Undergraduate student ambassador Inés shares her best advice on how to maintain a healthy balance between studying and self-care.
University is often associated with the idea of ‘independency’, as students leave their homes to begin their own journeys. However, this opportunity of freedom blinds students into forgetting that a balance is needed, between coursework, self-care, and socialising. Finding an equilibrium is a process and is challenging, often taking time and reflection, but I assure you that with these tips, I hope to ease that process.
Organise your time
As a student, you’ll be responsible for juggling your academic and social life. Having so much to do might overwhelm you which in turn might take a toll on your health. Having a clear mind of how you want to structure your day would drastically reduce your stress. This does not mean following a schedule by the minute but simply setting out which tasks need to be done that day or week. There are many ways to organise yourself, a friend of mine sets aside time to work during the day, and then enjoys his friends’ company in the evening. Everyone is different, so you will have to find a schedule that suits you and your lifestyle.
Yes, your grades count towards your final degree qualification. But, knowing when to stop is an important attitude to have. Overworking has proven to be harmful both physically and mentally, consequences can last days and change your mood entirely. I would advise that you listen to your body, it’s the best indicator to know when you should stop, every night does not have to end at 4 am. Overworking is unsustainable, the pace is unmatchable and at some point, you will slow down. We’re all human and we need to set aside time for breaks.
Change your perspective
We all want to succeed and make the people we love proud. This does not mean exerting so much pressure on yourself that you negate your self-care. Excessive pressure can dampen your ability to work, leading to stress and even panic attacks. The advice I have here is to take one assignment at a time and to focus on the grander scheme of things. I’ve had instances of major stress which I now look back on and say “That was nothing! I handled this”. Of course, people are stressed differently, but if you change your perspective towards dealing with that stress, you could massively improve your wellbeing.
Allow yourself breaks
Finding a balance involves allowing yourself to take breaks. Breaks include spending time alone, or in the company of family and friends. You need to allow yourself to accept a break to re-gain energy and free your mind. This would help you make a stronger return to your studies.
A little fact about sleeping and playing sports is that while you participate in these activities, your brain continues to process information. When you come back to your work, you might have new ideas or perspectives to consider because you let your mind wander.
Seek help at Warwick
At Warwick, you are not alone. If you ever struggle to find your balance, you’re surrounded by people at university that are willing to help. You could turn to your friends, your family, or even the well-being services. The Warwick Wellbeing Services offer guidance and support if you feel the need to talk with someone.
In conclusion, there are a plethora of different ways that you can find your balance. The tips I’ve mentioned have got me through two years of studying at Warwick, through different anxieties and concerns. I have found my balance and I hope you do too!