Most students are pretty familiar with that feeling of falling into a giant, black hole of study commitments with no hope of return. It doesn’t have to be this way! Making efforts to balance study and relaxation is not only important for your state of mind, but for the quality of your study as well. Still stressed? Might be time to slow down or have a chat to someone about it.
You might find this useful if:
- You feel overwhelmed by study
- You would like to find a better balance between your study and relaxation
- You have been procrastinating with your study
- You would like some tips for effective study
The importance of finding a balance
It’s important when you’re studying that you don’t overdo it. However, if you’re relaxing too much it probably means that you’re not getting enough study done. Finding a balance between study and relaxation will lessen the chance of you becoming completely stressed and overwhelmed by all of the stuff that you have to get done.
A good balance also maximises the effectiveness of your study. Relaxation has a positive effect on your ability to learn, recall information, think clearly and focus. Finding a good balance involves studying effectively so that you can get all of your work done and still have the time to fit in a good amount of relaxation every day.
How do I study effectively?
Effective study not only means studying for the right amount of time, but having techniques to ensure that the work you are doing is useful and productive. There are some things you can do when you sit down to study to make the most of the study session:
- Make a study schedule. Write down exactly how long you are going to study for and specific objectives that you want to achieve in that time. The schedule should be comprehensive enough so that you are sure you will get everything done in time. Make sure you factor in time for breaks, which leads onto the next point…
- Take regular breaks. Everyone works differently, however some people find it really helpful to take a short break every hour. Take note: a short break means five minutes or so, not enough time to watch an entire season of your favourite TV show. Try to figure out the ratio of break to study that works best for you.
- Remove distractions. It can help to set up a study environment that is separate to where you relax and do the things you enjoy. It’s probably wise to remove your mobile phone and laptop because, let’s face it, Facebook and Angry Birds can probably wait. If you need your laptop to study, it’s a good idea to disconnect it from the Internet first.
- Make yourself accountable to someone else. Sometimes it helps to set study goals with a friend. You can tell each other what you want to have achieved at the end of an hour, and when time’s up you can check in to see how they went.
Don’t freak out if you study differently to others. With time you’ll figure out the study method that works best for you and you’ll eventually just fall into the swing of things.
Now, put your feet up!
Once you’ve finished doing everything in your study schedule, it’s officially you-time. Put your feet up, watch some TV and forget about everything study-related. You should ideally have some relaxation time like this every, single day of the week. Feeling stuck for ways to relax? Check out some ways to relax.
Still feeling stressed?
A little bit of stress can be healthy and productive, but if you’re feeling completely overwhelmed it could be your body’s way of telling you to slow down and you might want to have a read about relaxation training. If nothing seems to be helping try having a chat about it to someone you trust, like a friend, family member, teacher or counsellor.