list? Do you tend to overschedule yourself, to the point where your Google Calendar is packed with classes and meetings? If so, this article is for you!

We’re all aware of the hustle culture and toxic productivity atmosphere in college. There’s always someone you know who is taking harder classes, or who is involved in more clubs than you are. However, overbooking yourself and feeling guilty every time you take a break is unhealthy, and can often lead to burnout and anxiety (I’m speaking from experience here!) Here are three tips to avoid that. 

Set boundaries and practice self-care

I have found that I cannot effectively study seven days a week, so I recommend choosing a day (I usually pick Saturdays) where you allow yourself to rest, and not do any homework. Instead, focus on self-care: catch up on sleep, watch your favorite show, and spend time with friends. If you find yourself feeling unproductive, remember that caring for your mind and body is crucial to be productive the following day.

Take breaks!

Taking a break helps a lot during a burnout, because it’s pretty much impossible to focus if you are mentally drained. Don’t feel guilty about letting your body recharge, even though you might have exams coming up or a paper to finish. Use your study breaks meaningfully, by taking deep breaths, getting water and snacks, or going outside for a bit. 

It’s okay to back out of a commitment if you feel too overwhelmed

Quitting a club, reducing your course load or volunteering less hours is completely normal. If you’ve overcommitted yourself to the point where you have to sacrifice your sleep and mental health, you should think about which activities are the most fulfilling and make you the happiest, and focus on those. I’m only a second-year, and I’ve already dropped three classes during my time at UVa, which actually helped me do better in my other courses because I was less stressed.

Hi! I'm Blanche and I am a second-year from Los Altos, California, studying Economics and History. I love playing tennis, reading, getting coffee with friends, and listening to Taylor Swift!
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