Stress is no stranger to a law student, but it’s not our best friend either. That’s why the university break is so important (and so awesome). Now is the time to be recharging our study and work batteries ahead of another busy semester. If 2012 was a stressful year, here are some tips for making sure the new academic year is kinder to you…
Think of your energy levels like a bank account. If you keep taking energy out, without putting any back in, then you will be in deficit. This is when burn out can, and if nothing is done, will strike. Burn out is mental, emotional and physical exhaustion caused by excessive stress. Stress takes energy. I can't stress enough (pun intended) how important it is to make time for yourself, even if it's just to sit down with a cup of tea and a biscuit (Tim Tams recommended).
So what are some signs that your energy levels are low? Be on the lookout for:
Loss of enjoyment
Lack of motivation
Remember to take time out over the holidays and don’t feel like you need to be achieving all the time. Everyone will have different ways to switch off their law brain, but sleeping in, seeing friends, starting a new hobby, watching a movie, getting some exercise, listening to music, cooking and reading for enjoyment are all good options for de-stressing.
It's important to pay attention to what you do to recharge. Some activities may be more beneficial than others, because they will put more energy into your energy bank account. For instance, spending an hour on Facebook might not work as well as having a long relaxing bubble bath. This is also something to keep in mind during semester.
Burn out is no fun and should be avoided. It not only affects how we work, but also how we play. It can impact all aspects of our lives by making us feel lethargic, unmotivated and depressed. It can even take years to recover from it – I say this from experience. As a law student you need to make time for yourself, even if it's just for a few hours each week.
On that note, I’m off to make some tea and find a Tim Tam…
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