Winter study break: How to take care of yourself

Posted on Friday, November 26, 2021

point of view of a person laying in a hammock with their pet dog near by


Finals are approaching, and we’re all experiencing high levels of anxiety and stress. Fear, anger, helplessness, confusion — all these emotions and mental states are normal to feel during a high-stress period. The good thing is that we can reduce stress by taking care of our basic needs and making self-care a priority.

Here are a few tips to practise self-care during your study breaks and during the winter holiday break.

Tip 1: Notice and limit worry triggers

When you start feeling signs of anxiety, take a break immediately. There’s no point continuing to study, since your mind won’t be as focused and you won’t be as productive. Take yourself elsewhere — physically or mentally!

Some signs of anxiety include feeling restless or tense, breathing rapidly, sweating, feeling week or tired, or trouble concentrating or thinking about anything other than the present.

Tip 2: Have a ‘meet my needs’ routine break

Consider your current needs: eat, sleep, physical activity, relationships. Sticking to a routine is one of the best ways to meet them. Try to make a regular schedule for eating, sleeping and working out.  Maintaining physical activity, establishing a healthy diet, socializing and developing a regular sleep cycle can help you de-stress, relax and focus.

An example of a routine could be eating every three to four hours, going to bed every night at 10:30 p.m. and waking up at 7 a.m. and booking some time every few days to study with a friend or go out for an activity.

3. Show self-care

Even when we’re busy studying, it’s important to find balance and take care of ourselves. Fortunately, self-care is pretty varied — there are many ways you can take of yourself!

  • Physical self-care: walking (optionally, with your dog or a friend), getting enough sleep, doing yoga or exercise
  • Psychological care: gratitude journaling or reading inspiring quotes
  • Emotional self-care: seeing friends, reading, journaling, or baking
  • Spiritual self-care: spending time in nature, meditating or praying

Tip 4:  Use social media mindfully

We all love to scroll our feed on Instagram or Tik Tok, to connect with the world virtually. However, information overload can be very stressful. Comparing yourself to others, spending too much time with a bad posture or staring at blue light-based screens can all affect your self-image and the way you feel physically or mentally.

Be mindful of how much time you spend on social media and be proactive about what you want your Instagram or Tik Tok feed to bring to your life. Limit your scrolling time to an hour or so per day and focus on spending time with your friends and family throughout the holidays.

Tip 5: Let go of perfectionism

One important component of self-care is letting go of perfectionism. Practising self-compassion and mindfulness can be a good way to get past it. Our flaws make us human.

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