Making the Most of Reading Week: Self-Care Edition

Posted on Monday, February 6, 2023

Most students perceive reading week in one of two ways: an opportunity for a break, or an opportunity to catch up. While catching up on readings or studying for your midterms might seem like your most urgent priorities, it’s easy to forget as busy students that we deserve to take a break too. Reading week can and should be an opportunity for both productivity and self-care; here are some tips to help maximize your week on both fronts:


  1. Catch up on sleep, but don’t sleep your days away either

You have a break from waking up from your 8:30s and commuting to campus this week – take advantage of it! It’s amazing what a full night’s sleep can do for your mental state, energy levels, and productivity.

That said, maybe don’t ditch your alarm clock entirely, especially if you have schoolwork to catch up on. While it is tempting to sleep in until the afternoon simply because you can, remember that oversleeping can also leave you feeling tired and unproductive all day.

Set reasonable alarms in accordance with the time at which you go to bed – 8 hours is a good goal for most, but you know yourself best. Use the late mornings and early afternoons to accomplish your study goals, and reclaim the rest of your day for fun, socializing, or relaxation.


  1. Create realistic, measurable goals

Most students know what it’s like to have a seemingly endless to-do list. It can be extremely overwhelming to tackle it all at once, so it’s important to break up your goals into specific, measurable, attainable chunks. Notice the difference between:

  • “I will study for my 3 midterms and finish my paper this week”


  • “On Monday I will take notes from three lectures; on Tuesday I will create an outline for my paper and review three more lectures; on Wednesday I will create a first draft of my paper; etc..”

Remember to be realistic with yourself on what you can accomplish in one day. Crossing off everything on a day’s to-do list is possible, and it sure does feel great. For more on effective goal setting, check out our page on S.M.A.R.T. goals.


  1. Invest some time into self-care activities you don’t normally have time for

Have a friend you’ve been meaning to catch up with for months? Been wanting to try yoga, but you can’t find the time with your crazy schedule? Always in too much of a rush to meditate in the morning? 

If you’re a full-time student, reading week is an opportunity to reclaim over a dozen hours from your weekly schedule – only you get to decide what to do with them. Don’t let your drive for good grades completely take away from this chance to invest time into your own wellness.

If you’re up for a challenge, try carving out time for activities which speak to each of the Seven Pillars of Wellness this week!


  1. Go easy on yourself

So many students need this reminder: making time for self-care, or simply things that make you happy, is productive! We are not machines – don’t be too angry at yourself if you don’t get as much done as you might have hoped.

Prioritize effectively, and make sure that you and your well-being are at the top of that priority list. Trust us, you’ve earned it.



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