Mental Health and Wellness

Tips to a Fulfilling Summer

Mindy reading a book while overlooking the quad.
Mindy reading a book while overlooking the quad.

With summer rapidly approaching everyone cannot wait for the school year to end and the relaxing to begin. However, having a fulfilling summer is key when looking back on it once the school year restarts. There is no greater sense of accomplishment when you are cooped up in your dorm room, then to know there isn’t anything else you wish you had done this past summer.

Here are some tips for how to have a fulfilling summer:

 

Read a good book: Being in college a lot of the books we read are in the form of a textbook or based on something we are not interested in at all. A book that you actually enjoy can help stimulate imagination and create focus and concentration. Often time in the summer people are either constantly doing activities or not doing anything at all. It is important to keep your brain working, so why not do it with a book you like. Books related to your passion or field of study can also help you recreate or improve yourself in various aspects. For example, you could be inspired to do one act of kindness a day or discover a new interest of yours within your field of study.

 

Mindy trying a new drawing style that her roommate showed her.
Mindy trying a new drawing style that her roommate showed her.

Channel a new artistic skill: With three “free” months in the summer there is a lot of time to try out new skills. Channel your inner creative ways and pick up a new artistic skill. You can use this skill when you are back at school to relieve stress and relax.

 

Listen to podcasts or documentaries: College may be out for a few months, however you should try and gain some knowledge while on this academic break. Believe it or not, most classes pull real world examples from documentaries or similar outlets. So, watching these ahead of time can give you prior knowledge. You can also watch them for fun, learning interesting facts in areas you have never heard about. Netflix has a plethora of documentaries spanning multiple disciplines.

 

TED Talk: influential and informative videos from expert speakers

Netflix: there are a lot of highly regarded documentaries on Netflix

 

Mindy and her boyfriend kayaking around Barlett Island in Bar Harbor, ME.
Mindy and her boyfriend kayaking around Barlett Island in Bar Harbor, ME.

Research scholarships you can apply for in the fall: While in school there is always constant assignments being given and events popping up. People often run out of time or do not have much time to research scholarships. Scholarships are essential for students who want to lessen their loan debt. Most of the time winter break is the time people set aside to search for such things. However, there are a number of scholarships due not only in the summer but also in the fall.

 

Spend time outdoors: For most of spring semester, especially this year, it has been cold and windy. Our blissful sunny days are followed by snow and cold temperatures. As we head into summer break it is important to soak up the sun and spend all the time we missed, from being cooped up in our dorms, outside. Learning a new outdoors hobby can help facilitate the desire to be outside. Hobbies like gardening, swimming, running, or even relaxing will fulfill your summer.

 

These 5 things were just a few tips of many to help you have a fulfilling summer! I hope that you get the most out of this time off and enjoy the warm weather.

Tips for Managing Your Time in College

ClockIt’s no secret that being in college is a huge time commitment. Students typically prioritize academics, but in addition to their course load, there’s extracurricular activities, jobs, a social life, and mental and physical health that all need to be considered as well. Being a sophomore this semester, I’m starting to realize more than ever that managing my time and stress levels is a daunting task. Despite the fact that balancing it all can be quite intimidating, I’ve found that it is definitely doable if you put some thought and effort into it. Planning is the key to all of it, but there are some specific goals I like to keep in mind when I’m allocating my time to certain tasks.

The first is to keep up with my studies. With so much going on, it’s hard to remember sometimes that your education really should come first. Although sometimes it’s necessary, it’s not ideal to always be cramming for that exam or quiz. I find that it just causes more stress and I don’t usually perform as well. Instead, I try to figure out which classes I need to devote more time to and those that I don’t in order to balance my studying better and not get behind. Through some trial and error, find study habits that work for you personally and Continue reading

Exam Week Survival Guide

Right around the time of the first wave of midterms, you start to see a change on campus. Once fresh faces start to look tired and stressed, caffeine consumption goes through the roof, and late night orders to insomnia are at an all-time high as students try, through any means necessary, to prepare for their exams. Stress is a natural part of college and will likely continue to be a part of our lives after we graduate. It can push us to be more focused, work harder, and accomplish incredible things. Too much stress, however, can negatively impact academic performance, mental health, sleep patterns, immune function, and many other aspects physical health. Worrying about an exam is one thing, but when your stress levels spike to a nine out of ten for your first midterm and then stay at a nine until winter break, it becomes very likely that you’ll start to see some of these negative side effects. Studying is only a part of college, and it’s important to remember to enjoy your time here at UConn. So, on that note, here are some on-campus resources for stress management:

Yoga, Lyn Tally
Flickr: Lyn Tally
  1. The Relaxation Station.  Health Education offers a relaxation area that includes full body massagers, massaging back rests, and more. They also offer resources on how not to sweat the small stuff, such as aroma therapy and relax packs. Stop by Wilson Hall to visit the relaxation station.
  2. Special events. Also provided by the Health Education Office in Wilson arespecial events like free massages, pet therapy days, and progressive muscle relaxation workshops. Check out their calendar for more info.
  3. Clubs. There are plenty of clubs on campus that focus on activities that relieve stress including the Yoga Club, Knitting club, and the Stamina, Energy and Exercise Club. You can find more information on UConntact.
  4. Recreation. Exercise is a fantastic way to relieve stress. Student Recreation Services offers Intramurals, hiking and camping trips through UConn Outdoors, and Bodywise classes that include Yoga, Spinning, Cardio-Kick, Zumba, Pilates, and Stretch and Sculpt. Go to the Recreation website for more info.

Continue reading