Katherine Freeman is a Msc Clinical Psychology student who below shares her advice on staying motivated over the festive period.
The Battle of Christmas
After a whirlwind first semester, it is FINALLY time for a break. Christmas is a really fun chance to catch up with home friends and family (mainly pets). However, this time can also be full of the very real and constant battle between work and fun. It’s important to strike the balance just right to avoid these two scenarios:
1. You get back to Uni feeling like you didn’t have a break at all.
2. You had too much fun and did too little work leading to the impending doom of guilt and regret.
Here is what I’ll be doing over the Christmas break to try and strike the balance….
Plan – I’m going to plan what work I need to do and what to take home. Make sure you take your folder of work and those textbooks all the lectures are based on!
Routine – during the first few days being back home you just want to sleep-in, make use of a full fridge, and enjoy the warmth without thinking about the gas bill, and so we should. But stay focused, stick to a routine of what you want to achieve each day and make it realistic.
Reward – we all know we work better with an incentive. I’m going to set goals for myself, e.g. if I make notes on this chapter – I’m going to eat 2 mince pies, a handful of Malteasers and a box of Celebrations. Although, more realistically this can be in terms of; I’m going out later, so I’m going to spend the morning working on my deadlines.
Friends – see everyone you have been missing the last few months but also keep in touch with Uni friends, maybe because you like them? But if not.…they may be useful for help with assignments or revision!
Relax / Recharge – do the things you know are going to help you relax, everyone is different, if you like listening to music, playing games or going to the gym then make room for these things. Appreciate the time away from lectures doing the things you enjoy.
Most importantly, think about your own well-being, almost 17,000 students are going through the same feelings/thoughts we will be having over Christmas. There are going to be days that we don’t focus on Uni and eat or drink more than we have learnt, but this is OK, we shouldn’t feel bad for the days we have taken some time out.
So snooze the alarm, grab an extra roast potato, eat the last chocolate (unless it’s a strawberry one) and have a great break!