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Some tips to break away from the winter blues

We’ve reached the final stretch of the winter semester, and as exams are fast approaching, it’s easy to feel burnt out, exhausted, and deflated. 

So how can we recharge our batteries to feel prepared and refreshed? A deep spring clean.

Here are a few ways to get a jump start on your spring cleaning, which will improve your mental health and boost your productivity.

Stress can take up a lot of mental space, especially during the end of the semester. Many of us have grown accustomed to it, rather than trying to find new ways to de-stress. 

A great way to develop some healthy coping skills to improve mental health is through finding activities which may alleviate stress. During these hard times, it’s important to practice self-care.

Here are some ways to recharge your mental battery:

Reclaim the space around you

Since most of us are taking classes virtually, it is important to have a space where we can work on those last-minute assignments. A great way to reset yourself and prepare for exams is to declutter your desktop, delete all those tabs you have open, organize your class files, and even clean your desk space. And don’t forget about the Marie Kondo method: if it doesn’t spark joy, you don’t need it.

Create a morning and night playlist

If you’re having trouble waking up in the morning or sleeping at night, take some time to make a special playlist completely by you, for you. Fill it with all the songs you love and have a connection to. Name your playlist for vibes you enjoy, like “waking up on the beach” or “sleeping in a rainforest,” which will help you clear your day-to-day worries and draw attention towards any intentions you set. 

Try out a new routine

As much as we might hate them, routines are a huge part of maintaining and regulating our productivity. It’s important to try out new routines in order to discover what works for you. A routine can be as simple as waking up an hour before your class, making tea or coffee, or doing a workout once a day. The basics to a great routine are simply staying consistent.

Cook a new meal or try a new ingredient

When we’re in the middle of assignments, due dates and spending hours watching pre-recorded lectures, cooking good food may not be at the top of your priorities. That’s okay, and completely understandable — we’ve all been there. 

Try planning ahead of time, and give yourself a break to spend an hour making a favourite dish, or even try out new ingredients that you might have always wanted to try. You will feel accomplished and have a great meal to fuel your body.

Meditate

Meditation comes with the preconceived notion that you must be cross legged on the floor, in a quiet room, with absolutely nothing going on in your mind. Although some people meditate best that way, that’s not the case for a lot of people. 

There are many ways to mediate, such as focusing on a physical object in front of you, closing your eyes and laying down, or even visualizing a place from memory. Take some time (it can be short or long) to breathe and go on a mental break.