Productive Relaxation

Written by Maria Hayden

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As an introvert, I find myself looking for ways to recharge that don’t involve people. But making sure that your free time is being used wisely is something that can help fight feelings of laziness and unproductivity.


Don’t get me wrong- it is important to relax. Not all of your time needs to be spent on academics, work, or socialization. But I often find myself laying in bed watching tv for hours more often than I’d like. Here a few tips for how to relax your mind while still getting things done!


1) Teach Yourself Something New




Many of us have spent time scrolling through instagram or pinterest thinking, “man I wish I could do that.” Well, spending your alone time learning new things is the perfect way to curate those skills. Whether it be learning to knit, curating a miniature plant garden, or teaching yourself the piano, there are a variety of resources online to help you achieve your goal. For me, I’ve been trying to teach myself Calligraphy. Although I’m not very good I still enjoy the time I get to sit down and practice and am always pretty happy when I can create something that I think looks nice.


2) Try Working Out




I know, I know, you might be reading this and thinking no way if you’re not a gym regular. But being as unathletic as I am, lately I’ve found that taking a quick trip to the rec is a great way to clear my mind. Taking an hour out of your day to go to a quick group fitness class or going to elliptical for 30 minutes can make you feel more energized and gives you a sense of productivity. The UMN Recwell is a great resource; you might as well give it a shot!


3) Take a Nap




You might ask, how are naps productive? According to TIME magazine, a study by Dr. Sara Mednick reports that naps are really good for the majority of people. According to her research, naps ranging in time from 15-90 minutes can improve brain functions including things like memory, focus, and creativity. Additionally, naps have been shown to reduce stress and “recharge your willpower,” all of which sound good for busy college students.


With the stress of being a college student, it’s good to take time to yourself. Hopefully I’ve given you some good ideas about how to recharge while still being productive. This doesn’t mean I won’t still go on my netflix binges in moderation, but we can all look for other ways to relax while still getting things done!