"Sometimes I think about too many things at night and can’t fall asleep, but listening to my favourite songs really helps..."INSTAGRAM/@deeart_

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“I find it really difficult to switch off, especially with everything being online. How do I wind down of an evening?”

Bob

It may sound a bit cliché, but something I’ve discovered which has really helped me wind down in the evening during these stressful times, is good old fashioned meditation. I had dipped my toe into a few simple breathing exercises as a means of staying calm through the normal stresses of life at Cambridge, but when the pandemic hit I found meditation to be a real lifesaver. Particularly at night, it can be super beneficial to just take a moment to breathe, check in with how you’re feeling, and give yourself time and space away from the noise to process it all. It doesn’t have to be anything major – we’re not looking for spiritual enlightenment here just yet – and there are some really easy practices that you can bring into your daily routine to help stay grounded and in control. Here’s one that I’ve found really helpful and that you might like to try too. Each night, about an hour or so before bed, get yourself into a comfortable, seated position, close your eyes, and take five minutes breathing in through your nose, and out through your mouth. Pay attention to the small sounds and sensations that are caused by your breathing. When you feel your mind wandering, don’t be too harsh on yourself, and just gently bring your attention back to your breath. Stay away from all screens afterwards and hopefully you’ll be able to stay in a relaxed state as you get ready for bed.

Judy

Based on my experience, listening to music to sleep would tackle some mild insomnia problems. Sometimes I think about too many things at night and can’t fall asleep, but listening to my favourite songs (at a low volume, so as not to disturb your neighbours!) is really enjoyable and helps me get to sleep quickly. However, it’s better not to replay the same song over and over again, otherwise the next day the melody can keep spinning around in your mind and make it difficult to focus on studying. Keeping a diary everyday before sleep is also a good idea. You can review your day and express any negative feelings in the diary, so that you won’t keep the bad moods to yourself.

“Everyone is finding it tricky to wind down so just experiment with a few things and do your best!”

To get to the bottom of the problem, why can’t you wind down at night? What makes you so worried? Calm yourself down and list all the things which make you uneasy and sort them by urgency and importance. Then try to make plans to solve these problems in order. For those you don’t have any chance of solving, just let them go! If you haven’t done your best, why not put in more effort? If you’ve already done your best, why should it bother you anymore?

Finally, If nothing above works, why not study! I bet you can clear your mind and soundly fall asleep easily by watching a lecture of your least favourite subject.

Amber


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Mountain View

Unprecedented Valentine's? Hardly

It can be really hard to get away from your desk (or out of your bed) and decide it’s now 'evening time'; but it’s super important! I personally think a routine can just get too repetitive so I like to try and think of fun things to do on a day to day basis. Giving yourself time off is really important – whatever you decide to do! I have sometimes enjoyed doing the basic lockdown things (sorry!) like physically making things (earrings/ terrible drawings etc) or reading some wonderfully trashy books (yes, I have read Bridget Jones twice). Yoga might sound too cliché, but really that also works! Whatever you want to do, just make sure that you are not working, not spending too much time on screens and also, most importantly, don’t be too harsh on yourself – everyone is finding it tricky to wind down so just experiment with a few things and do your best!

Cover artwork from @deeart__ (any proceeds from their commissions go to various charities)