It’s mid-October, and the semester is halfway over. You’ve gotten into a routine, you know what your professors expect of you, and things are moving forward. It’s also natural for students to feel like they’re running out of steam around this time. You might feel overwhelmed, distracted, unable to concentrate, like you’ve lost momentum, or feel just plain exhausted. Don’t panic – it doesn’t have to continue to feel this way! Here are some tips to break free from a mid-semester slump.
- Change it up. Do you usually write papers at home? In the library? Maybe you need a change of location or scenery. Go somewhere new to study or write. (Just make sure it’s conducive to your work or study style!).
- Examine your commitments. Especially if you’re naturally a high achiever, you might be taking on too much, whether it’s with personal commitments, job or work commitments, or extra-curricular activities. It might be worth looking at all of your obligations and seeing what you can put on the back burner for now, to see if that reduces stress and burnout.
- Try meditation! Meditation and mindfulness can help re-center, calm, and re-energize you. Check out our blog post on mindfulness, and check out our Thoughtful Thursday series of blog posts for more self-care tips.
- Buddy up! If we’re super busy and focused on work, we may unintentionally isolate ourselves, working long hours by ourselves. Why not join a study group, or get a friend or two for a joint work session? Aside from providing some social support (which can help reduce stress), if you’re doing work with others, they can help with any questions you might have or provide ways to become “un-stuck” with things that have given you trouble.
- Treat yourself! If you have a lot on your plate, set up rewards for getting things done. They don’t have to be extravagant or expensive. Even something like going to that new coffee shop when you’re done reading a chapter, or treating yourself to your favorite takeout, can be incentive for you.
- Get out. Outside, that is. It’s mid-semester, and in many parts of the country, this can mean cooler temperatures and shorter days, which adds to the instinct to stay in and do work. That being said, even a short, brisk walk can do wonders for both body and mind. It can help refocus you, get you out and about in the world, get you some fresh air, and get those endorphins pumping, which will help boost your mood.
- Seek help. If you’re seriously overwhelmed or lost, seek help. Many schools have tutoring services or study groups. Email your professors and TAs and ask them questions, or if you can meet with them to go over some things you’re finding difficult. Seek out a trusted editor or writing coach if you’re having trouble with editing, formatting, or the mechanics of writing and grammar.
If you’re having trouble revising, editing, or formatting a paper, thesis, or your dissertation, we can help! We also provide coaching and consultations, which can be beneficial if you’re at an impasse with research or direction. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you get to where you want to be!