The past two weeks have been the most stressful of the semester. We’re all writing last minute essays, looking at our exam schedules in horror, regretting having not done our readings on time and surviving on two hours of sleep and diets of coffee and pizza from the Hub. Self-care has flung itself out of the window and our social lives are laughing together on a train somewhere far, far, far away from us.
We’re a university campus comprised of almost-breakdowns. There’s no time to stop and register everything that’s going on, and we just want to power through and get a bunch of A’s, maybe some B’s, and we’ll take a C if we have to. We’re quite literally, living on a prayer. Everyone is on edge, everyone is trying not to snap and “I’m going to cry,” and “I haven’t slept in weeks,” are not uncommon utterances in the halls of any given Ryerson building.
We’re all a little bit of a mess, and I think it’s important that we take a step back, take a deep breath and regroup. Take a break for an hour, do one of these things, and then get back to work. You’ve got this, Ryerson.
- Get a cuppa with a friend: Head over to Balzac’s by the Ryerson Image Centre, the Starbucks on Gerrard or Page One on Mutual, and just have a chat and something warm to drink. Maybe skip out on the coffee, have an apple cider, a chai latte or a hot chocolate (with cinnamon, because that’s the right way to do it) and just talk about anything other than everything you have to do. Or maybe, talk about what you DO have to do and let your friends reassure you that you CAN do it. Maybe just soak in their company for a while before heading back to your desk.
- Eat: It’s a truth universally acknowledged that our diets right now are mostly just quick snacks that keep us from falling over. You can’t study for a long time without eating properly, though. Take a break and get yourself something good to eat. I’d suggest maybe even cook something for yourself, but if that seems too time consuming, maybe just try to eat something more filling than a pack of chips. Downtown has an amazing variety of healthy and affordable food options if you’re feeling adventurous, but if you’re not in the mood to try something new, just drop by the Hub and get yourself a soup or their build your own bowls.
- Take a nap: Squeeze these in between periods of studying, giving yourself the energy to keep going! 15 or 20 minutes are the optimal nap lengths; you can definitely afford to take 20 minutes to regenerate! A’s are amazing, but before you get that A, you want to be awake enough to see what you’re putting on the paper anyway.
- Baths: You’ve been hunched over your laptop for hours, poring over books and papers and not only are you getting cranky, but you’re starting to ache. Run yourself a warm bath, throw in a bath bomb, crumble in a bubble bar, light some candles and just soak in the water for a bit. Scents like lavender, vanilla, rose and jasmine are said to be calming, whereas smells like peppermint and cinnamon are more pick-me-up perky scents. I personally love citrusy and vanilla scents, and mix and match these to get just the right amount of calm and energizing.
- Exercise: Stretch your limbs and let your blood flow! A study suggests that exercise helps relieve stress, your brain starts producing feel good neurotransmitters (endorphins) while you exercise, which can be an excellent pick-me-up in between studying. Ryerson’s has group exercises and the gym is open from from 6:30 AM to 9:30 PM, so make good use of it! If nothing else, maybe go for a run, although, the weather is changing, so maybe plan ahead if you want to do this!
BREATHE, Y’ALL, IT’S WEEK TEN. WE CAN DO THIS.