In the midst of midterms, taking a refreshing break can often be the last thing on students’ minds. We may take procrastination breaks all the time — YouTube videos, Buzzfeed, scrolling through social media — and these are definitely valid in their own way. However, I find that more than a half hour of such activities often leaves me feeling guilty or more stressed. Instead, allotting the same amount of time for a calming, self-care activity tends to make me feel much more at ease. Here are several of my favourite ways to temporarily detach from work.
- Taking a bath. One of my favourite feelings in the world is sinking into a tub of hot water. Taking a bath is a wonderful, low-commitment de-stressor because I can bring a book along and do my readings in a more relaxed atmosphere. Usually, I like to choose a fun, enjoyable novel, and since I am an English major, this works out. Sometimes, a change of environment is all it takes to refocus. In this way, I get to relax without feeling too guilty about abandoning work.
Like most U of T students, I’m proud to be one. People like to call us pretentious and I like to argue there’s a big difference between being pretentious and being justifiably proud. We boast top 20 spots on lists of the world’s best universities and I’m “sorry I’m not sorry” that gives me the warm fuzzies.
While we excel as an institution overall, according to UniversityHub.ca (contributor to the Huffington Post), our sports and recreation programs are less well known.
Clearly something’s wrong here. We have a wealth of sport and recreational facilities, services, activities — there’s a lot going on here! We have FOUR athletic centres (if you count Varsity Centre), FOURTY-FOUR men’s and women’s varsity teams, the ONLY Olympic-sized pool in the city, a wide variety of registered and free classes, drop-in recreation, a FANTASTIC, SUPER-AFFORDABLE sports clinic open to students, more playing fields than I’m aware of and SO, SO MUCH MORE.
Sometimes, it can feel as if being a student is a barrier to living a healthy lifestyle. It’s easy to get caught up in a mindset that eating instant ramen daily, experiencing irregular sleep patterns, and becoming caffeine-dependent are inevitable consequences of being a proper university student (sometimes I think these things myself). But, really, with all the resources we have at the St. George campus to better our health, is it possible that this mentality is simply an illusion? I have a sneaking suspicion that the student gig does not necessarily need to include attending random clubs’ AGMs for the free pizza.
In preparation for this week’s Design For Change conference, I decided to brainstorm a list of ways that UofT is a Healthy Campus in line with some of the themes of the roundtable discussions at the event. On Thursday, student and staff will get together at Hart House to discuss designing a shared vision for a healthier University at the first annual Design for Change conference, and we (students) are all invited! That sounds pretty super to me.