It's already half way through the term! Can you believe it? I know I am in desperate need of a break and can't wait for reading week. Every term that I have a reading week I find myself overloading my schedule with school work, working and not taking a break. This year I've committed to trying to balance completing school work and taking a break. Here are some of the things that I have on my list for reading week.
I know this does not sound like the most fun task ever, but it is very necessary, at least for me! I plan on spending an afternoon during reading week decluttering and getting rid of items that I no longer use or need. Last summer I embarked on a minimalism journey and really, the decluttering never stops. Take some time to go through your clothes, desk, closets and your living space. Once you free up some space, I'm sure you will feel more clear-minded and ready to take on the rest of the term.
The best part of this is that you can also earn money! Gather your items that you no longer use and see if you can sell them. I try to do this a couple of times a year. You can use Facebook groups, Kijiji, Ebay or similar websites to sell your items. Many people are interested in buying lower-cost used items to repurpose them. If you have clothes that still have tags on them, or furniture items that just keep collecting dust, this is one of your best options. In the end, you'll feel better about having a clean and less cluttered space.
Since the new year I have tried to have a regular skin care routine. However, I can't always take time to sit down and put on a face mask or try out different products. Try to make time for yourself this reading week by even setting aside one evening and dedicate that to a regiment that suits you. For me, I know I will want to use a face mask, a hair mask and paint my nails. A face mask that I recommend is Mask of Magnaminty by Lush Cosmetics. It has a cooling sensation and smells amazing. I usually use Angels on bare skin to cleanse, and then the mask. A beauty routine might look different for you, but the main point I want to get across is to take some time to take care of yourself in whatever form that looks like to you.
DO something you enjoy
Sometimes it's important to be selfish. Take some time for yourself and enjoy yourself by doing something that you love. This is going to vary depending on what your favourite activities are. For me, I know that I will be most likely writing a few blog posts over reading week because I am very happy when I'm able to complete one! I also want to spend time with my family, friends and partner. I plan on doing some visiting with family because I don't always have several days of when I am completely available to visit. During academic terms, I always feel guilty planning to hang out with friends but getting over-loaded with classes. So I am prioritizing them during this break. Read a book, hang out with friends, host a spa day for yourself, or just sit down and have a coffee this reading week!
Typically, I don't take a break from work on reading week because I am so concerned about earning money. Which, I understand is a luxury given that some people can't necessarily afford to miss work. However, if you are able to and deciding whether you should take a few days off of work, I think you should do it. It will cut down on the opportunity of burning out, and will leave you refreshed and ready to continue working after your break. Now's your chance, take it!
This is pretty ironic coming from me because everyone know that I am addicted to my phone and the internet. All my classes, work, and social life are through online means so it is important for me! However, last year I took one-month off social media. I deleted my apps, deactivated accounts, and blocked myself from websites. It sounds extreme to some people and not a big deal to others, but it was important for me to do. It was nice being able to wake up in the morning and not immediately turn on my phone and waste time scrolling through social media. I suggest to everyone to unplug sometimes. Whether that's creating a routine where you unplug after 9:00PM every day, or take a full month (or more!) off like I did. Try to find ways to be more present in the moment.
It is actually a huge problem for many students that many of us do not get enough sleep. Without a proper 6-8 hours of sleep per night, you are less likely to focus properly, remember things and complete tasks to their fullest potential. Catch up on your sleep this reading week by setting yourself a bedtime (and actually sticking to it!) or take naps! Use the opportunity of a break to indulge on things you might not have time to do all the time. Naps over everything!
Treat yo self
At the end of the day, regardless of the time of year it is super important to participate in self-care. But, there's nothing wrong with using reading week as an excuse to treat yourself. Spend a little extra time on you, enjoy yourself, maybe buy yourself your favourite meal or just catch up on some sleep. I hope you take these tips and have a relaxing but productive reading week!