Life at university is busy, between societies, meeting new people and of course studying! However, it’s important to take time out too. Taking a break or some time for yourself is not selfish – it is necessary for our bodies to rest. If you keep going constantly, you will burn out.
Sometimes, you will want to hide in your room, and watch a show whilst wrapped in your duvet – and that’s okay! In fact, it’s both normal and necessary. Other times, you might want to find somewhere peaceful to go. One of the things I love about Keele is how close it is to the forest. You can walk five minutes from Keele Hall and you’ll be surrounded by peaceful trees and beautiful scenery, perfect to take your mind away from the hustle and bustle of university life.
You may be thinking: “hang on a minute, you were talking about rest and now you’re suggesting we walk in the woods? They don’t go together!” Well, they can.
Did you know there are seven types of rest? One of them is physical rest – getting enough sleep, allowing the body to repair itself and recover from all the activities of university life. This will be helped by napping or wrapping yourself up in your duvet.
Another type is mental rest, which involves setting aside the worries and stresses that have been bothering you. Sensory rest involves unplugging from social media and technology, giving yourself time to stop. You will never be able to process anything you’ve read or done if you just keep going. Both these types of rest can be helped by a walk in the woods by Keele Hall.
We also have social rest: removing ourselves from social interaction for a while. This one can be helped with alone time, either under a duvet or walking in the woods. FOMO can make this difficult at university. This fear of missing out refers to the belief that others are enjoying themselves more or doing better than you are. This is not helped by social media. When others display the highlight reels of their lives, you can be left feeling envious and struggling with your self-esteem. In fresher’s week, you may find yourself wanting to socialise constantly. However, it’s important to take breaks from socialising before you reach complete burn out. Emotional rest links very strongly to this. It is important for us to find our limits and create boundaries for ourselves before you completely crash.
The sixth type of rest is creative rest – the need to renew our creative spirit. You may be wondering “how on earth do I do that?” Well, it could be finding something new or interesting to do, such as joining a creative society. Alternatively, it may be that you go and admire the beauty found in nature. As aforementioned, the woods around Keele are a perfect place for this. Or maybe you just want to go for a quiet stroll around campus and watch the squirrels busying themselves on the path leading up to Keele Hall. There are always plenty of them, and they’re not shy.
And finally, there is spiritual rest. To help with this, you may want to join a volunteering project, or spend time in prayer or meditation. At Keele, we are blessed with the beautiful Chapel, which is a brilliant place to spend some quiet time. And for guidance, the chaplains are on hand for a chat. I can personally say, having started university in the chaos of the pandemic last year, I appreciated both this space and the support I received from the chaplains.
So, what do I want you to take from this article? Two things. First, rest! Take breaks and give rest to both your body and all aspects of your mind. Secondly, take advantage of the amazing things Keele campus has to offer.
Scott, E., 2021, How to Deal with FOMO in Your Life. [Online]
Insight Timer, What Rest Do You Need? [Online]