Ten signs you might need a break (and why that’s OK)

June 01, 2017
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While there’s definitely a lot of positives to uni life, sometimes being a student is shit. It can be a highly stressful when we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to succeed, but rarely are we told to just take a step back and take a break. We’ve become too ashamed to admit we can’t handle the pressure sometimes, and that’s some bullshit. But how do you know you might need some time off?

You keep saying to yourself “I need a break!”

The most obvious one. If you keep telling yourself you need a break, you probably need a break.

You’ll do anything to get out of that essay

Do you ever sit there looking at that one word you have typed for your essay before thinking “You know what? My room is filthy, I’ll definitely work better once my workspace is clean”? Three hours later your wardrobe is totally reorganised, you’re cleaning the windows and you’ve still only typed one word.

You’re questioning your mental health

Mental health is a serious issue for students. If you don’t have anxiety or depression, you probably know somebody who does. Stress can hit you hard and have long term effects on your quality of life.

You aren’t sleeping

When you’re stressed you can’t sleep, and a lack of sleep puts your body under stress! Get your sleep schedule back in check by setting a bed time and an alarm. Force yourself to go to bed at that time and stay off your phone.

You haven’t gone out in weeks

The student life is a busy one, especially if you’re also working and living out of home, but it’s actually beneficial to your mental health to make time for socialising.

You’ve eaten two-minute noodles for dinner every night for a week now

Eating crap food will make you feel like crap over time. Eat a vegetable and praise yourself for the organised and healthy God/Goddess that you are.

Your stress levels are through the roof

If you live by the notion that being busy all the time is a good thing, you might be unsure about what stress looks like. It comes in the form of mysterious stomach aches, strange appetites, headaches, migraines, a high heart rate or even high blood pressure. While you may not think you're stressed, your body may decide otherwise!

You’re struggling to meet deadlines

Meeting your deadlines is an annoyingly important thing as a student. Once you get an extension for one assessment, you start running into the working time you have for others. Submitting an assignment on time (or on the rare occasion early) often takes a huge amount of weight off your shoulders. If you’re finding it truly difficult to keep up, it’s OK to consider dropping your workload – your GPA will thank you for it.

You’re having trouble focusing

When you’re stressed your memory takes a hit, and on top of that so does your ability to concentrate. If you’re zoning out in the middle of conversations or even struggling to keep your attention on your fave Netflix series, you know you have a problem.

You don’t know how to be yourself anymore

Above all, you don’t remember what it feels like to be your calm and happy self. It’s time to take a break and get yourself back on track again. Your body and mind will thank you for it in the long run.

Allannah Penny

Allannah is a public relations student at the University of Newcastle. In her spare time she likes to eat everything in sight and drink cheap wine.

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