LWBW: #GiveMeABreak

Dear Moose,

It’s midterms week, and you may be feeling the pinch of multiple important deadlines. Perhaps you’re tempted to power through with less sleep and more extra-long study sessions, but your health, energy level, and mood may take a hit. Is it worth it? Ultimately, the choice is yours. This week, I ask you to consider a different path toward the academic finish line. I want to share two proven strategies for taking care of yourself that can sometimes be dismissed or overlooked: staying hydrated and taking breaks. Drinking no or low sugar drinks as well as stopping to take some well-timed breaks will keep you feeling your best.

Tips for staying hydrated:

  • Carry a water bottle with you. It's just easier to drink up when you keep liquid nearby. Keep reading if you want to know how to get Mathey’s coolest new water bottle.

  • Enjoy water as soon as you wake up. Surprise, but you may actually be dehydrated from a night of sleep. Do your body a favor, and drink water before your first cup of joe.

  • Whether you like to sip or guzzle, do so at your preferred temperature. The point is to hydrate all day, so whether it is lukewarm OR ice cold, it doesn’t really matter. Focus on what offers the most enjoyment or satisfaction. Hint: your super smart and stylish new Mathey water bottle will maintain your preferred temperature ALL DAY.

GEAR ALERT: It just got easier to stay hydrated! Meet me on Wednesday at 4:30 PM for a study break in the relaxation station outside the RoMa dining hall and get a snazzy new water bottle.

Wondering how to do it? You’re not alone in figuring this out! As always, I and many others at Princeton–your RCAs, Dean of Mathey College, Director of Studies, Head of the College, and Peer Advisers, just to name a few, are here for you! Join me and the rest of the herd in a variety of physically and mentally restorative study breaks. Here’s a schedule of what we have in store for you this week:

College Council Moose Monday Study Break Date and Time: Today, February 28 @ 8:30pm Mathey Common Room Junbi Tea, friendship and Mathey spirit!

Loco Tuesday Study Break

Date and Time: Tuesday, March 1 @ 8:30pm Mathey Common Room Enjoy Loco grilled cheese combos with friends and college staff

Water You Waiting For? Study Break

Date and Time: Wednesday, March 2 @ 4:30pm Location: Outside Mathey’s Dining Hall Hydrate and decompress while taking a break

Yoga Thursdays Date and Time: Thursdays @ 5:15pm Location: Common Room A great way to stretch, add balance to your routine, and relax your body and mind

Back Rubs Study Break Date and Time: Friday, March 4 from 12-2pm Location: Outside Mathey’s Dining Hall – Relaxation Station

Enjoy a mid-week, relaxing neck and back rub to get you through mid-terms!

Besides these scheduled events, there are many other ways in which you might relax or unwind. I suggest you disengage from your computer and social media for a short stretch and consider these ideas:

  • Take a power nap. Daytime dozing for 5-30 minutes has been shown to improve alertness and cognitive performance.

  • Move your body with some form of exercise (attend a virtual class at Dillon or go for a short walk).

  • Do a brief guided meditation in a comfortable place away from your work if possible: https://www.matheycollege.live/blog.

If you’re new to affording yourself the option of taking regular breaks during academic crunch time, I invite you to get curious about the experience. As you test out a variety of methods to help yourself unwind, you will likely find some activities are more effective than others. Keep in mind that everyone is different, so what’s good for your friend/peer may not work as well for you.

Remember, there’s a huge bonus to experimenting with taking breaks this week: you will be so much better prepared for your upcoming midterms!

Thinking of you,

Dr. Cepin