Whether it be senioritis, the winter blues, or just general exhaustion the third quarter can feel like a drag. Filled with finals, AP test prep, the close of winter extra curriculars, and not to mention no breaks to look forward to, the marking period holds significantly more challenges than the others. To give Cavaliers the needed boost of motivation to finish the quarter strong, the Courier has composed a list of 15 ways to get out of a funk and get back to feeling focused.
1) As contradictory as it may sound, read a book. Don’t read anything that has to do with school; instead, select one simply for enjoyment. Reading can take the mind to a different place; it’s a distraction that also nurtures productivity.
2) For those who prefer viewing to reading, watch a movie. Similar to the effect of books, movies can take the mind to another place and produce a constructive response. Moving thoughts away from the current circumstance is refreshing, especially when it can be done from the comfort of home and a Netflix account.
3) Connect with friends and family. Isolation can unknowingly occur when work becomes the primary focus, and friends/ family can bring out the best energies.
4) Commit to a new goal; refresh New Years’ resolutions or create an entirely new one. With a goal in mind, intrinsic (from the self) and extrinsic (influenced by material reward) motivation is created and can act as a driving force for productivity.
5) Set a timer for 5-10 minutes and do something creative, whether it be a quick doodle or jotting down a short poem. An accomplishment, no matter how small, will cause a sense of satisfaction that cultivates motivation.
6) Treat yourself: go online shopping, order takeout, eat the last piece of cake, get a pedicure. Doing something that causes happiness can be especially beneficial in realigning mindsets.
7) Be patient during this time; no stormy mood lasts forever, and new challenges and changes that will pull oneself from their foggy state.
8) Despite the feelings of disgust that can arise from the word “cardio,” go on a run. While running, concentration is devoted to leveling breathing, achieving a distance/time, and maintaining a proper form. Moreover, attentiveness is directed rather than scattered. (As an extra bonus, exercise pumps endorphins, or the “happy” hormone.)
9) Create a gratitude journal that lists at least one thing to be thankful for each day; gratitude journals are mentally beneficial as they are a reminder of what is good in life and why exactly certain things cause happiness.
10) Take some time to clean something that has been collecting clutter, whether that be a purse/ backpack, the car, a bedroom. A cluttered environment can amplify cluttered thoughts, and vice versa with a clean environment comes clear thoughts.
11) As far-reaching as it may sound with current circumstances, make a bucket list. A “bucket life” creates something to look forward to, they spark an internal drive, and a sense of accomplishment is reaped when something is completed/ crossed off.
12) If writing out a bucket list isn’t a preference, make an inspiration board. Print/ draw pictures, use color, and be crafty with it! People who prefer to learn visually may need to literally see their goals in pictures for the same motivation to be reaped.
13) Compile a playlist- the right music can create an uplifting effect on moods and lead to efficient, rewarding work.
14) Take the day off to decrease as much stress as possible. Sometimes spending the day at home relaxing and working at a self-directed pace can be the perfect treatment for an anxious spell.
15) Whether store bought or homemade, have a sweet treat. Similar to the effect running can have, a little bit of chocolate releases the “happy” hormone.
Getting through the third quarter is tough, but on behalf of all of us at the Courier, we hope this list can help you Cavaliers finish the marking period strong. Inspiration and further information can be found on psychologytoday.com and braintraining101.com. Good luck!