18 January - 22 January
Welcome to Week 2 of De-stress. Below you will find a variety of activities to try at home, which we hope will help you to relax and unwind.
Monday 18 January
Be Mindful #MindfulnessMonday
Mindfulness is the ability to be fully present in the moment. This may sound challenging but with practice it becomes easier and easier. Whenever you bring awareness/attention to what you’re experiencing via your senses, or to your state of mind via your thoughts and emotions, you’re practicing mindfulness. Mindfulness has been shown to combat feelings of stress and anxiety, perfect for how you may be feeling right. Try a few of our daily mindful activities here or take a look at our Mindfulness Practice guide.
Revision and study tips
We understand that if you have upcoming exams, it is going to be even more stressful with the current climate. We will be pulling together revision resources to help you each week. Please find the resources we've chosen for you this week below:
Stick on a music playlist
Music has been proven to reduce stress levels and can be an effective mood booster. Check out some of these playlists we've found for you to try:
50 positive songs to wake up to
Piano study songs
Positive Vibes on Spotify
Positive morning playlist
Tuesday 19 January
Draw your own mandala
Instead of printing off colouring pages or using an app you may want to have a go at creating your own mandala. Creativity is a great outlet and it can really help us to relax during stressful periods. You have the freedom to create whatever you like! There is a tutorial here to help you get started.
Practice pilates (and breathe...)
During this time you may find you're spending a lot of time being sat down, particuarly if you're studying. If you want to move your body but do not want anything too streneous, you may want to try pilates. If you are struggling to get to sleep or wake up feeling overwhelmed with your to do list, pilates may help to reduce your stress levels and boost your wellbeing. Pilates has been shown to:
1. Improve concentration and reduce distraction
2. Deep breathing slows your heart rate and relaxes your muscles
3. Focusing on movements with awareness and intention - mindfulness helps you to focus and be present
Here is a gentle morning practice to try.
Complete a reflective journal...
Try our template which you can use in the morning and evening. Try doing this daily to reflect on how you feel - you'll also realise how much you've achieved even if it's something small. Take one day at a time.
Wednesday 20 January
Create a 'Wish' jar
Use post-it notes, lolly pop sticks or paper to write down things you want to do, but can't due to the current climate. This will become a bucket list for when it becomes safe again to do the fun things we want to do. It will eventually be safe again and you'll appreciate being able to do these things when things go back to normal. This is fun, creative and cheap. If you want some inspiration for your wish jar have a look at this link.
Your free jar will be available from your accomodation reception by Tuesday, 19th January.
Learn a new skill
It's important to take breaks whilst studying. Why not use this down time to learn a new skill? This will give you a different focus and an opportunity to do something creative. Fender Play are offering three months of free guitar, bass and ukulele lessons. Music is an amazing way to unwind and de-stress! Click here to sign up.
Striking the balance
If you're struggling to stay motivated and find yourself spending a large majority of your day binge watching Netflix, you may want to take a look at this blog post. This guide will help you to strike a healthy balance between studying and down time. We know that with long days in the house it can be difficult to structure your day and stick to a routine. We hope that this helps you to establish a routine that works for you and provides you some tips for feeling good and productive.
Thursday 21 January
Listen to a podcast
You may find that at the moment your mind feels cluttered and overwhelmed. Podcasts have been shown to help you escape your 'inner chatter' and focus on something completely different to your revision or the worries that are consuming you. There are podcasts for pretty much everything, ranging from learning about a new topic to those helping you to get a good nights sleep.
Check out our podcasts section here to get you started.
You may also want to listen to our very own SU podcast, even featuring our CEO.
Get creative with your study notes
If you are a visual learner you may want to try getting creative with your revision and study notes. Drawing has been shown to not only inpsire a creative flow but also improves concentratrion and helps to produce innovative ideas. Have a look at our study skills to see how you can make art work from your notes.
Friday 22 January
Make a rainbow collage
You may have seen that a lot of people are creating rainbow drawings for their windows to support the NHS. If you're feeling inspired by this, you may want to create your own rainbow collage.
You will need: old magazines, piece of cardboard, scissors and glue
First, cut an arch shape out of a piece of cardboard. Next, you'll need to cut out bright colours from any magazines you've got lying around the house - you could also look through your recycling bin and see if you can find any colourful wrappers, pieces of paper or bits of packaging to use. When you've got plenty of colourful pieces of paper together, glue them onto your arch in colour order to make a rainbow collage! If you want to try something slightly different, have a look at this sunset collage made from magazines.
Remember to let go
In order to focus your mind on studying, you may want to focus your attention on letting go of past resentments. If you are holding onto grudges this will start to impact your mental and physical health, clogging your thinking and leaving no room for the things that matter. If you can work to create more space in your mind, you will be in a better headspace to study. There are different ways to help you let go of these past resentments which you can see here.
Your phone can be a huge distraction, particuarly when studying. It is very easy to keep picking up your phone to check Instagram, Whatsapp, Snapchat... the list goes on. There are apps out there that can help you to focus on your tasks without constant interruption. For example, Flora is free to download and allows you to set timers for chunks of time. The timer will only work if you don't use your phone for that period of time - if you manage to complete the time you will grow a tree which will be added to your garden. The idea is that overtime you can grow your garden! You can download Flora here, under our motivational apps section.
Thank you for joining us this De-stress. You've made it, so well done!