With there being less than a month and a half left of the fall semester, students are growing weary and are ready for the celebration that will come with Thanksgiving and winter break. But before you can celebrate a time of family, hot cocoa, turkey and a brief time away from your alarm clock, you need to work hard. Here are six tips to get you past the mid-semester slump so you can start your breaks with peace of mind.
1. Let it go
If you are someone struggling with depression, even if you think your worries are “basic” or not something you would write a memoir about, speak to someone. Trying to sustain or obtain good grades can be hard tasks that place a lot of pressure on you mentally as well as physically. Sometimes a case of the blues can morph into something darker and heavier, until it becomes unbearable. There are certified therapists available on campus if you feel you can’t talk to friends, and weekly group therapy events at the Snow Health Center. You can contact EMU’s Counseling and Psychological Services at (734) 487-1118, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. You don’t have to be an island
If you are feeling isolated and lonely, get out of your hall or apartment. Take a chance and drop by an event at the Student Center. Complete strangers can become inspiring acquaintances if you just ask them questions. If you’re shy and worried about being awkward, start out small. People love to talk about themselves, so ask some genuine questions. You never know how a conversation can change your perception.
3. Give yourself a break
Take breaks in between studying, homework and writing papers. This sounds simple, but no one can work on a task for hours in a row and be able to stay focused. Sure, “I practiced my flute solo for four hours. No bathroom breaks,” sounds impressive, but are you really accomplishing anything when you crawl out of your practice room, exhausted to the point where you can’t even function? This may mean setting aside 30 minutes for Netflix or having a nice long stretch. Scream into your pillow. Find some friends and argue about current events. Whatever you do, just make it a point of relaxation.
4. Get outside
Take the time to breathe in the fresh air. Walking to and from class doesn't count. Even though the weather is getting colder, take at least five minutes to just sit outside and be one with nature. If you're chilly, wear plenty of layers and don't be afraid to look like a puffy marshmallow. Just watch out for goose poop. Meditation can do wonders. There is a Drop-In Meditation Group at Snow Health Center that meets Thursdays from 12:10 to 12:50.
5. Cut the cord
Don't completely drop your family or your significant other, but if you live on campus and your family happens to live far away, it’s easy to cry your sorrows out to mom. But too much dependence can hurt you more than help. You've already undergone a major ordeal by flying away from the nest. Don't keep going back to it by calling home every time something stresses you out. Remember, Thanksgiving break is only a few weeks away, but don't let that take away from the present. Focus on the things you need to do now, and before you know it, it will be time to pack up and leave for that long weekend of stuffing a turkey and your face.
6. Don't eat your feelings
Armed with one thousand flex dollars and meal plans galore, you might be tempted to really give in to the power you hold within that shiny green Eagle card, but be wary of why you eat and what you're eating. Think of food as fuel for your body; it’s like gasoline for a car. You should only fill up when you’re empty physically—not emotionally. In the morning it might be hard for some people to stomach breakfast, but it really is the most important meal of the day. Eating small, healthy snacks throughout the day will keep your stomach happy, so it’s not overwhelmed when you stuff it full of heavy foods at eight o’clock at night.