As schoolwork starts to pick up and midterm season comes around, it’s important to be able to balance our time between studying and breaks. I’ve personally found it really restricting being locked up in my room all day, and I’m sure a lot of people stuck inside are feeling the same. So, take this as a call to action of sorts, because I think we all need it: Go for a walk.
Okay, yeah, everyone’s heard it before. Physical activity is really important, and it releases endorphins and stuff… So what? I always used to think the same thing, but I cannot even express the difference it’s made for me to get up and go outside every day, even if it’s just 20 or 30 minutes. My brain has thanked me, and yours will, too! Here’s why…
First of all, the outdoors is refreshing! It gives us the change of pace and scenery that so many of us desperately need. The air is different, the sounds are different… You aren’t being bombarded with screens and textbooks or your parents who don’t realize you’re still in class. You’ll be able to visit a tree! Even if you don’t have quite enough time to take this level of a break, you can always take a few of your textbooks outside and do your readings in the sun. Although you’re still technically studying, I promise that the new environment will be much more stimulating than your bedroom.
Second, going for a walk lets you explore your neighbourhood! If you can set aside an hour of your day, one of the best things to do is grab a pair of headphones, your phone and your key and just wander around. Being holed inside most of the year, it is interesting to see what the rest of the world is now up to. I’ve also found the autonomy of walking to be really freeing. Once you’re out of the house, where you want to go is up to you! You’ve dedicated this time to you, and now all you need to do is pick a direction and walk. Want to go check out that tree? Go for it! This time is for you to explore and indulge in your curiosity. You’re in control. Spending a few hours alone while walking around can be really freeing and mind-clearing, putting you in a good head space to get back to work.
Third, and personally, my favourite, is when these little outings allow me to see my friends. I miss people. I don’t necessarily mean meet up and walk together (though if you’d like to do that, just be sure to wear masks and follow physical distancing guidelines! Better safe than sorry!), but when choosing places to walk around, it’s a nice start to walk down the streets your friends live. Yesterday, I walked past my friend’s house while she was studying, and she waved at me from the window; honestly, even that little moment did wonders for my mental state. It’s a nice reminder that the world still exists outside your home. If this doesn’t appeal to you or you don’t have friends that live nearby, it can also just be nice to talk to one on the phone during your walk. Not only is it a bit safer (not just because of the pandemic, but because having someone on the phone when you’re walking alone is a great practice), but you get to catch up with your friend! It’s a great way to safely get some social interaction between the study times, and that stimulation can be really valuable.
Whoever is reading this, know that it’s okay to take breaks, even if it’s something as small as a walk around your block or reading on your front porch. Taking the time to refresh yourself can work miracles. So, I hope after reading this, you reserve some time in today to just wander. Go take a walk. Who knows? Maybe it could be that little change in your schedule you’ve been needing to motivate you more. Thank you for reading!