As busy UC Berkeley students during the academic season, having free time throughout the summer may make us feel like we’re unproductive. This is a type of anxiety called “time anxiety” by professionals. This makes perfect sense for us overachievers who typically have our whole day planned out from the moment we open our eyes. Lectures, assignments, extracurriculars — you name it. So, if you’re feeling a bit of this “time anxiety,” here are a few tips you can try to help combat these emotions.
Assign purpose to everything you do
Even if you’re spending time watching shows on Netflix, it is a time you are giving yourself to relax and decompress. It shouldn’t be a time that makes you feel guilty. Allowing yourself some downtime after a long, hectic year is just as important as your productivity levels. By assigning a purpose to everything that you do — even small things that take some time — may help you stop stressing about things like self-care.
Start a gratitude journal
Taking time to reflect on the minor things is a great way to realize that being “unproductive” isn’t a waste of time. Jotting down two or three things that you’re grateful for allows you to reformulate the way you see your summer days. You’re not “wasting time” rather, giving your body the rest it needs. It could also be as simple as noting down all your accomplishments throughout the year. The Clog has plenty of great journal prompts to dive into as well!
Work on mindfulness
Being the college students that we are, it seems we’re constantly looking toward the future. Instead of thinking “I haven’t done anything to help my future,” focus on what you’re able to do with this extra time. For those back at home, place an emphasis on time with family and friends. You can do so by exploring more of your hometown or going on vacations, for example. You have plenty of time to worry about the future and classes later, so make sure to have some fun while you still have free time.
Spend more time on things that are meaningful to you
What was the last thing you did that you felt proud of? If it was hanging out with a younger sibling, for example, spend more time with them. If it was writing a short story that you loved, craft yet another one. Do all the things you wanted to do while classes were still in session. We have a few months to claim as ours, so why not fill space with activities we enjoy doing?
When it comes to time anxiety and feeling unproductive, it could be because we aren’t spending enough time doing things we truly enjoy. With these small tips, The Daily Clog hopes it helps you get rid of some common time anxiety that many college students experience during breaks! Remember that you are so much more than your productivity levels — despite what common voices tell you.