Unwinding this summer: why students should relax

After the constant weight of exams and coursework hanging over your shoulder for the last few months it can feel strange to suddenly be free. It can often feel like you’re unsure of what to do with yourself since the pressure of completing work abruptly ends, however this article will share many tips for how to get back into a rhythm and find yourself again.

A great way to relax and reflect on the last few months is to go on a walk. Just set off walking with your favourite tunes blasting and reflect on the last academic year, highs, lows, along with accepting the reality that it’s come to a close. Although this seems simple, a fresh walk can do a lot for your mental health. Getting out in the fresh air allows you to contemplate the year, or forget it for a moment entirely. Some good, productive prompts to use could be:

  • How do I feel now this year is finished?
  • What could’ve gone better this year?
  • What went well this year?
  • What should I leave behind and what do I take with me into the next year?

Now that the stressful period is completed, it is a great time to go out with friends and spend time together before the next academic year. This could be a day trip, holiday, or just going on a walk together and chilling out. This is a great opportunity to have a good catch up as well as doing those plans you’ve been talking about for months. It is also a great time to go home and spend time with family too. Moving back home, if you’re able, to a fresh environment can be extremely relaxing and allow all the stress which accompanies university to seem extremely far away.

My next tip would be to start up a hobby, or get back into an old one. When you’re suddenly faced with lots of free time it can be a bit overwhelming and the go-to thing to do is to sit on your phone, but now is the perfect time to relax with some forgotten hobbies. Whether learning a new skill or working your way through your movie watch list this is the perfect time to do it. Take some time for yourself without the feelings of guilt that come with not doing anything “productive”, you’ve earnt it. A few hobbies which don’t require a lot of money to enjoy include:

  • Photography
  • Baking
  • Reading
  • Drawing

However you choose to unwind after the academic year, it’s important to prioritise de-stressing your mind and enjoying what you get up to in preparation for the next year!