At last, the long awaited mid-sem break has knocked on our doors. Although it has named itself a “break”, it has come bearing gifts of assignments, which are due sometime soon after the elusive mid-sem break comes to an end.
The purpose of the mid-sem break however is to give you all a chance to relax from the hectic happenings of university life, especially if you’re in first year and are just getting the hang of it. The mid-sem break is a chance to catch up on those lectures you have missed for hanging with friends or those readings you have always said you would do “tomorrow”. But while all these are important to-dos, it is also important that you take some time out each day to care for yourself and relax.
Tips and Tricks to Relaxation & Their Benefits
- Take deep breaths for 5 minutes. Make sure you close your eyes so you can focus on your breathing. Remember, breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Benefits: Deep breathing slows down the heart rate, thereby lowering ones blood pressure, which means, less stress!
- Practice Mindfulness. Being mindful means being present. Most of the time we are there in body but our mind wanders around thinking about all the things we have to do when we leave the situation. Stop. Be present. Be there. You cannot do anything while you are in that situation about all the things you are thinking about. Focus on the now and enjoy it. Notice the seat you are sitting on and how it feels. Notice the breeze hitting your face and how that feels. How does your environment sound? Take everything in and be there in the moment. Benefits: It reduces stress, decreases anxiety, increases positive mood and reduces negative mood. It also helps you focus and boosts working memory (just in time for exams and assessments)
- It is no coincidence that right after a good hearty laugh we feel better or are happier and less tense. Laughing allows us to forget about everything for a while and just let go of our selves. This mid-sem break I want you to laugh. Laugh with your friends, family or even by yourself. Watch a comedy, read a funny book, whatever it takes to make you clap awkwardly like a seal! Benefits: Laughing releases endorphins in your brain which helps elevate mood. It also lowers cortisol, the hormone responsible for stress.
- Brew some green tea and light a lavender candle (this one is my favourite one of the list). Benefits: Green tea contains theanine (amino acid) which helps you react to stress more calmly and helps our brain relax. Candles provide aromatherapy which decreases stress levels and helps your brain relax. Whilst you can use whatever candle scent takes you fancy, lavender is known for decreasing cardiovascular conditions linked with mental stress.
University is important, and so are the exams and assessments. But your mental health takes priority as well. If you are constantly stressed and unable to relax it will impact your mood and ability to concentrate. Take some time out each day, even if it is for 15 minutes and just relax.
Arc Wellness can also help you put your health and happiness first.