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On the verge of a mental break down: How to un-burn myself?

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So I know this is the equivalence of asking for a diet pill, or some utopian advice that is going to make all bad things disappear :)

About me: I am known for overdoing, perfecting and trying 110000%. I have my English oral in two weeks. Daily sleeping routine ranges from 0-4 hours. I feel really burned out and stretched. Maybe its because of the online classes, or the next three I have signed up for to finish in 18 days. I just want to be able to do sleep 16 hours in 5-7 days again, like I used to freshman year. Staying up is so much more difficult. Even after 2 red bulls.

I am stretched to the max, like a rubber band. Any advice on how to return to shape and manage all the thing on my plate?

My main problem is the weekends and holidays. I spend the whole day on one assignment, or a single paper. Other kids take like 2 hours. I need to be more efficient.

Tried: timing, making schedule, moving on and prioritizing. All of them led to a breakdown :/

i know all of you are in a similar situation, or can relate somehow. Any advice is helpful :P

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Realise that your not perfect and IB isnt the end all and the be all. I have my english oral in two days and im nervous. But just trust it will be ok as my mom says "let go , let god".

Goodluck, if you think this is hard and rigorous, wait till you have an office job , sitting in a cubicle for 10hours a day with only 2 weeks holiday a year. Put things into perspective.

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Well, I can give no better advice than to go to sleep, to compartmentalize your work, and to remember that going to bed increases your efficiency. The stuff I do is work lunch breaks, work weekends, work during easy classes, stay at school till five working, and then go home, enjoy a relaxed dinner, and chat with the family for an hour before getting in to the nightly working routine, which ends, without question, at 1 am. If I'm not finished, then when I get up ill rush breakfast and shower, get to school a half hour early, and cram whatever's left in. Usually, I save the stuff I enjoy for last.

Honestly, office work has NOTHING on doing 15 hours a day of schoolwork in a whack of subjects, half of which you probably don't like as much as the other half.

The one thing you have to realize is that efficiency varies with sleep time and stress level, and reduced efficiency causes stress. So, you need to force reduce your stress if you're going to be be efficient, which, when done properly, decreases the stress level daily.

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hehe. I carried on a high-stress job for some time over summer. People around me would freak and not meet their deadlines. I did online shopping half the time cause I finished early :sadnod:

I agree Office jobs have nothing on a 7 subject rotation, sometimes 24 hour + work/learning schedule.

But thank you both for your advice. Appreciated :dash:

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My main problem is the weekends and holidays. I spend the whole day on one assignment, or a single paper. Other kids take like 2 hours. I need to be more efficient.

Take a day off to just sleep. It really doesn't matter if you "wasted" a day since you'll be more efficient after and work faster after.

Another thing I've picked up in the last few weeks is nap for 30-45 min every 6-8 hours. This way, you can even skip sleep and work! :sadnod:

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take time off to sleep...start sleeping at 9 p.m to 4.00 a.m because thats the when you get the most out of sleeping. You'll be more efficient the more sleep you get. Don't get overworked unless you have to. Sometimes you just have to say its "enough" and go sleep. Only time I ever stay up late is for IAs....you might be able to do well in school staying up that late but when its exam time youll be burned and won't be able to concentrate and recall information because you're just soo tired. If you can get 7-8 hours of sleep a day thats great!. You have to be disciplined and go sleep even if you don't finish. You'll force yourself to be more efficient. In IB1 a lot of kids are already staying up super late...when they get to IB2 they get owned.

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If you forever spend your life miserable in the hope of a good life in the future, you will get nowhere. Close all of your books, put away the notes and handouts, and go have some fun. Enjoy the now.

Your grades will thank you for it, too. There comes a point where more work actually makes you achieve less.

Take a day off to just sleep. It really doesn't matter if you "wasted" a day since you'll be more efficient after and work faster after.

Not a good habit, though. Stay refreshed in the long term, rather than burning -> crashing -> burning again.

Edited by laneolaneo1

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Not a good habit, though. Stay refreshed in the long term, rather than burning -> crashing -> burning again.

You have a point, but there are times when staying refreshed simply isn't possible. It's better to burn and get things over with then take time out to rest. :sadnod:

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I used to be like you, a perfectionist. In fact, I still am. I think that the best advice I can give to you is to realize that you do NOT have to spend an entire day working on a paper. It's better to finish it and then reread and edit. Working longer does not equal better grades. Also remember that if you spend one day on an assignment, you're definitely not going to finish your exams!

Studies also show that sleep is ESSENTIAL for doing well on tests/exams. Someone who has little sleep and knows the material well will often do poorer than someone who has an average understanding of the content and who got more sleep. I learned this through experience. Last year, I would spend hours at night revising for my French tests, but this year, I've been smarter about how I prepare for it and have done CONSIDERABLY better. In fact, I also get MORE sleep than a lot of my IB friends and I do no poorer than them on assignments and tests. So get some sleep!

Finally, I also rarely time myself or set up a schedule because I hate the rigidness and structured time frames. However, I do set up an agenda as to what I need to finish on that time and I'm extremely strict about it. Try different ways and figure out what works for you. Good luck!

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I know what you mean.

It's okay if you do it for sometime, the not sleeping so much and getting stressed over everything, but that point will come when everything is accumulated, and you feel you are going to break down totally.

It's happened to me. I got really sick and couldn't go to school for days.

Now I know how to handle the situation when you feel you are pressured too much.

Take one day off.

Just do it. Either on a day you have TOK or a lot of un-useful subjects, you know you aren't going to do anything in, or take a holiday or a weekend, and just watch movies all day long. I like to lie in my bed (after sleeping like a pig until midday) and watch movies or soap operas. You might like to go swimming or mountain biking, it doesnt matter. As long as it's something you always want to do but never have the time for, and doesn't give you any stress whatsoever. Just do this and trust me, the next day you feel TOTALLY relaxed as if you have slept for Years.

Then you have the energy to get to work again and plan out your time and do whatever.

But everyone really needs a holiday. Especially in the IB.

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So, you need to force reduce your stress if you're going to be be efficient, which, when done properly, decreases the stress level daily.

Depends on the person. I work waaaaay better under pressured time and stress than if the teacher said hand me the essay in 2 weeks time. My best essays were actually during examination time, in which before the exam I would be shaking with stress. This is because I have more energy and when I have alot of time, I tend to over-analyze and my sentences just end up sounding weird.

And I can't believe how much time you all spend on studying and working. I just think the IB is over-exaggerated but under-appreciated. working 15 hours every day? No way. I work like an hour or so every day (not lately, I've been very lazy and barely doing anything) and I'm getting a predicted grade of a 36. Obviously if I soent perhaps 3 more hours then I can manage a 40 but I'm not that ambitious, still, it desn't equal to 15 hours!!!!!1

Anyhoo, what I'm saying is, relax man, sleep, balance your life with your IB. It's unhealthy to be dedicating your whole time to the IB to the point of skipping sleep.

Also eat healthily, it helps alot =) and don't over burn yourself, honestly, by the time you've gotten to the IB exams, you'll be totally burnt out you can't do the exams..

Edited by Leen

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If you forever spend your life miserable in the hope of a good life in the future, you will get nowhere. Close all of your books, put away the notes and handouts, and go have some fun. Enjoy the now.

Your grades will thank you for it, too. There comes a point where more work actually makes you achieve less.

Not a good habit, though. Stay refreshed in the long term, rather than burning -> crashing -> burning again.

I agree agree. I nearly killed myself trying to memorise my bio revision guide for my mocks and ended up getting a 5. For a test, I read the text book, did the past paper questions in it and got a 7. Of course its not a totally fair comparison, but for the mocks I ended up understanding the stuff but not being able to answer the question in the way that will get the marks, cuz the revision guides don't have the info that will help u get 7s.

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One word: aromatherapy

:D

Don't laugh because it actually works. Sure prioritizing, making schedules work but they also create more work. So take a bubble bath or get one of those "sleep aromatherapy" lotions and have some "you time". Start with 10 minute and work your way up.

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I think you should like make a schedule, with like boxes and stuff, and check them out, you'll feel more organized and make sure you get some rest, if not your brain wouldn't function.

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I know exactly how you feel. Every year, before the finals I act just like you. I become tired to studying, tired of staying up until 4 and waking up at 6. This is how I deal with it:

1) I climb to the roof and scream until my lungs hurt

2) I then sleep and wakeup naturally. ie without the presence of 3 alarm clocks dancing, singing, ding doing consecutively

3) Tie my hair back, roll up my sleeves and get to work!

It, <believe me> actually works, better than diet pills or some Utopian drug lol.

And also make sure your room is tidy, your books in the order you wish them to be. Study in a suitable environment without loud music, noises (eg dogs barking).

You also need to become more efficient and motivated. Get an alarm clock and place it infront of you. Say you plan to finish an essay in 2 hours set your alarm clock so it would bling/sing/ding after two hours. Even if you don't finish it then you have to put it aside and work on the next task. Time management is essential. Just think of it this way, at home you can have all the time you want to complete a task. You won't have much time in the exam room!

And remember, you are not alone in the dark. Every student has been through the same thing. When you stress, it only shows that you care. Turn all your stress into motivation, don't let it tear you down!

Good Luck:)

edit: added the good luck:)

Edited by MistyRose

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Aw thanks. that last one really helped actually. I find that just ranting sometimes to friends or just simply venting is a good way to purge emotions.

LOL. though I may have woken up the neighborhoods, I just went outside and sang a song with a friend on top of the pool roof. hehe! really actually helps. Thank you, dearly :S

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Am I the only one who isn't having a hard time in IB? I admit, there are some days where I study a lot but the workload is average and I'm still comfortable. Is it because I'm only in my second trimester of IB1 or will it get a lot harder in the future?

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Ib is very relative. even in similar communities.

We most likely have different schedules. So when people say..agh..chem is soo easy i dont get why u have such a hard time? I laugh. becasue I am doing 9 pages of homework on thermodynamics, and they skimmed it with a single problem.

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Happened to me once as well, shortly after the Christmas. Next day was school, and I haven't finished the homeworks yet (but it was my fault as I have procrastinated) and seriously was torn between whether to ditch school (because I didn't do the homeworks and wanted some sleep) or just go to school (as I could not skip maths HL courses any more, was already far-stretched). It was 4 o'clock in the morning and I firstly wanted to sleep an hour or two, but was so restless. So I just screwed up everything (as in that sense of not doing the homeworks properly :unsure: ) and took a very long aroma baths. Next day, I just slept. In the following winter break, I went to Greece with my family to relax. A week without thinking about IB... It helped me a lot. Just try to forget it for at least three days, and you will feel a lot better.

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yeah...i know how you feel but yoou have to bear in mind that too much of workload can make you explode one day..sooner or later..and this is more dangerous..

i have seen many mental breakdown suffered by the IB students here.They just can't handle the work.They spend too much time to perfect their works that they forgot to chill out and give time to themselves. Sometimes you have to take a step back and reflect on what you have been learning and experiencing in IB program.

Yes by not doing anything for 2 hours a day, you might go crazy and filled with guilt. But bear in mind that there is nothing wrong in giving yourself a break from work.

Don't fret too much. I prepared my english oral presentation a day before the recording.and it turned out great. i did not stay up all night to practice but instead i hit the bed quite early to recharge my body for the big day...

to be very frank, i had been using paracetamol and coffee to keep me insane in semester 3.It was hell and i did ruin my body back then, i'm not proud though. those two things were my only options.....then i made a personal promise to myself not to befriend any of those stuff in my final sem...now i'm trying to keep that promise.

Sem 3 is hell but take my advice: never ever consider drug as your solution to keep you awake at night. better put away the midnight oil and go to sleep.

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