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The 8 Best Ways to Relax While Staying Productive

Wellness

In daily life, it can be difficult to unwind and feel productive at the same time. In many situations, relaxing and working efficiently can seem like complete opposites! Looking closer, I have found that the two can be related. Here are eight useful tips to relax while strongly finishing off the school year.

1. Engage in a School-Related Activity That Interests You

School activities often have opportunities attached to them, such as the potential for scholarships and a chance to meet new friends who share the same interests. For example, joining a club that fulfills your passions can be beneficial while also giving you the space to decompress and talk with others.

Not all school activities will be productive. Dancing at homecoming or watching a dodgeball match can be exciting, but often leave you tired afterward. While it is still recommended to attend school parties and recreational events, be sure you are not overindulging in these in order to leave time to study.

2. Research a Topic You Want to Learn More About

Instead of surfing the web or scrolling through Instagram, researching subjects that appeal to you can take the academic pressure off of learning. Did you hear an interesting fact in your class that resonated with you? By researching, you could use the information you have gathered for a future prompt in that same class. Perhaps you could even earn extra credit points! Knowledge is power.

3. Read a Book!

Think of that one book you have been meaning to read but haven’t found the time for. Perhaps there are several stories waiting to be discovered, collecting dust on your neglected bookshelf. It’s time to dive into the world of reading! There are countless twists and turns in novels that can apply to real life. By reading for pleasure, you could enhance your critical thinking skills and expand your vocabulary while also alleviating the stress of the day. If possible, it is better to read on paper rather than on a screen. The blue light exposure from modern devices can cause headaches and eye strain.

4. Set Times to Take a Break

It’s understandable if you need to lay down or stay still in order to relax after an exhausting day. However, routinely doing so can form a habit. In some cases, you could plan to rest for ten minutes and fall asleep, waking up after two or more hours. This cycle can be difficult to break, so it is best to start setting times early on. On your phone or alarm clock, set your desired amount of time to rejuvenate.

The break should be no longer than thirty minutes, but the time you need can vary based on the amount of stress you are experiencing. Avoid using social media apps during this quiet session. Try meditating instead!

5. Go for a Mellow Jog to Lift Your Spirits

Jogging, even for five to ten minutes, can help boost your creativity and uplift your mood. Not everyone feels energized or refreshed after exercising, so a short walk could also work. Be sure to stay hydrated, wear sunscreen, and do a warm-up beforehand! This is productive because it increases your blood circulation and improves your physical health.

6. Invite a Friend to Study

Staying productive can be difficult when there are several distractions: a message delivered to your phone, a television blaring in the living room, or your dog barking in the backyard. Inviting a friend over to your house or to a library can help keep you focused and inspired to get work done. Be sure to collaborate with a companion who will not distract you or themselves. Save energy for the summer season! You can always grab a coffee together afterward.

7. Clean and Personalize Your Workspace

Working in a disorganized, cluttered environment can leave you feeling uninspired to work. The mess increases the stress hormones released in your body. This can make focusing hard! Turn on your favorite music, open the windows for fresh air, and begin organizing. Nothing feels better than feeling fresh after making your workspace perfect.

Once your desk or office is free of clutter, start adding decorations that are meaningful to you. Even simply placing a potted plant in the corner can give you a sense of renewal. Avoid adding too many decorations, since they can eventually overwhelm your workspace.

8. Journal

We tend to feel a lack of productivity, brain fog, and gloom when our thoughts become jumbled. You can even find yourself asking, “How do I get on track again?” Journaling is a great way to embark on a journey of self discovery and reflection. By understanding the stresses and habits in your life that lead to mental fatigue, you can begin to feel empowered again. Believe and achieve!

No matter how everyone decompresses in their free time, we can all agree there is a need for tranquility in this fast-paced world. Trying new ways to loosen up can change your perspective of daily life and guide you in these trying times. Best wishes! May peace be with you.

Kelly Halliburton
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Kelly Halliburton is a sophomore member of the Creative Writing Conservatory at Orange County School of the Arts in Santa Ana, California. She enjoys writing poetry, volunteering, and reading. As the founder of a community service-based club, Empowerment for the Youth, she aspires to project meaningful ideas in the community.