Finding Rest

As final season commences and the lingering heat of summer has vanished, it is not uncommon to feel exhausted. Students have exerted themselves since the end of August with their studies, extracurricular activities, jobs, and other commitments. The weeks go by fast, by each day feels so long. It may start at six or seven a.m. (or earlier for student athletes,) as the alarm blares, singling for the day to begin. From there is breakfast, usually eaten in a hurry while finishing any last minute assignments that went uncompleted the night before. Then, its a dash to make it to class on time - whether it be to attend an hour long lecture or a three hour lab. Then, later in the afternoon, are other activities: MOVE programs, VITA meetings, intramural basketball games, piano lessons, mentoring, tutoring, or any other thing you may be apart of. There are meetings squeezed in, and ample amounts of homework to be done. Finally, late at night, you crash. Doing this day in and day out can be draining, not only physically, but also mentally. Students often feel pressure to do everything. They want to be perfect and build up their resume. They become so focused on the end goal of being well-rounded: they forget to care for themselves through the process of becoming who they want to be. By this point in the semester, everyone is worn out. Students aren’t doing their best because they are spread so thin. As such, it becomes all the more important to find rest. Rest can be acquired in a variety of ways, and can be rejuvenating. It is essential for our physical and mental wellbeing. With that being said, here are some ways to get some rest this semester!

Sleep may seem like the simplest means to “finding rest.” However, hollowing out time in your schedule for more sleep is easier said than done. Between staying up late studying for an exam or waking up early for 8:30 a.m. lectures, students are frequently not getting an adequate amount of sleep. There are a few ways to incorporate time for it in your schedule:

 

  • Plan out your morning the night before: I did this frequently last year and found that it made my mornings so much easier. Before going to bed at night, I would lay out my clothes, pack my bag, and make sure all my homework was completed. This way, I wasn’t scrambling in the morning and getting stressed out before my day even began. By taking these steps, you can sleep in a little later. Even adding twenty minutes to your sleep schedule can help when you feel so exhausted in the mornings!

    

  • Catch up on rest during the weekend: Weekends seem like the perfect time to blow off steam from the week. It is easy to stay up until two in the morning with your friends. Even when you sleep in late on Saturday and Sunday mornings, however, you aren’t getting enough rest. Although it may seem hard, try prioritizing sleep on at least one night a weekend. This may mean setting an alarm when you are with friends, say at 11 p.m., and going to bed when it rings. You may feel as if you are missing out. However, if you wear yourself out, then you’ll crash at some point. Talk about this idea with your friend group and see if others want to join you! We should all be encouraging each other in making our health a bigger priority.

 

Apart from changes in our sleeping habits, finding rest for your mind may also be healing. On campus, there are a variety of means at our disposal to seek out. By setting aside time to do some of these things, you may feel a greater sense of peace or restfulness.

 

  • Yoga: Yoga is renowned for its ability to heal your spirit and mind. While a form of exercise, it is not as strenuous on the body. As such, you may leave feeling more well-rested then when you arrived! There are plenty of opportunities attend a class, as they are  offered throughout the week in the gym and at the International Commons. Bring your mat and grab some friends and go! The hour long break from your work will definitely help you refocus and feel better!

 

  • Meditation: Our minds can easily become overwhelmed with the chaos of everyday life. Through participating in meditation, one can refocus and feel at greater peace. There is group meditation once a week on campus. Additionally, the meditation room can be found in Dion and is open to students at all times! If you don’t want to leave your room, then just sit and use a meditation app or podcast. Taking even 10 minutes to re-center can help when you are feeling really worn out.

 

  • Spirituality: For some students, religion may offer help when you feel overwhelmed or exhausted. VITA, the student-led campus ministry group, offers several programs weekly: Connections (a scripture study on Wednesday nights at 7:30 p.m. in the upper room of the chapel for the first three Wednesdays of the month) and Dessert and the Divine (last Wednesday of the month, same place and time). Additionally, there is daily mass and mass on Sunday, as well as morning prayer services. The meditation room also serves as an interfaith space in which students can go and pray peacefully.

 

Regardless in the manner in which one seeks out rest, it is necessary to find it. Our physical and mental health is just as important as our commitment to homework and extracurriculars. We all must start believing as such and acting in accordance!