Here are some tips for how students can switch off the mind and take a mental break from university life. Finding a space where you can exist separate from your life stresses is important for heightening productivity and improving wellbeing.
1) Listen to music - but this time, really listen. Lie down and close your eyes, focusing on the lyrics rather than your thoughts, or go for a walk around a local park and don’t allow your mind to wander. It’ll take you to another space for a while and sometimes that’s all you need to take a step back from any problems.
2) Tidy. Personally, as an organised person, I love the idea of making a clean space or arranging the books on my shelf. For some, the prospect of this may seem extremely boring. However, with hectic university life, it doesn’t take much for a tidy bedroom to get out of hand, so it is important to stay on top of it. Decluttering the space around you helps to declutter your mind and you’ll feel so much better after you’ve done it.
3) As simple as it sounds, take a day off! It is easy to say to yourself that you’re having a relaxing day, before then rushing to do the shopping, meeting a friend for a coffee and reading that last page of the textbook. Whilst these things are exciting and sometimes necessary, they can wait. Take a day off where you do absolutely nothing and bask in it. Perhaps watch a film or read a book. It’ll give your body a chance to calm itself down before another busy week ahead.
4) Turn off your phone for a day, or even just a few hours. Lately, I’ve been more cautious about my phone usage, especially social media. I always want to stay on top of what is happening at my university – friends, societies, etc. – but it isn’t necessary all the time. Sometimes a phone affects you in ways you don’t even realise and so taking a break gives you time to reflect, without thinking about how you can share something online, take a photo, or mindlessly scroll.
5) Meditate – Sometimes sitting with your breath can seem daunting, especially when you’re used to moving about at such a fast pace that your body doesn’t know what it’s like to slow down. However, meditating allows you to temporarily forget your surroundings and gives you a chance to focus on yourself and what your body is telling you. It is easy to get wrapped up in studying and socialising at university, but you need time for yourself as well.
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