You know that feeling. The one where you could sleep for 12 hours and still feel tired. Where you sit down to study and have to read paragraphs two or three times because your brain refuses to process what you are reading.You’ve reached the point where your efforts to get everything done are delivering diminishing returns. It’s time to take a step back and hit the pause button. All of the hard work does no good if you burn out in the process. Take some time for yourself, the to do list will be there when you get back. Here are a few ideas to get you started on relaxing.
#1 Do Something Active
Sometimes the best way to shake off that sleepy feeling is to get moving. Whether that means going for a run or walk or cranking up the music and having a dance party, physical activity can wake up your muscles and get the endorphins pumping. It may take some effort to get going, but after a few minutes you’ll likely find that you feel more energized and generally less stressed.
#2 Take A Weekend to Veg Out
When your schedule is packed it can be hard to find time to take a complete break, but it
may be exactly what the doctor ordered. Setting aside even one day where you don’t think about work or school and dedicate time to doing something relaxing will pay major dividends when you go back to your to do list. Binge on movies or Netflix, sleep, craft, anything that you find relaxing and does not draw your attention back to work. While the end result may be a more relaxed feeling, finishing homework does not count as vegging out, so don’t do it! Maybe you can’t take an entire weekend off, either logistically or because it will drive you nuts, but at least take one day to recharge.
#3 Take A Vacation (even a staycation)
If you are like me, even weekends where you have time to relax often become packed with things to do. Whether that is chores, social events, or getting ahead on homework, it can be hard to focus on relaxing when those things are staring at you while you sit on the couch. Getting away from your every day may be just what you need to reboot. Taking a vacation can remove the every day noise and stress and allow you to finally relax. Feel like you don’t have time for a vacation? Your destination does not need to be a tropical paradise (though that would be amazing) or even another city. Take a weekend to explore your hometown in a way that you normally don’t. Check out the bed and breakfast or treat yourself to a nice hotel and dinner at a restaurant you’ve been wanting to try. Trying something new can be rejuvenating for your mind, body, and spirit, giving you new vigor to take on school.
#4 Unplug for a Weekend
Does the idea of being disconnected for a weekend terrify you? If it does, good, do it anyway. It can be impossible to relax and reboot when work and school are only a tap away. Remove those distractions by disconnecting from email, social media, and even text if possible for a whole weekend. If you need to check in with family, significant others, etc, limit your device use to only a few minutes and only for that purpose. Better yet, ditch the device and go see those people in person. It may be hard, but the digital world will be there when you reconnect on Monday. In the meantime, you can focus on nothing but you.
#5 Treat Yourself
Constantly being busy can leave you feeling beat down and can cause taking care of yourself to fall off the priority list. Dedicate some time to giving yourself a little TLC. Get a massage, a mani/pedi, go shopping, or treat yourself to a nice dinner or special bottle of wine. These little things can do wonders for making you feel human again.
Grad school can be tough, especially when you are balancing it with other life demands. As busy as you get though, taking time to relax and recharge is critically important to your long term success. While taking a break may delay the completion of tasks, coming back to them rejuvenated will help you be more productive and ultimately more effective in your endeavors.
How do you recharge? Let me know!