7 ways to rest and de-stress

University students going into mid-semester breaks are feeling the weight of deadlines and the end of the year. We’ve put together some tips and tricks to ease your stress and restart your creative mind during the next two weeks. (Image source: Ashleigh Buck)

By Ashleigh Buck | @ashkbuck

With mid-semester break upon us it’s no lie, most of us have been dying for this time to just close our laptops and forget about university for two weeks. However, with assignments and deadlines still prevalent through this break, it is necessary for us to take the extra time to remember to look after ourselves and our health.

1. Reading

Whether it’s a short story, a newspaper article or one of your favourite novels, reading is the perfect way to wind down after a long day at work or a stressful day working on assignments. No matter if you’re an avid reader or someone who’s never picked up a book in your life, when you’re short on ideas to pass the time why not pick up the nearest novel and give it a crack. By immersing yourself in the story and allowing yourself to transport to another world, it eases worries and clears your mind for five minutes, helping you relax and take the pressure off yourself.

2. Walking or yoga

Minus the never-ending hay fever, spring is the perfect season for walking. With the weather not too cold and not too warm, grabbing a few friends or walking your pets is a great way to unwind and do something new. However, if walking is not your style, you can always try yoga or meditation as another simple and easy way to turn off your mind, relax and breathe out any stress or anxiety you are feeling. Taking a moment to focus on calming your mind is a simple step to help motivate yourself to finish any last-minute tasks without feeling overwhelmed.

3. Watching TV or a movie

University consists of many things, one being procrastination. Now don’t deny it some—if not all—of you have chucked on a bit of Netflix “in the background” whilst studying and ended up forgetting all about that 3000-word essay due at the end of the week. In the end, we feel guilty for binge-watching our favourite movies or shows, however, with the break upon us, it’s safe to say we have all earned some time to just sit back with a bit of Grey’s Anatomy or Bachelor in Paradise and just relax for the night.

4. Catching up with friends and family

With schedules for both work and university never seeming to line up, we have little to no time to spend time with our loved ones. Whether it be your friends, family and/or partner, this break is the perfect time to catch up for coffee, lunch or even just a day sitting at home. Our family and friends are key support systems within our lives, and so making time for them always eases the tensions of work or study and helps us remember that we are not alone through any of this.

5. Fishing

Now, understandably, the idea of the ocean, live bait and the smell of fish does not sound ideal, but trust me, don’t turn your nose up at the idea too soon. Whether it’s just by yourself or with a few friends, fishing is a great way to pause and reflect on the day or week and let your mind wander from your responsibilities for a moment. You don’t have to be an extreme fisherman to cast a line at your local beach, jetty or river.

6. Reorganising your room/spring clean

As the title states ‘spring cleaning’ is always a fun and challenging way to keep busy through the break. Whether it be donating clothes to your local goodwill or second-hand store, or simply having a garage sale to rehome household items, a clean is always a good idea. If a massive clean-out is not your style, have a go at reorganising your bedroom. Sometimes, even the simplest change can make a difference.

7. Self-care day

Finally, what everyone wishes they had time for, a self-care day. This mid-semester break, pamper yourself. Have a long shower, or a bath if you prefer. Put in your favourite bath bomb or bath salts, put on your face mask and sit back and relax. Take time to just listen to music or catch up on your favourite movies or TV shows; focus on your wellbeing and your mental, physical and emotional health and make sure that you prioritise yourself for a day or two this break. At the end of the day, every one of you has earned this time to pause, stop and breathe.

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