Are you feeling stressed or overwhelmed after graduating? That’s understandable, as a fresh graduate, it’s a huge life transition that can bring up a lot of emotions and uncertainties. You are not alone in feeling this way…
Now that exams are out of the way, summer is upon us, and you might have thrown your graduation hat up in the air, it’s important to wind down and have some peace in your life before you start your life in the real world at your new graduate job. Here are six simple ways to step away and give yourself a little holiday from the stresses that university laid upon you…
1. Take a day off
You may feel like you’re doing this already, but have you really? It’s one thing to finally run those errands you’ve been putting off, catch up on your reading, or see who’s up for lunch or drinks. Treat your graduate self to something more substantially idle. Remind yourself of who you are and what you like to do—not in your capacity as a student or a friend, but as someone whose idea of fun doesn’t answer to anyone else’s. Devote a day to sheer idleness, whatever that means to you. You might walk through town all day; you might not make it off the couch. You might even read a book (but only if it’s one of your choosing and yours alone). You need days like those every so often to find your poise and self-purpose.
2. Give your phone a day off
All right, at least a half-day. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that you need to be on top of every little development among your friends, across the country, around the world…but at the same time, you can acknowledge that that’s not really true. The world will be there when you return to your phone, and so will your friends. In the meantime, you’ll have more time to relax and reflect, free of the compulsion to interrupt your thoughts by clicking and scrolling.
3. Tidy up
If you are a naturally orderly person, this will be a welcome opportunity to set things right, on your terms. University life can cause even the most clutter-phobic of us to relax our standards a bit, and seeing as you are now a graduate and you’re in a new chapter of your life, there’s no harm in decluttering your desk from things you don’t need anymore. Reorganising the books on your shelves can also help you establish the poise and peace of mind that let you do great things during your summer break. If the idea of spending a bit of time imposing a bit of cleanliness and order on your surroundings doesn’t seem like your thing, give it a try anyway.
The very idea of deliberately slowing down your mind and concentrating solely on your breath may seem like an abrupt change. After all, your day-to-day life at university demanded just the opposite: quicker thinking on a more fractured array of things, from studies to socialising. Meditation can be just the break you need from that hectic pace you were used to, a way to break completely, if momentarily, from every single demand on your time and attention. Better yet, it’s a way to remind yourself that you’re the author of your own life, not a marionette dancing on a dozen strings. Keep at it, and you’ll stay more centred and calm, even when the pace of life ratchets up.
5. Listen to Music
Really listen. Find a place where you can relax and concentrate on the nuances of your favourite music, and lose yourself for a while. You might lie down in a dark room, or grab some earbuds and take a walk in the park—just choose a setting that lets you give yourself over to the music you choose. Music can be a sort of guided meditation when we turn ourselves over to it, allowing you to let go of the stresses and worries that can throw us off-kilter.
6. Don’t think too far into the future
Now, this might sound daunting, but you’ll feel more present and at peace if you give it a go. If you’ve secured that graduate job you’ve worked so hard to get, there’s no harm in switching off for a month or two leading up to it. You can think about what to wear in that graduate job closer to the time, but just after having graduated, steer your mind away from the upcoming challenges.
With all of this advice, no one expects you to be taking the whole summer off to be idle. These are simply just guides to help you relax immediately after you graduate, or even just before you start your graduate job. If you’re someone that always needs to be keeping busy, take a few of these points and let your mind rest for a few days, you and your brain deserve it!