It’s reaching the pointy end of semester. Its now an elaborate Cirque du Soleil routine to juggle work commitments, Uni assessment, a social life and having good health. Last week was probably my most stressful and time pressed week of the year. With two (50-60%) assignments due within two days of each other, three night time social commitments, a full week of uni and working a 30 hour week… needless to say I was surviving on very little sleep and a large amount of caffeine However next to horrible instant coffee, getting some sunlight, fresh air and exercise was overwhelmingly helpful to keeping my sanity, maintaining discipline and inspiring creativity during this stressful period.
During major study periods I used to put aside exercising and eating well because ‘I just didn’t have the time’. Why waste time preparing healthy food when I could be using that time to critically analyse research sources ? Why waste 30 minutes to go for a run when I could use that time to do up study flash cards ? Turns out this approach is not really a good time saver when you then become too tired and sick to focus on your assessment and end up wasting hours in front of the TV with a headache. Exercise is not only good for your physical health during intense study periods when you are sitting at your desk all day, it is also highly beneficial for your mental well-being. I use running as a time to meditate and reflect on my week. It is a great anxiety reliever and allows me to consider ideas from a different perspective, I often come up with my most creative thoughts trying to push my tired legs up a massive hill. Getting up early three mornings a week, rain or shine helps me reinforce discipline – since I’ve made an effort to continue exercising during the later weeks of uni I’ve noticed less of a desire to procrastinate.
You don’t need to hit the pavement for 8km runs to get these positive effects either. If your pushed for time or don’t like exercising alone there are plenty of ways to get your body moving in your daily routine – a 15 minute brisk walk, playing a casual game of touch footy with friends or dancing around your house to the Chicago soundtrack.
However you get your body moving, remember to take care of yourself physically and mentally during these last weeks of semester. We are so close I can almost taste the sweetness of post-exam QUT Lolly Shop rewards.
Good luck !