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Five ways to help you disconnect and de-stress during deadline season

Although exams may seem to be a distant painful memory, we are approaching the time of year where deadlines just seem to pile up, and midterms are never ending. It can get pretty stressful, so it is essential to find ways to relax and enjoy our time before we completely frazzle our brains. These tips will hopefully help you to find a way to chill out despite the crazy workloads that we all have.  


1. The Calm app

This app is amazing for de-stressing, and free which is always a bonus. I personally use Calm for the background noise that it provides (which is perfect for the next suggestion). It can create the sound of a waterfall, crackling fire, rain and much more, which provides a relaxing environment to work or chill out in. For those of you who are into meditation this app also provides meditation techniques to help you sleep.


2. A good book

I know that it is hard to find time for recreational reading during your degree, but this is a real help. Before you go to sleep, your mind can really screw you over by dredging up any and every reason that you should be stressed, so some light reading can act as a distraction and help you get to sleep. Penguin sell loads of £1 short stories and even magazines are filled with loads of fun articles. This is a great way to stop you from overloading your brain with Uni work.


3. A tea break

When working, having a tea break is the highlight of my day (it’s sad I know), and there are some amazing teas to help you relax. A personal favorite of mine is spicy chai with a splash of milk and honey, and Pukka also sell a great range of teas. It is the little things that count when you’ve got a massive workload, so having a nice snack or tea to look forward to makes all the difference.


4. Make a list

It can be really helpful (and sometimes daunting) to write out everything that you have to do, so you can physically see it. However, if you split your workload into individual tasks then it is easier to compartmentalize and decide where to start. If you have a list of tasks to work through then you are less likely to procrastinate as you have a plan to follow. Plus it is very satisfying when you’ve completed a task and get to cross it off.  


5. Go out with your friends

Yes, I know. This does not seem productive. However, having a break is the best way to reduce tension and stress. Whether this is going to the gym, going for a drink or treating yourself to a nice meal out, is it essential to take time out to connect with those around you and stop thinking about essays and exams. It is too easy to get caught up in Uni work and hole up in the library for weeks on end, so please please remember that occasional breaks actually can do the world of good.

I am a third year English Lit student at The University of Exeter.
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