Study Happy: Keeping your studying productive by adding breaks

All-nighters pulled the day before a deadline, endless books taken out with the promise of completing the core reading, chatting with friends to convince yourself you are spending a lot of productive time at the Library. Yet there is another role the library plays that not all know about: the Study Happy initiative. While the majority of the Library is focused on the ‘Study’ part, this initiative is concerned with your wellbeing, helping you with the ‘Happy’ and boosting your productivity. This is already evident in their mascot: a happy-looking penguin called ‘Kirby’.

By Anastasia Cagnoni.

Since discovering the initiative, I have been to quite a few events, so let me go through some of my favourites. Let’s start with the Creative Chillouts. These are arts and crafts projects in which students can engage with their creativity. These events run fortnightly and are sometimes themed: a session in December was dedicated to winter, and activities included snowflake cutting and card writing with seasonal wishes for your close ones. Don’t be daunted by the prospect of being creative: it is about spending time making something yourself, not necessarily about creating a piece worthy of an art gallery. It is also a very relaxed environment where you can talk to other people at the table and make new friends, or bring your own along! I often do so with these kind of events, as it is a great way to catch up with friends. The materials, snacks and hot drinks are provided, so it is essentially a creative coffee catch-up! The theme for week 4 in term 2 will be Valentines, and week 8 is Easter-themed, so definitely worth dropping in even for just 10 minutes if that’s all the spare time you have.

A table with a number of tote bags and pens on it. There are people sat around the table but only their hands and arms are visible.
A Creative Chillout event. Image: University of Warwick.

Mindfulness Wednesdays are another event that I found extremely useful to ground myself, clear my mind and help with focus. Especially in term 3 last year while writing exams, I made my attendance at these sessions a must. While the first part of the hour is a discussion centered around the benefits of mindfulness, the second part of the session is a guided meditation. Mindfulness Professor Dr. Dean Howes who runs the sessions, guides students through different techniques we can use in daily life to be present in the moment. These range from short breathing techniques to longer meditative states, so everyone will gradually learn to be more mindful. I started mindfulness with these sessions last year as a novice and have been applying these exercise in daily life. Again, the focus is not on being perfect, it’s about going through the process and calming your mind, being ‘here and now’.

A long trestle table with various papers on it, advertising Study Happy events. There are some stress toy 'Kirby' penguins on the far end of the table.
There’s lots of information about the Study Happy events available. Image: Anastasia Cagnoni.

While the two above are my personal favourite events, other people choose to attend the Library Language Exchange sessions, where you can drop in to learn some basic conversation sentences in another language: Italian, Spanish and Mandarin Chinese are just some examples. Others find that attending the Sports Afternoon events is the best break they could have! From ping pong tables to e-sports, there is something for everyone. Again, free snacks and refreshments are a bonus to attending, together with talking to old friends and making new ones.

A table with various papers on/
The Library Language Exchange is a great way to meet new people and practice your language skills. Image: Anastasia Cagnoni.

Those are the main Study Happy events held in the library, but there are quite a few others. Sounds appealing? Why not come and drop in one day? To stay updated with upcoming events, times and locations, do follow @warwicklibrary on Instagram. For more about study break tips, make sure to read the following study blog on breaks during exam season.

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