Autumn is a gorgeous time of year: the crisp and crunchy leaves, the candles, the books, the coffee shops. However, it is also a stressful season for students returning to university – here’s how to make the most out of Autumn 2023 while staying on top of your workload.
1) Indulge in Your Favourite Fall Drinks
Taking care of your physical and mental health is especially important in the Autumn months. As the weather starts getting colder and the evenings begin getting darker, our moods can effectively drop. According to the NHS, Seasonal Affective Disorder is a type of “winter depression” that is increasingly more present during the winter months.
One way autumn can bring calmness and tranquillity to your mental health is through the extensive range of warm, comforting drinks. As a student, working and keeping mentally happy is difficult, but taking yourself out to a coffee shop is a great way to keep yourself productive yet psychologically fulfilled. Bring your books and laptop and study while sipping on a favorite hot drink of yours.
Or, if you prefer, meet up with a friend you’ve been meaning to catch up with. Balancing work and life is tough, but you are allowed to treat yourself to small pleasures in order to keep yourself going.
2) Romanticise Your Subject
As previously mentioned, the autumn semester is hard to get used to. After a long, relaxing summer, being thrown back into routine is difficult. I’ve discovered that in order to work sufficiently at your chosen degree, you need to romanticize it. Studying is always going to be hard work, but breaking your work down into small chunks helps condense your workload into precise categories.
Find out where you work best. Whether it’s in your own room, the university library, or a coffee shop – finding the study space that works best for you is most important. To deeply focus on your work, your environment needs to provide both comfort and motivation. Whether that means cleaning your room beforehand or lighting a scented candle, do what works for you.
An easy trap to fall into is doing what your friends are doing. If your best friend works best in the library, but you prefer your room, stick to what works for you and no one else. Prioritize your own method of studying and staying on top of work.
3) Find Your Perfect Routine
The dark autumn days may cause you to become more sluggish, but if you find a specific routine tailored to what is best for you, you can remain productive as well as keeping your brain happy.
This means going to bed at the same time every night and waking up at the same time every day. These timings will keep your day focused, as you are used to being in a fixed routine. Add some nighttime skincare, some reading, some off-screen time – all these things can contribute massively to keeping your autumn months productive. As a student, the workload can become stressful during the autumn semester, so keeping to a strict routine will help reduce your stress levels. Making to-do lists every morning will help you feel a sense of achievement once you have ticked all your tasks off for the day. Do this to stay focused, productive and motivated.
4) Visit National Trust Sites
Investing in a National Trust membership is a great way to manage your mental health during the Autumn months. This autumn, going for walks either by yourself, with family, or with friends is a great method of exercising and boosting endorphins. Here are a list of some National Trust properties in Berkshire from their website:
- Basildon Park, Reading, Berkshire
- Cliveden, Maidenhead, Buckinghamshire
- Greys Court, Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire
- Stowe, Buckingham, Buckinghamshire
- Hughenden, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire
- Nuffield Place, near Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire
These stately homes make the perfect morning or afternoon out. Appreciating the fresh autumn air will keep your mental well-being happy.
5) Keep Exercising
When it’s cold, it is hard to remain motivated to persist in our fitness routines. However, sticking to your gym membership is great for your well-being, especially as a student. When the workload gets tough, going for a short run on the treadmill can go a long way. Try to fit the gym around your routine, for example, if you treat your study days like a 9-5, you could either head for a workout before or after dinner. Or, take it one step further by getting up early in the morning and smashing your workout out of the way. Don’t give up, and keep going!
The autumn months can be really tricky to get to grips with, but these tips will go far in creating a comforting and calming season for you as a student. Maintaining good mental and physical health is the key to getting the most out of this autumn. Staying on top of your workload and sticking to a fixed routine may seem daunting, but it’s actually easier than you imagine. Once you get into the swing of it, your stress levels automatically become more manageable. Making time for family and friends is also significant to reduce winter loneliness. Aim to see a family member or friend every few days to keep yourself content. Autumn is a comforting time for many, so learn what is best for you to keep yourself happy.