9 Ways You Can Motivate Yourself after Winter Break

Female Student Smiling in ClassroomEveryone struggles to return to the real world after a nice long winter break. It can be so difficult trying to shake yourself out of the lack of routine and responsibilities you might have enjoyed throughout the holidays, only to find yourself lacking the drive to get ready for the spring semester. If this sounds like you, you’re in luck. We have 10 helpful tips to help you slide into the spring semester!

Ease into Your First Week

Maybe you think you need to dive in headfirst into your semester. Believe us, this could cause more harm than good. Take it easy and gently edge your way back into your college routine. Slowly start going to bed and waking up earlier than you might have on break. Add a few more fruits and veggies to your plate while eating a little less of those indulgent goodies. Read just a little bit more each night. Take it one step at a time, then slowly add more things to your plate when you’re comfortable with your workload.

Reduce the Stress in Your Life

Stress can really wreak havoc in your life. While a little bit is beneficial, too much stress can put your health at risk and cause a slew of problems, including memory and concentration problems, muscle tension and pain, sleep problems, and much more. You can tackle stress and decrease its impact on you by keeping a clean and clutter-free space, getting plenty of sleep, exercising (even a few campus walks will do the trick!), getting some fresh air, doing some deep breathing, eating well, and taking time to do the things you love.

Set Good Study Habits Now

Take it from us – the sooner you set a solid study routine, the better off you’ll be, especially when midterms come around. Sit down now to put together a schedule for the semester. Include your regular class times, set study times, work-study jobs, extracurricular activities, and any team obligations you might have – then stick to it as best as you can. You’ll find that you’ll be much more prepared to tackle those essays and projects that inevitably show up throughout the semester, which equals less stress for you!

Learn to Manage Your Time

Procrastination might be a typical college student’s modus operandi; however, if you want to be successful, you’ll do well to hone your time-management skills. Putting things off until the last minute or pulling continued all-nighters makes it so easy for tasks to fall between the cracks. Start your assignments as soon as you can and give yourself ample time to complete them. Put away your phone (and put it on mute) to help you stay focused while you’re working. Not sure where to start? Consider tackling the biggest tasks first – it’ll be a huge load off your shoulders once they’re done!

Break Down Big Tasks into Smaller Ones

Now about tackling the big tasks first… It often helps to break them down into smaller, more bite-sized tasks to get the job done and make the prospect of finishing them way less intimidating. Do you need to write a huge research paper? Make a list of all the steps that go into it – researching, outlining, writing a thesis statement, writing the body paragraphs, crafting a conclusion, proofing and editing, etc. Then as you go along, check off those tasks on your list. This will help you feel accomplished and amp up your drive to you finish a big project!

Remember to Take Breaks

You might think that taking breaks is counterproductive, but it’s actually one of the best things you can do when it comes to studying. Working nonstop will do nothing but burn you out – and quickly. To keep your brain working at peak performance, shoot to give yourself a 15-minute break every 60-90 minutes. Take a quick walk around the Quad, stop by to chat briefly with your hallmates, watch a funny video or two, or get up and enjoy a quick dance session in your dorm room during your break. This will help you hone your focus so you can get those assignments done!

Take Good Care of Yourself

It’s essential during this time that you handle yourself with compassion, flexibility, and kindness. Forgive yourself when you fail. Nourish your body with whole, nutritious food. Get 7-8 hours of sleep every night. Do the things that make you happy and motivated so you can feel fulfilled and ready to go every day while you’re at McKendree.

Rely on Your Support Network

The people you choose to have around you have a much bigger impact than you might imagine. That’s why it’s important to surround yourself with positive, reliable people who will be there for you in good times and bad. Whenever you’re stressed, down, or beginning to feel burned out, turn to your support group of friends and family members to help you through.

Remember the Bigger Picture

Sometimes it can be hard to stay motivated, especially as the semester goes on. When you’re having a tough time getting motivated to study or write that paper, try to keep in mind why you’re here and what your path moving forward looks like. Your time in college will help prepare you for the real world and give you the skills and knowledge you need to find a fulfilling job. Remember that this is only temporary and will serve you for the better – and be confident in your ability to handle it all.

Welcome back, Bearcats – and have a fantastic spring semester. You’ve got this!