Cold winter nights are beginning to draw in and January examinations don’t seem too far away. There maybe a lot of work ahead, but to ensure you get the best from yourself, keep motivated and don’t burn out, you need to take regular breaks!
But how do you get the most from them?
Here’s our top tips for staying ahead of the game and ensuring you make the most of this valuable “me” time:-
Feel lighter all day: Do your most dreaded task first
Spending the first few hours of every day checking emails, the news and Twitter? You might be at your cognitive peak early in the morning so there’s an argument for using this time to think creatively instead.
This is called the ‘Eat that Frog’ principle. So if you have a dreaded task that needs to be done, do it first thing and get it out of the way!
This can help set your mind free for the rest of the day and you’ll enjoy your breaks so much more too, without that niggling, outstanding task on your mind.
Change locations when you take a break
If you are studying in one location then stay in that same location to take a break, you might not feel refreshed when you start again.
If that sounds familiar, consider changing where you take your breaks whenever possible.
The same goes for when you go to sleep. You may find it difficult to associate your bed with sleeping if it becomes the place where you are often hard at work.
Save social media for breaks
We all know it happens, that sudden urge to pick up your mobile and check for new messages from your friends. Then maybe a quick check for the latest tweets, perhaps check for new Facebook posts? Then on to YouTube to check out the latest videos in your subs box. Then before you know it, an hour has gone, the light is fading and you’re another step closer to your assignments deadline.
Save social media for breaks and be strict with yourself! iPhones now have the screen time option built into them to limit the amount of time you spend on each app. Consider using it to restrict your social media binges and increase your productivity!
Listen to music
What better way to take your mind off of your work than to switch off and relax with some music. Be it your favourite band, some relaxing classical or maybe something like a white noise/ rain sound generator from a site like Mynoise.net. Listening to music can revive your senses and give you that refreshed, invigorated positivity ready to carry on again.
Another way to unwind could be to get creative. No matter what your artistic ability, why not come up to the mini #StressLess area at the front of the first floor where you’ll find loads of colouring books and puzzles, or why not just grab some paper and some coloured pencils and get scribbling! No one’s going to see your work so just go for it!
Spend time with friends
Spending time with people we love is a wonderful way to relax and de-stress. What’s more, it can flood our bodies with feel-good oxytocin. This hormone has the opposite effect of adrenaline and can help make you feel great!
Go for a walk outside
There’s often no better way to relax and de-stress than to go for a quick walk and take in some fresh air. It doesn’t have to be miles. Just get out of your current environment and start walking. There are plenty of wonderful parks in Canterbury. Why not take a stroll along the city wall just over from Augustine House or take a wander through Dane John Gardens with its avenue of lime trees and its flowing fountain or maybe through the wonderful Westgate Gardens with its 200 year old oriental plane tree and Victorian tower house. Just get up and walk and take advantage of this beautiful hot weather!
There’s no better way to relax your brain than to get active, whether it’s going for that walk or perhaps trying one of our exercise bikes permanently in place in the Get up and go area at the back of the 1st floor in Augustine House. Exercise is proven to release endorphins in the brain giving you a sense of well-being, making you feel refreshed and ready to get back to it.