Finding Balance & Motivation

Image of a desk with a lightbox on it 'You Got This' laptop is also on the desk.

Well, I think that we can all agree that the past year has truly taken its toll, many of us are fed up, worried and low.

Staying healthy in mind and body can be difficult at these challenging times. With online lectures, assignments, missing socialising with friends and general busyness, it’s hard to keep a balance of doing everything we need to do and get rest and recuperation time.

Much like an engine, our bodies need re-fuelling both with healthy nutrition and balanced daily life. As much as we’d like to keep on the move, if we burn the candle at both ends, eventually our bodies will let us know about it.

To avoid this, we can maintain a healthy routine:

  • When you wake up in the morning, enjoy a healthy, nutrition-packed breakfast to charge your engine for the day ahead.
  • Try as much as possible to get a good night’s sleep – apparently ‘Early to bed and early to rise, makes us healthy, wealthy and wise’ – who can argue with that?!
  • If you’re having a busy day, try to preserve a couple of hours for self-care, have fun, relax, speak to a friend and restore energy.
  • Time management with academic work is the ‘holy-grail’ of keeping well at University. We’ve all done it – around Week 2 we’ve got three or four assignment piling up, due in for Week 9. This is the time to seize your motivation and create a chart/schedule of achievable goals to work through so that by the time you need to submit, they’re all done.

So how do we get motivated at this weird time?

  • Set achievable goals. Try writing a list of everything you need to get done in priority order, then schedule mini-deadlines in your daily calendar…and stick to them. Each week you can tick items off your list and see the light at the end of the tunnel.
  • When you’ve achieved each goal, reward yourself with something you enjoy, so that your brain understands that it was worth putting in the effort and will be prepared for the next challenge.
  • Think of your future self and imagine the feelings of accomplishment and gratitude when everything’s done and handed in on time without panic.
  • There’s always the odd module that we’re less interested in. The key is to find an aspect of it that you can feel motivated about, understanding that this will contribute to your ultimate goal of passing your Degree and lead you to your future career.
  • Tell someone what you’re doing, if you let someone know, it makes you accountable and you’re more likely to do it. They can encourage you too.
  • Most of all, be kind to yourself. If you’re staring at a blank screen and you really aren’t getting anywhere, simply take a break, go for a walk, or do something else for a short time. You can get back to it later with a fresh mind. Remind yourself that you’re doing your best.
  • If you really can’t get started, try the Pomodoro technique, you don’t need a tomato timer, just set your phone timer for 25 minutes, if we break down an assignment/project into 25-minute chunks, they will feel more achievable and you will restore your energy and maintain concentration with frequent breaks:

Quick recap: Healthy nutrition + A balanced day of work, rest and play + getting motivated about your work and looking after your health = You at your best!

Reminder: Stay kind and compassionate towards yourself, we’re all human, it’s ok to make mistakes, or have an off day and remember to reach out for support.



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