Five Tips for a Less Stressful Day
The life of a law student is filled with deadlines, classes, late nights and too much coffee. It can also be full of many emotional ups and downs, so it's vital that you look after your mental health to avoid losing sight of your goals and falling into the pit of 'I just don't care any more'.
Here are five things you can add to your everyday life that won't take much time out of your busy schedule…
1. Take Regular Time Outs
Your mind and body both need breaks from concentrating on study. This is partly why procrastination kicks in: your mind knows that it has a lot of hard work ahead of it and it doesn't like it. Procrastination allows your mind to have a bit of freedom and time out.
Time out can be as short as flicking your eyes away from the computer screen to look out the window during a study session, or standing up to have a stretch. If you need a longer break, think about going for a walk or popping down to the gym for a while.
2. Just Eat
This one may sound silly, but when you eat anything, try not to eat it while you're doing other things (like preparing for that tutorial tomorrow). It's an exercise in mindfulness. Enjoy the experience of eating your two-minute noodles instead of looking down at the empty bowl and not remembering eating them at all.
The same goes for things like reading a case while watching TV. By not distracting yourself you can be in the moment and chill out for a bit, which allows your brain a chance to process what you've been learning.
3. When you socialise, don't just talk about law
I am assuming that you do socialise. If you don’t, then go see your friends!
Okay, so this can be a tricky one. When we love something, we like to talk about it. Especially law. But there’s a limit to how much you can talk about law before people think you're boring. Don't become one of those boring people.
Talking about other topics is fun and may take your mind off your next assignment for a while. It’s true.
Surround yourself with nice things. Put up a picture or two at your desk where you study, or a nice wallpaper on your computer. It can seem a bit clichéd to have a picture of a beach, your pet or a waterfall, but go for whatever makes you smile. This also ties in nicely with taking regular time outs: look at a picture of your next holiday destination for a moment and feel motivated to get those assignments done!
Pay some attention to how you're breathing right now. Is it deep or shallow breathing?
Because breathing can effect how we think and feel, breathing exercises can be very useful. Here are some exercises you can try: breathe with your belly rising and falling or breathe out for twice as long as you breathe in. If these are a piece of cake, try some meditation.
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