Physical and Mental WELL-BEING
The current global reality can greatly impact our overall physical and mental wellbeing, which can affect our academic success and motivation. We invite you to strengthen some already present skills and develop new ones that will help you to successfully navigate the upcoming semester.
Your learning and study environment is essential to your academic success. Not everyone thrives and is able to focus in the same type of environment, so you need to figure out how to make your physical space at home work for you. Part of this process is becoming aware of your own body and brain, and the situations in which you are able to focus better.
Some general things to consider when you are setting up your study space:
- Choose a place with a strong, consistent and secure internet connection.
- Try to make this place as comfortable and appealing as possible to improve motivation and concentration, and help lift your mood:
- Keep it clean and organized,
- Ensure good lighting,
- Personalize it with plants or nature related themes.
- Prepare for your school day as you if you were going on campus.
- Make your bed and get dressed (yes, out of your PJs).
- Try as much as possible to use a desk or a table, not your bed.
- Consult an ergonomics guide to set up your study space. Healthy posture while studying is important for avoiding muscle pain, headaches and lack of concentration.
- Try out different types of environments to find one that works for you; do you prefer a quiet environment? stimulated environment? or, depending on the task, a combination of both?
Some students thrive in a very quiet environment that allows complete focus. A quiet environment may mean turning off your social media, using ear plugs or noise-canceling head phones to minimize external noises. If this environment allows you to focus on what you are reading or studying, make a note of that. Perhaps, you will find that this environment works well when reading for English and humanities but not for your math and physics course work and problem solving. Make note of the differences.
To create a quiet learning environment:
- Use a quiet and undisturbed location at home.
- Remove digital distractions (phone, gaming).
- Share your schedule with family members about the times you will be online for class and ask for their support in keeping the environment quiet and without interruptions.
- Make a sign to indicate when you are in a live class.
Some people focus better with background noise. These students find that the hum in the background allows them to focus on what they are working on.
To create a stimulated learning environment:
- Develop a routine that helps you focus.
- Identify the background noise that helps you concentrate, such as music, shows that you have seen before, the noise of the metro.
- Identify background noise that interrupts your focus, and avoid it.
Read the Study Skills – Attention Management tab for more tips.
Make sure you take regular breaks: take a short walk outside, stretch your arms and legs, get yourself a healthy snack or a glass of water.
It will help you keep your concentration and energy levels, and help avoid risks associated with prolonged sitting.