Overwhelmed with university work, stress and a busy schedule? Laura Prelez Alcaide, MSc Management of Information Systems and Digital Innovation Student Ambassador, shares practical tips on how to set time to look after yourself and take care of your physical and mental wellbeing.
At university, we are in a constant spiral of work, stress and busy lives. Whether it´s an assignment, an exam, a society event, or a social commitment, there’s always something going on. We often find ourselves looking out for what is next in our calendar.
Because of the pandemic, we probably have more independent time than before, but that doesn´t mean we are investing more time in ourselves. Now more than ever it’s important to set time to look after ourselves and take care of our physical and mental wellbeing.
The key thing to note is that spending time with yourself is time well spent!
We all need and deserve a breather, a time to stop, reflect and relax before moving forward with our busy lives. Doing so will lead to a happier and healthier mindset and increase our productivity in the long run.
Here are my five tips!
1. Go outside and exercise
The pandemic means we are spending more time indoors, sitting at a desk and staring into our laptops. Going outside and moving around is more important now than ever before. Take a study break to go for a walk, run or just for a wander.
2. Read a book
My second suggestion is to read a book, preferably not related to your studies. Whether you prefer fiction or non-fiction, getting into the routine of reading a book will clear your mind and help you relax. A good time to do this is before going to bed, since it can lead to better sleep and better mindset the next morning.
3. No screens or social media
I recently deleted all social media for two weeks and guess what? I loved it! I realised that I had much less distractions, so when I wasn´t studying I was able to have more quality time with myself. Not to mention that my screen time was down by around 40%! Another option is to spend a whole day off screens, including phones, laptops and TV, although this can be harder now with online classes.
4. Pamper yourself
And of course, a great way to relax is by pampering yourself. Do something that will make you feel good. Perhaps getting a haircut, doing a face mask or watching your favourite TV show. For me, a good old episode of Friends can never disappoint! You can spend some time alone for introspection or take the time to catch up with your friends or family.
5. Set a date and time
What is that one thing that you really want to do but never get round to or find the time?
Well, set a date and time to do it. Now that it’s in your calendar, you have something to look forward to, a motivation, a reward and a “treat”. Having a day off to do that activity can help you reset and avoid burnout.
Of course, our responsibilities at university are important, but so is taking care of yourself. It’s about taking care of yourself as much as it is about following your daily commitments. Therefore, make yourself a priority and make sure to schedule some time to look after your wellbeing. This will not only make you more productive, but also bolster your happiness in the long run.
Learn more about our MSc Management of Information Systems and Digital Innovation programme