It has hit that point in the semester. Thanksgiving Break is coming up, but that also means that professors have assigned a busload of work and introduced the ever-dreadful final assignments. While the week-long break is supposed to be a time for students to relax and take their mind off academic work, for many it’s just a week of catching up on late work, starting final assignments and even completing homework due the week after break. However, this leads many students to completely burn out before finals week happens, which poses an issue for those end-of-semester assignments. Here are some tips to make sure your brain gets the rest and the strength it needs to push you through these last few weeks of the long, fall semester.
Plan out a schedule – One of the biggest culprits of burnout is waiting till the last minute to do everything. Whenever there’s an essay, a presentation, a research paper, and more all due by midnight and it’s already 6 p.m., it’s hard to keep the motivation alive. By breaking assignments down into smaller parts and scheduling days to do each small part, it takes the heavy load away and makes it more manageable. But it’s not just about scheduling assignments, scheduling free time is just as important. There should be a time each day meant just for watching Netflix or taking a nap or even socializing with friends.
Eat three meals a day – The mind and body are truly connected so if the body feels bad, the brain is going to feel bad. It’s so important to make sure you’re getting the nutrition your body needs to keep the energy going. Make sure you eat something for breakfast, lunch and dinner, even if that means grabbing a granola bar before that early class. By keeping up with meal intake, not only is it going to create more energy but it’s going to keep the mind better focused and the immune system strong. The last thing you want is to be sick in bed trying to write five different assignments.
Get outside – It has also reached that time of year where the seasonal depression kicks in because the sun now sets before dinner time. Being stuffed up in a room, especially if there are no windows (I’m looking at you my inner circle pals in Thayer and Boulevard Apartments) is only going to cause a decline in mental wellness. Spend those few hours of sunlight outside in Village Park or even take a walk to Starbucks and treat yourself to a holiday drink. With Pennsylvania weather, there might even be a day that’s warm enough to go sit at the Point.
Ditch the phone – I’m not here to tell you that phones are rotting your brain and to throw all cellphones in the trash. However, putting phones on do not disturb and out of reach when trying to get work done, makes a huge difference. It’s also important to ditch the phone when taking rest time. Looking on social media is only going to increase stress levels so instead of scrolling through TikTok, pick up a book or put on a comfort movie.
Sleep – It’s hard to get adequate sleep as a college student but it’s as important for college students to eat as it is for a baby to get sleep. Not only length of sleep but consistency with sleep too. Just because you sleep for 10 hours one night doesn’t mean you can sleep four hours the next. By making sure that the body gets eight hours of sleep each night, it not only helps with energy but also with focus and overall attitude for the day.
It’s hard to take care of yourself this time of year but it’s essential to how the rest of the semester goes. A mental burnout causes a lot of issues on top of a busy schedule. This semester, take the initiative to keep yourself healthy and upbeat. It’ll make these last few weeks easier on the mind and body so the holidays are a treat and not a time to try to get out of a mental slump.