I’ve written blog posts in the past about me-time and why I think it is so important and necessary for mental health; however, I’ve decided to rekindle this topic in the spirit of the approaching school year.
When it comes to university, students are faced with endless hours of lectures, tutorials, labs, part-time employment, and mountains of readings and assignments. It’s exhausting to say the least! As a result, it’s important to take some time out of your day to relax and unwind. This could be something as simple as listening to music during your morning commute to disconnect from the world around you or spending an hour watching an episode of your favorite TV show. Whatever it is, taking time out of your day to relax is essential to avoiding burnout.
As an introverted individual, I find alone time to be the best way for me to replenish my mental energy (aside from sleep). This may not be the case for you if you are an extroverted individual so keep this in mind when deciding how you should go about treating yourself to me-time.
One of the most common misconceptions that I think people have about me-time is the idea that you have to be completely alone for it to qualify as “me time”. But I don’t think this needs to be the case. On the contrary, I would define me-time as spending time doing things that replenish you and relieve stress. This could mean reading a chapter of a book before bed each night or it could mean going for a coffee with a friend. How you choose to spend your me-time is entirely up to you! What matters is that you’re actually making time for me-time.
As someone who has completed an undergraduate degree, I think I have enough experience in the area of being a student to assert that me-time is absolutely essential to avoiding burnout. In the first few weeks of the semester you are dealing with the stress of transition and change but you may not have much of an actual workload when it comes to assignments which can cause you to let your guard down. Unfortunately, if you’re not making a conscious effort to relax and unwind when the semester is not crazy busy then it will be more difficult to make time for me-time when the assignments start to pile up. Therefore, it is important that you set a routine for me-time at the beginning of the semester and stick with it. This will make me-time become second nature and you will be more likely to stick to your routine breaks when the semester becomes more stressful. In turn, you give yourself more opportunities to relieve stress throughout the semester which can help you avoid burnout and perform better in your classes as a result.
I know that this is obviously easier said than done, but if you plan ahead and figure out what works for you and what doesn’t when it comes to stress relief you will be better able to stay on track and stick to your me-time routine. Remember, nothing is more important than your mental and physical well-being. Make sure that you’re giving yourself opportunities to recuperate and relieve the stress that builds up from school. Your mind and body will be better off in the long run!
Let me know how you spend your me-time. What tips do you have for avoiding university burnout? Let me know in the comments below!