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How to Implement Slow Living into your Hectic University Lifestyle

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Wilfrid Laurier chapter.

University is a crazy time for everyone, and trying to balance school, work, extracurriculars, physical wellbeing and just being an adult can be a constant struggle. This can often lead to burnout and exhaustion as well as feeling like you’re not doing enough and being constantly hard on yourself for not performing as well as you think you should. I found myself in this place, which led to extreme unhappiness and the feeling of being lost in student life. However, implementing a few habits into your day can not only improve the quality of the crazy parts of your day, but also allow some slower movements to your day so you’re not constantly on the go.

Wake Up Early to be Unproductive

This is a little contradictory, but some people wake up early to hit the gym, study before class or go to work. Here I am arguing the opposite. Wake up early to essentially do nothing. Giving yourself time in the morning to slowly become yourself and gain energy is essential for remaining calm all day and feeling like you still have time for yourself. Wake up a little bit earlier than you have to so you can watch your favourite show, read a few pages of a book or enjoy a nice breakfast. Simply allowing yourself to be present in the morning rather than be on the go will give your body time to wake up and work better throughout the day.

Low Intensity Workouts

Some people think in order to have an effective workout you need to be drenched in sweat and have painful cramps within your body. This isn’t true; low-impact workouts can be just as effective if not better for some individuals. Simply going for a walk with music or a podcast, doing some at-home yoga or Pilates or even doing some light stretching allows your body to not be put under immense stress while working out and also gives your body the movement it craves. This is good for your hormones, as your cortisol levels don’t increase as much with the less intense movements.

Write Out Your Thoughts

When we’re stressed, we tend to overthink, and this can lead to a downward spiral of negative mindsets. Instead, mind dump onto a paper and get everything out. This allows you to see what the issues are, why you’re stressed and what you can do to fix the problem. Problems tend to seem less stressful once they’re existing somewhere other than your own mind. If you’re not into physical journaling, then typing out thoughts as they come can also be beneficial, as writing can seem like a daunting task and university students are used to the fast-paced typing. Slowing down and allowing your thoughts to have a space to exist is crucial to a clear mind.

Show Yourself Some Love

We often find ourselves feeling guilty when we lessen our productivity levels, take a break or fail to check everything off our to-do lists for the day. This guilt will do nothing but negative things to your mind and body, as your mindset affects every aspect of your life. If you wake up tired and sleep in, that’s okay because your body needs it. If you eat a chocolate bar after dinner and feel guilty, it’s okay because you treated yourself for a long day. If you couldn’t push yourself as hard as you wanted to in your workout, it’s okay because at least you did it. There is a fine line between discipline and allowing yourself room to just be. We don’t need to be as hard on ourselves as we are, because at the end of the day, you’re not going to get anywhere in life with hatred towards the one person who is with you constantly. Slow down and do things simply because you love doing them, as a way of showing self-love and self-respect.

We all need to reshape our thinking toward what a healthy and productive lifestyle in university should look like. We don’t have to be constantly working toward our goals because it’s okay to do things just for the fun of it or because our bodies and minds need it. Having hobbies, implementing wellness rituals and spending quality time with the people you love are all equally important as the schoolwork, work and chaotic lifestyle actions we all have in our lives. Taking a moment to think about how you can slow down your life will positively impact all of these in the long run.

Kaileigh Klein

Wilfrid Laurier '25

My name is Kaileigh & I am a communication studies student at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario. I am the Vice President of Writing for our Her Campus chapter & love everything there is about writing. My career goals range from journalism to marketing, with interests in all creative fields as I love reading, writing and content creating. I love reality TV & am a huge gym rat, as the gym is my favourite place to be. I am also quite obsessed with Taylor Swift & true crime podcasts.