You might find yourself in a situation where you want to have a good rest during the university break, but fear forgetting all the materials you have learned so far. Rest is an integral part of a healthy lifestyle, which is aimed at restoring the body’s strength. During term time, most of the student’s internal resource is spent on attending and preparing for lectures, as well as participating in projects and tests. Participation in extracurricular activities, such as sporting events or volunteering on campus, also requires extra energy. Therefore, the holidays seem to be the perfect opportunity to relieve the burden of responsibility from your educational sphere of life, and finally just…. relax.

It is important to remember that work and leisure are two sides of the same coin, so rest should equal restoration in seven key areas of our lives. There are seven types of rest in total. Physical rest is what allows the body to return to its natural state of equilibrium: healthy sleep, napping, yoga, and stretching are the foundational practices of this type of rest. However, constant thoughts about work and study can hinder relaxation and proper sleep, so there is a need for mental rest as well. You need to create a safe space to unload these thoughts through journaling or mindful walks in nature.

Sensory overload is all too common in today’s hyperconnected world of bright screens, background noise, and digital distractions. Sensory rest involves deliberately disconnecting from electronics at the end of the day and taking short breaks to rest the eyes to restore balance to our nervous system.

Creative relaxation includes various activities that stimulate the flow of innovative ideas: going to a museum, crafting, rearranging your room, writing music, and so on. Similarly, emotional rest is about connecting with loved ones or seeking professional support to maintain mental fulfilment.

Social relaxation encourages us to distinguish between draining and inspiring relationships and surrounding ourselves with positive influences and supportive communities.

Finally, spiritual rest provides a sense of peace and purpose through various forms: prayer, meditation, or communing with nature, it encompasses a deep sense of connection with oneself and the world around us.

It is important to find a balance between these different types of rest to achieve optimal well-being. Each type of relaxation complements and reinforces the others: by starting to improve one point the others will follow.

At the same time, it is common to feel anxious about returning to the academic routine. Thoughts like ‘I will forget important information’ or ‘I won’t keep up with the study pace’ may pop up, however, the right strategies on how to rest productively might reduce this anxiety and as well maintain skills throughout the break. Here are my most helpful tips.

First and foremost, it is crucial to stick to a regular daily routine. I find waking up early very fulfilling and sets a positive tone for the day. You can experiment with identifying your most productive times, and distinguishing whether you are a night owl or a morning person. It is important to incorporate similar activities like exercise or reading into your holiday routine because this can help transition back to studying more seamlessly.

Another key strategy is setting specific studying goals for the holidays. You should commit yourself to daily brain exercises in the form of reviewing notes, completing small tasks, and reading ahead for the next term. In my country summer reading lists are common practice, providing students with a selection of books to read outside of studying hours. In a similar way, I like to read the materials for the spring term during the winter break.

Lastly, making holiday wish lists can add a sense of fulfilment to the break. I write down all my wishes for my holidays, for example mine includes shopping, exploring favourite places in my hometown, and having a photoshoot. Creating a list can help in prioritising self-care and the creation of lasting memories during the holidays. If writing a wish list down on paper doesn’t really suit you, you might like creating an interactive board on Pinterest!

I hope that these tips will help you to recharge your batteries and maintain your academic skills. Remember; ‘you do not do a good job if your job is all you do’.