As exam season looms overhead and we're all looking a little worn around the eyes, I've been considering the idea of rest. When you've got a stack of index cards as high as your own expectations, the to-do list rolling endlessly on, and exam after exam screaming towards you from the end of the week... how do you find the strength to step back and take a break? I've heard it called "creating margin", the idea that you need to find some way to hollow out a little breathing room, even in the busiest of schedules, the idea that you can put down your study sheet for more than just a bathroom break and somehow it's okay.
- Looking in the mirror a little less.
- Thinking about how to love the people around me a little bit more.
- Staring into space and letting my thoughts sprawl out. Watching where they go.
- Baking cookies and then giving them away.
- Saying yes to movie nights and coffee dates.
- Saying no, even to my friends, when I know I need quiet to get things done.
- Closing the fridge when I know I'm stress-eating.
- Eating food I enjoy when I'm hungry.
- Being honest, but not negative, about how I feel.
- Taking fifteen minutes to do what I love - picking out chords on the piano, watching videos on YouTube, or scrolling through aesthetic boards on Pinterest.
- Buckling down and forcing my brain to retrace concepts, terms, and definitions, even when I'm tired.
- Knowing when to stop - turning out my light before midnight and not bringing my notes to the breakfast table first thing in the morning.
- Asking for help.
I hope you have a restful exam and Christmas season - what are your favourite ways to create that little bit of "margin" in your life?