Sunday, 4 April 2021

4 Ways to Switch Off When Studying from Home

Katie talks you through four easy tips that you can implement into your week to help you switch off when you're studying from home. 

- Katie Marrin


Over the last year, the majority of students have been completing their degree from kitchens, bedrooms and home offices. Studying in this way has definitely been a challenge. Many students have been lacking in academic support, whilst others have suffered socially and emotionally. Studying in the same space that you eat, sleep and relax is taxing for our emotional wellbeing. So here are 4 easy tips that you can implement into your weekly routine to boost your mental health and prevent university from devouring your days. 


Tip #1: Match your wardrobe to your task 

Whilst it may be tempting to work in your pyjamas from your bed, push yourself to wear the clothes that you normally would if you had classes and teaching in person. This habit will help to separate your university study time from the “you-time” that you should be enjoying in the evening. Once your university day is finished, it’s time to put on those comfy clothes. Shake the studying day off by changing your clothes into something more comfortable. In the same way that we focus the mind with our daytime outfit, we can relax the mind and switch off from studying by changing our clothes. Throw on your pyjamas or that oversized hoodie. For the extra comfort levels, dig out your fleecy socks. If you don’t have any, head online and grab some. There’s nothing a pair of fleecy socks can’t fix. I’ve recently bought some teddy fabric socks and as soon as I slip them on, I instantly change into relaxation mode. Combine these socks with a bath to instantly switch off from the day. 


Tip #2: Go Outside 

When you’re studying, living, eating, and breathing in one space, it can be tempting to roll from your desk to the bed and watch the evening pass by whilst you binge Netflix. Don’t get me wrong - there’s nothing wrong with Netflix. I’m particularly enjoying The Crown as much current lockdown binge! However, it’s been proven that being outside and looking at the odd tree lowers your blood pressure and limits the production of cortisol and adrenaline. These are two of the hormones that induce feelings of stress and anxiety, allowing you to switch off for the evening. 


Tip #3 - Stay Active 

Whether you love it or hate it, exercise is amazing for your mental wellbeing. The problem is, people assume that to exercise you have to go on runs that last three hours, or spend a fortune on a gym membership. There’s so much pressure to exercise in the ‘right’ way, but the truth is that any exercise and physical activity is going to be beneficial for you, so find a form of exercise that you enjoy. That way you’re more likely to take part. It’s a great idea to split your day with a workout. Once you finish your studying for the day, throw on some workout clothes and get straight into some physical activity. This is especially beneficial if you’ve had a hard day. If a lecturer or a friend has said something that bothered you, or a piece of work is frustrating you, use all of those emotions during your exercise. By the time you’re finished, you’ll feel much calmer. If you’re new to the world of exercise, try EMK FIT’s YouTube channel. These workouts are fantastic because they’re FREE! The best benefit for students, let’s be honest. 


Tip #4 - Embrace the world of podcasts 

Podcasts are increasingly rising in popularity, and are easily accessible. Again, this is a free resource that will allow your mind to engage with lighter topics so that it switches off from the intense studying you’ve been doing all day. If you haven’t spoken to anyone all day, podcasts are a great way to stimulate your brain socially.

Some of my recommendations include: 

You’re Dead to Me: this podcast is run by the guy behind Horrible Histories and features three people. This one is great for learning new skills and having a good giggle. 


A Sprinkle of Disney: if you’re a Disney fan, this podcast will put a smile on your face. Take an hour out of your day to embrace some movie magic. 


We Are Netflix: take Netflix and Chill to a new level with the company’s official podcast. Gain an extra insight into your favourite series and the world behind the TV screen. 


After spending all day staring at screens, it’s likely that your brain and your eyes will need a screen break. Play a podcast whilst you’re on a walk, or cooking your dinner, and you’ll switch off from your studies in no time. 


So there you have it! 4 easy top tips that will help you leave the woes and worries of studying behind so that you can enjoy your evening and weekend.


Visit Student Space for further support. Explore online resources, access direct support via text, phone, web chat or email and find the support available at your place of study.



 

Hi! I'm Katie - I graduated from Lancaster Uni not long ago. During both my undergraduate degree (BA Theatre and English Lit) and my postgraduate course (MSc Marketing), I was always balancing uni work with part time jobs, extra responsibilities and extracurricular and recreational activities.




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