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Mentally Sustainable Study Tips

Multiple AUP Authors

Wednesday 15th November, 2023

As we approach the end of Trimester one, and head into the winter holidays, it's important to keep making progress. But, it's also important to take some time off, have fun with the people you love and get some good sleep! So with that in mind, we've collated some study tips from all over AUP to help you keep on track over the break without burning out.


Donna Gundry, Head of Library Services' Top Tips:

Break down your work into smaller, more managable chunks and find the time that is effective for you to work. If you work best in the morning, keep to that routine. If you work best just before you go to bed then make sure you allow time for that instead.

Regardless of when you study, make sure you take breaks, get outside and move your body! It's always a good idea to keep your work space tidy or at least have a tidy work space to come back to the next day.

You could also try the 5,4,3,2,1 grounding exercice to eliviate stress. Identify 5 things you can see, 4 things you can touch, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell, and 1 thing you can taste.

Overall, exercise, socialise and put down the device!


Kirsty Smith, Fashion Communication Lecturer's Top Tips:

I might not be the go-to expert on this, given my struggle to switch off from work and study. But hey, here's my nugget of wisdom I've picked up from juggling both: Make self-care your superhero move! Your health is non-negotiable, so get that good sleep, eat like a champ, and sneak in activities that you love. Personally, I've turned my mornings into power bursts. Whether it's diving into reading or scribbling down thoughts, these short breaks in the morning keep me motivated. And guess what? Mornings are my golden time for absorbing info. So, figuring out your body's rhythm, that's my secret to keeping burnout at bay!


Helen Billinghurst, Fine Art Lecturer's Top Tips:

Make a bit of a plan and get ahead! Make the most of the time left in this term so you have more time to relax over the holidays. During the holidays though, time-tablling in a set amount of studying a day will mean you don't have tens of hours of work to catch up on when you come back in the New Year. Finishing a task is a good way to ensure you feel acomplished and are able to relax and have fun. So it might be worth trying to focus on one goal and see it through to completion rather than starting lots of things and getting muddled up.


Cathryn Bishop, Interior Design and Styling Lecturer's Top Tips:

I'd suggest blocking out days off, some that are just for watching xmas movies in your pjs and stuffing yourself with quality street. And others which are just for spending time with friends and family. And some for getting out and about, fresh air, seeing xmas lights, nosying in neighbours windows at their trees! And some which are for uni work. You need to fill your 'creative paint can' to be able to paint from it!


Beth Evans, Student Union President's Top Tips:

Make some time to read a book, watch a film and do absoloutely nothing! You never know, you might read a line or hear some dialogue that really resonates with what you're working on. Also, If you get bored, you'll start having even more interesting thoughts to entertain yourself and even if they don't feel particually academic, or relevant, going on tangents is so important for your creative practice!

If you don't have access to a dedicated work space at home then try to leave work outside of your bedroom as much as possible. Try studying in the kitchen or a public library. Or if you really have to study in your room, make sure you've transitioned from a work mindset to a home mindset a couple of hours before you go to bed so that your mind lets you rest properly. Otherwise whilst you are trying to sleep, your brain might still be wanting to work.


Jack Viant (Illustration Lecturer)'s Top Tips:

In the build up to the end of term its important to acknowledge your achievements so far and take an actual break from your study. Go and see your loved ones and find time just for YOU. Watch a film, eat a whole cake, stare joyously at your pets, whatever!

If you're looking to catch up on some work over the holidays then aim to give yourself small goals that you can pick away at during the week. Lower the bar of expection so that its practically on the floor. Make it super easy to achieve things and you'll be more likely to come back for more!

Worst case scenario, do the minimum you need to not fall behind and then spend the rest of the time recharging!


So, hopefully these tips have given you some ideas into how to manage work and life but remember that these are just ideas. Not all of them will work for you and that's okay - everyone studies and relaxes and balances their time in different ways! The most important thing to remember is that you don't need to do anything to deserve a break or a snack or a full night's sleep. Remember: you don't need to earn them; you are entitled to them.

Have fun, work hard and have a great winter break. We'll see you in the New Year!

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