As university students, midterm season can be super stressful. After four months away from school, midterms can hit some of us pretty hard. For others, it feels like summer school has just wrapped up and the high wave is back already.
Personally, for me, this week has been anything but relaxing. I’ve been hard at work trying to manage my academics, work schedule, and social life along with the often forgotten part in my life -- my sleep.
As students, it can almost feel next to impossible to turn off our eager brains and simply relax. There will always be another exam to study for, another assignment to complete or another study group session to attend. This is where we can sometimes find our energy falling deep into a hole, struggling to find a way back up into our busy schedules. When everything starts feeling overwhelming it is essential that we work to recharge our batteries so we are better prepared to handle life.
So, here are a couple of my tips on how I work to take care of myself:
Be kind to yourself.
In the midst of the 50 thousand things we’ve got going on in our lives it doesn’t take too long before we can become hard on ourselves. After a long week I like to sit back and reflect on what my hectic week has been like. This is where I choose the top three things that I am proud of myself for accomplishing. It can be as simple as drinking more than 2L of water everyday to getting a stellar grade on an assignment. Why look for others to acknowledge your awesomeness when you can do it yourself?
It’s amazing to see how a couple of trees and blocks of fresh air can have you feeling awake and revived. Take a walk outside as you absorb the final few moments of the warm weather we’ve got left. If getting away from your house is too much for you, I also often find myself grabbing my iPOD and taking a seat in my backyard and just hanging out with my own thoughts for a while. Key, don’t over think anything. Just let you mind wander and see where it takes you.
Phone a friend/journal.
We often overlook the power of talking. For me, the best way to de-stress is to sit back and simply vent about all the things I had to go through after my hectic week(s). Now, there’s a couple of methods for doing this. You can either call up a friend and just vent or you can open up a journal and write away your vents. Once I’ve spilled my guts, I can put it all behind me and start looking forward to some relaxation.
Disconnect and relieve your brain.
Our brain is the busiest part of our body, constantly working and controlling just about everything whether we’re awake or asleep. So, it’s important to make sure we give it a break. Engaging activities such as yoga, meditating and even colouring helps relieve the brain and provide it with some peace and space. My favourite is ‘Mindfulness of Breathing’ meditation which uses the breath as an object of concentration. This really helps my mind stay focussed since it’s usually jumping from one thing to another.
These are only a few things that I’ve found work for me. Play around and see what fits for you. At the end of the day, all that matters is that you find something you enjoy. Take care of yourself and the rest will follow.