Exam period is a stressful time for any student regardless of their subject. However, the University of Warwick has a great support system which enables students to take a break from studying and focus on their inner selves. Here are some of the workshops organised by the Library which aim to help students cope with stress and anxiety. This blog post also lists some self-help books which students can use after taking part in the workshops… By Miruna Mihaila
Assessments can be quite overwhelming: dissertations, essays, projects, exams and sometimes the deadlines even overlap! In such stressful times, you can always count on the Library’s staff for support.
Study Happy is a programme focused on students’ wellbeing which offers a large variety of workshops where you can meet other students to whom you can talk about your academic experience, improve your skills and have fun. It’s a great way of taking your mind off your coursework, especially at this time of the year!
Study Happy Creative Chillout is a workshop where you can unleash your creative side and make your own mini sculpture, origami and create some abstract art. Warwick has some brilliant statues around campus which cannot be missed! If you haven’t heard about the two gymnast rabbits behind Bluebell, you should definitely check them out! Maybe the art will inspire you to do your own in the workshop! You can try to recreate a painting or a sculpture or just use your imagination.
If you are constantly checking social media instead of studying, maybe you should try Study Happy “Switch Off & Work”. The workshop offers a controlled environment where you can take a break from digital distractions and focus on your work.
Last but not least, I strongly recommend you to try my favourite workshop: Study Happy Mindfulness. In the last year, mindfulness practices have gained popularity, especially among students. If you do the exercises regularly, I guarantee you will learn how to manage stress, anxiety and negative feelings in general. Besides all of this, by practising mindfulness, your productivity should enhance as you’ll find out ways of dealing with daily distractions and instead focus on what is important for you. The workshop runs weekly and you will be presented different techniques and finally choose the one which suits you best! Trust me on this one!
Nonetheless, I am a strong believer that in order to learn a new skill such as mindfulness, you need to immerse yourself into it and use any extra work you can. For this, the Library has a Moodle course in which you can enrol yourself. It has several guided practices focused on breathing and body-scans and various tips. You have to check it out!
But, since you are busy with exams and might not be too excited to take another course, you can start by trying some self-help books. You can always find 5 or 10 minutes to read on the bus. If you live on campus, you can take a reading break in the Oculus or lay on the fresh grass.
Here are my favourite books which are available in the Library:
1. Mindfulness: a practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world
“The book is based on Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT). MBCT revolves around a straightforward form of mindfulness meditation which takes just a few minutes a day for the full benefits to be revealed”
2. A beginner’s guide to mindfulness: live in the moment
“This book helps you experience freedom and cope with stress by combining mindfulness and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy exercises in an accessible, 9-week programme.”
3. Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness
“This book will enable you to develop your own stress management programme. It provides easy-to-follow meditation techniques, a detailed eight-week practice schedule, dozens of success stories, plus the latest research findings.”
4. The mindful way through depression: freeing yourself from chronic unhappiness
“In The Mindful Way through Depression, four uniquely qualified experts explain why our usual attempts to ‘think’ our way out of a bad mood or just ‘snap out of it’ lead us deeper into the downward spiral. Through insightful lessons drawn from both Eastern meditative traditions and cognitive therapy, they demonstrate how to sidestep the mental habits that lead to despair, including rumination and self-blame, so you can face life’s challenges with greater resilience.”
5. Mindful tech: how to bring balance to our digital lives
“Despite their usefulness, these technologies have often led to information overload, stress, and distraction. In recent years many of us have begun to look at the pluses and minuses of our online lives and to ask how we might more skillfully use the tools we’ve developed. (..) The book opens up new avenues for self-inquiry and will allow readers—in the workplace, in the classroom, and in the privacy of their homes—to make meaningful and powerful changes.”
Lastly, don’t forget to check the calendar regularly to make sure you don’t miss the events! And make sure you take care of yourselves! Exam season is almost over!
Have you tried the workshops yet? If so, what did you learn or how much fun did you have? Have you given the books a chance? Tweet us at @warwicklibrary, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave a comment below.
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Cover image: Warwick University Library
Image 1: Warwick University Library
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