The mid-semester break is the perfect time to take a pause from your studies and reset before your final exams and assignments. However, I’m sure we have all been guilty of slipping into one of two extremes for the week: either spending the whole time glued to your laptop in catch-up mode or binging Netflix non-stop, without moving a muscle.

Realistically, it’d be great to find the perfect balance between these two ends of the spectrum, but it can be definitely much easier said than done. It is important to feel up-to-date in your studies, but if you don’t feel rested in your break, it can be difficult to keep working hard for the rest of the semester.

Considering the break is only a week long, you don’t have the time to implement any crazy new routines or changes. But what you can do is: reconnect with others (and yourself), enjoy some well deserved R&R, and most importantly, celebrate your small wins from the semester so far. Here are my tips for your most balanced, productive and satisfying mid-semester break yet!

Reconnect With Your Relationships

I’m completely guilty of often reaching the mid-semester break and realising…

“I haven’t seen xyz in months!”

In the busyness of the semester, it can be easy to skip out on quality time with those around us and put our relationships further down on the priority list.

Use your mid-semester break to reconnect with these relationships. Make sure you’re home for a family dinner, catch up with old friends, give your pet a cuddle and check in with those who are isolated, live on their own or are in lockdown.

Another relationship that is easy to neglect is your relationship with YOU! Reconnect with yourself by doing the things you love, eating yummy and nutritious foods, moving your body and making sure you’re taking steps everyday to be the best version of yourself.

“Disconnect to reconnect.”

Rest & Relax

Resting and relaxing are seriously some of the most underrated productivity tools. Several studies have confirmed that frequent and quality rest better allows your brain to surface creative ideas, problem solve and work more efficiently when you’re ready to get back into it.

While it’s a well-held belief that getting a good amount of sleep and taking time out to relax is the right thing to do, the stats show it is something the majority of university students struggle to do.

It may seem worthwhile in the short-term to work late nights, have no days off and be hustling around the clock, but it can lead to a greater risk of burnout in the long term. Believe me, this will do you much worse than losing an hour of work on that assignment!

Perhaps this looks like allowing yourself to sleep in a little longer, turning off your university email notifications, enjoying a massage, or scheduling in ‘me time’ to do whatever you please.

“Sometimes the most productive thing you can do is relax.”

Celebrate Your Wins

It is hardwired into our brains to pay more attention to the things we aren’t doing so well, but it’s incredibly important to shift your focus to celebrate your wins.

You’ve been putting in the hard yards – studying, working and maybe even completing some work experience at the same time – so make sure you are giving yourself a pat on the back. Celebrate your work ethic, your score on a weekly quiz, your commitment to a club, or even milestones as simple as reaching your step count or making your bed everyday. To quote my amazing, inspirational mum:

“Your most important achievements are all of those that no-one but a small handful of people will probably ever know about.”

Use this week to reconnect, rest and celebrate yourself – you’ll thank yourself for it later.

Happy mid-semester break!