I know some of you currently reading this still have a whole lot of exams to prepare for and a month of studying ahead of you, however I think that considering what you’ll be able to do afterwards to relax and get your life in order can have really positive effects on your mind. I submitted my final essays only a few days ago and I was a bundle of nerves for weeks beforehand! After such intense stress I felt the absolute need to take some time off anything uni related and focus on myself before properly starting again with the process of dissertation writing.
Here are a few things I did to relax and get my mind off university that I think you should do too when you’re done!
It might sound corny and cliché but spring cleaning is something I do every year that has always been so beneficial for my mental health! This year it felt like taking a layer of dust off of me, no less. I’ve been watching, like most people, a lot of Marie Kondo on Netflix and I’ve been very inspired to de-clutter my life and start (almost) from scratch. I was dressing with clothes I didn’t even like for most of the year but I was never actually taking the time to do something about it! Finally, the other day, I took all my clothes off my wardrobe and threw everything on my bed. An hour or two only were necessary for me to go through everything and I literally got rid of half my clothes! It felt so good. I’m going to give everything to my friends and charity shops and take this opportunity to buy some new, more sustainable, clothes. Something I’ve been meaning to do for a while.
Applying for jobs
I know it doesn’t sound like a relaxing thing to do at all but it really was de-stressing activity for me. I updated my CV and wrote a new cover letter before starting to look online for jobs I could be interested in. The prospect of leaving university and start in the “real” world for the first time is something that has been on my mind the whole year. I felt like I didn’t have any power on anything, all I could do was worry because I didn’t have time to take the matter into my own hands. Today, I still have a lot of uncertainty about what is going to happen to me in September, but I’m finally taking control. Also, by doing so now, I know I’m saving myself from a lot of worries while writing my dissertation.
Going back to the gym
As soon as school becomes intense, the first thing I throw away is physical activity. I feel like I can’t spare the time anymore and neglect doing any kind of exercise when I know it’s actually very beneficial for my mental health. I very well know not everyone is into going to the gym or even sports but having your physical health under control can take many forms. Why not go back to have homemade food everyday, for example?
Spending more time with my friends
Last but not least! Exam period can be very detrimental to your social life. You don’t really have time to go out with your friends, or when you do, your schedules and exam dates clash. It’s easy to feel isolated and stay inside all day long, reconnecting and spending quality time with people you love after such a stressful time is essential to relax properly, in my opinion. As soon as I’m done writing this article, I’m actually going to meet a friend at the pub that I haven’t seen in months because we were both too busy and stressed. It makes me so happy to finally have the opportunity to see him! Don’t hesitate to reach out to people you haven’t had the chance to see in a long time because your busy schedules were keeping you apart.
You see, this time off was not even about lying in bed all day watching Netflix (though I did some of that too and you should as well if you feel like that’s what you need!). The time I purposely took off was about doing all the things that I’ve been wanting to do for months. It was about refocusing on myself and my life outside of university. It was about making sure I have a clear head in order to go into the dissertation process as peacefully as possible!