I am going to take this time to remind myself, along with everyone else who needs it, of the best study advice I have ever received: Take time for yourself!
It is far too easy to get caught up in all of the school related tasks you need to do during the week, and the overwhelming amount of material to review and study each day. Before I started classes here, I remember a friend telling me to make sure I block out some personal time in my schedule…every week, without exception. I decided early on that Sunday’s would be free from studying. While I have occasionally broken my rule, I have noticed that when I enforce the no studying or looking at anything related to school on Sunday’s, I am more focused and efficient on the other days of class and studying.
This was very similar to a rule one of my triathlon coaches had for us. He would always say, one day a week, one week a month, and one month a year–that is how often we needed to let our bodies recover from the grueling Ironman training. I think our minds are the same way…this program requires a lot of grueling studying hours of strong focus. Without giving our minds a break at least one day a week, we aren’t able to have our minds run at full capacity.
In addition to not studying on Sunday, I try to plan little study breaks in throughout the week. While I have to admit, sometimes I feel like I can study anywhere (while walking my dog, during my cardio workout at the gym, and even during my meals), it is important to take little mental breaks. Often, I will go outside and just play fetch with Lilly (my dog), or maybe go get my nails done. Maybe I will spend a little extra time cooking. This past Friday, there was the Tri-Mixer on campus, where we all got together and met the new incoming students who are in their first trimester. It was fun to hang out with other people who know exactly what we are all going through, and it was awesome getting to meet new people!
And, today, I’m going to yoga club during my lunch break. Another great way to free my mind. This photo is one of Jeff, one of my classmates (and President of the Yoga Club). He frequently takes breaks in his studying to stretch things out. I took this photo this morning while studying neuroanatomy.