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It’s that time of year where we need a break

By Kshef Kamran, February 10 2023

Approximately 35 per cent of Canadians are experiencing burnout as a result of overworking themselves through their rigorous daily routines. This makes it is all the more important to take time out of our day for hobbies or other forms of entertainment that can allow the mind and body to rest so you can work more efficiently later one. Self-care is the ability to promote one’s well-being by achieving self awareness and self reliance. It is not a one size fits all description. Everyone has a different concept of how to alleviate stress from their life. However, despite wanting to commit to self-care, it can be difficult especially as a student where the constant stresses of exams, projects and tests never stops. Here’s a list of tips I’ve learned that might help you to achieve both success in your studies and self-care.

Take a well-deserved break

In a society where success culture is constantly present on all social media platforms, sometimes self-care can be driven off by feelings of guilt or shame that instead of working, you choose to relax. However, it is important to understand that everyone and everything needs to take a break — there is no way to sustainably work countless hours non-stop. It is admirable to be goal oriented so, by recognizing you need a break you would be refueled and caring for your mental health so you have the strength to continue working later on as well.

Healthy eating

Eating healthy foods has shown to lead to positive metabolism and efficient energy expenditure. By eating healthy you will not only have the necessary energy to complete the required tasks that you may have for school, but you will have the continued energy to reach the point where you can watch a movie, TV show, or read and not be sluggish while doing so.

Get more beauty sleep

Sleep patterns can be irregular as a student. Waking up early and sleeping late continuously can lead to various downsides. Studying late into the night in general isn’t great, as you will most likely be waking up later in the next day which throws off your studying or relaxation time for the next day. Also, saying “one more episode” or “one more page” usually happens when you cannot be separated from whatever TV or book you are binging. However, it is important to get sleep as well. Otherwise your sleep patterns will be out of sync and negatively affect your study habits. 

Making schedules & to-do lists 

In post-secondary institutions a course syllabus including most if not all of the upcoming assignments are given to the students well in advance. So if there is a week or several weeks where assignments are overlapping leaving you reeling for a break or a self-care day, make sure you’re not cramping everything last minute. The Pomodoro technique is a study strategy that can be used to prioritize tasks and allows for time to be blocked for breaks and working. It’s also ideal to write out your schedule or a to-do list by hand or online and stick to it. It is crucial to break down the task into more manageable pieces because once that task is completed you are left with more time to watch your shows or read your book.

Work ahead of time

There are times in the beginning of a term or immediately after a break where the courses may be slower than during midterm or finals season and using these times to your advantage is beneficial in the long run. If you have a test coming up and you start studying in advance, it will ease your entire study schedule so you will have more time to do the things that you enjoy in the long run.

It is necessary to recognize that you are in need of a break or a self-care day in order to allow yourself to relax and reward yourself for the hard work you’ve been putting in. However, managing your time so that you can fit in a self-care day can be equally as challenging, therefore, planning your schedule in advance and conscientiously making the necessary decisions before time slips by is the best mode of action.

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