Ever since I started this blog I knew I wanted to address this issue at some point during the year. As I’ve touched upon in my last blog, January has been a pretty dense period of deadlines and work commitments for me, and I know that for many other students exams have been an additional concern (as a Planning student I’ve not had to worry about them at least). These are four of the things I like to do when I’m really feeling under pressure, they might not work for you but I’d like to think that at least one could be helpful!
1. Exercise – The university gym is good value and has a range of equipment from free weights, to resistance/cardio machines, and a rota of exercise classes whilst the Life Centre is about a twenty minute walk away with swimming and climbing facilities. Even if it’s just getting out and going for a walk or run in the fresh air, taking the opportunity to get away from all screens and getting your heart rate up a bit is a great way to take a break when you’re feeling overwhelmed. As hard as it might be to get out and do it, you’re almost guaranteed to feel better after you have!
2. Eat something good – The healthier the better of course, (and you don’t need me to preach to you about the benefits of a balanced diet), but we all know that sometimes there’s nothing better than a decent burger and fries! Again cooking some food, or even just making yourself a cup of tea/coffee is a great opportunity to take a break away from your computer when you really need to, so go ahead and indulge yourself once in a while…!
3. Work methodically – Everyone work differently, but for me, when I’ve started to struggle to balance multiple commitments and coursework, I’ve found making a to-do list to be an essential part of managing my time. At the end of the day when I’m finished working, I sometimes find it really useful to be able to put together a list of the things I want to accomplish tomorrow before I pack up for the night which not only helps me to unload and de-stress but also means I can hit the ground running in the morning and not waste time trying to think about what to start first!
4. Mindfulness and Meditation – Finally this is something I’ve started to really try and commit to on a regular basis recently. You can practice mindfulness meditation for just ten minutes a day and I’ve found it to be a great way to step back from my stresses and concerns and allow myself to reconnect with the bigger picture stuff. The hardest part is making yourself sit down to do it, and remember that doesn’t have to be cross legged on a floor either! You can practice in a chair or lying down, wherever is comfortable for you. The university offers a number of free sessions which can help introduce you to some mindfulness techniques. In my opinion, the more you practice it, the easier and more beneficial it will feel, so I would really recommend it to anyone.