Rest and recharge
27 May 2021
It's important to take time to truly rest in order to ensure you can start the new term with plenty of energy, motivation and enthusiasm, no matter what level of study you are at.
Rest is important to ensure that your body and mind are able to perform effectively. After another busy year at university, making time to rest is essential. This will help you be in the right frame of mind to continue to learn and excel in your exams next term, as well as reflect, relax and recharge after a year which might have been challenging. This can also help to prevent illness and the burnout that can happen when you don’t give yourself a break.
How do I rest?
Rest looks different for everyone. For some people, it will mean downing tools and putting energy into different things: whether that be doing a hobby, reading all those books you’ve got looking at you on the shelf, spending time with friends or family, doing exercise, completing Netflix – that is all valid. Whatever helps you to relax, make time for yourself and lower your stress levels – do it. Try not to feel guilty if you can’t do all the things; do things that bring you joy, at a pace that suits you.
Resting is about taking time out from doing things that feel 'productive'. Yes, it might feel like getting ahead on job applications - but really, you run the risk of burning out if you don't take a break.
Unsurprisingly, sleep is a really important part of resting, and creating positive and consistent sleep habits is beneficial, especially for students. Healthy habits like sleep, physical exercise and routine are important to have to shape your time as a student.
Reflect and look forward
As we still live through a pandemic, even with restrictions easing, take some time to reflect on everything you've achieved despite the huge changes this might have caused. Think of what you've achieved, how you've adapted and built resilience, and what you've got ahead of you. If you've been in England at some point within the last 16 months, we've lived through three lockdowns and many changes in restrictions. While you might not have the same type of 'achievements' as usual, you have completed another term of university in some of the most challenging circumstances. We might not have 'normal' summer holidays to look forward to, but we definitely have good times coming, even if those good times look more like sitting in a park with your friends than jetsetting off to a beach with guaranteed sunshine.
Some people might also find it positive to reflect on the past year and look for the good things that happened, despite what an upsetting and challenging time it has been. Maybe you reconnected with someone, ended a relationship or managed to maintain a relationship. Even thinking you just got through it is enough – but remember that you have achieved a lot, even when it might not feel like other years of achieving or doing ‘big’ things.
Learning how (and why!) to rest is a great skill to develop that will serve you in all parts and times in your life. And remember, if you are struggling, UCL is here to support you.