Balancing mind and body

Why relaxation is important

It's important to take care of both mind and body during your time at university. Remember, this is a marathon, not a sprint. To achieve the goals you have set for yourself, finding time to unwind, socialise and exercise is a must. We often don't realise how stressed we are until we're on the precipice of mental, emotional or physical exhaustion. If you don't make time to relax and recharge, burnout is a real possibility.

How to find balance

Everyone is different when it comes to connecting with an activity that relaxes or reinvigorates mind and body. If you're not sure what works best for you, try this tool to build a mental health activity deck. There are plenty of ideas to try including sports, hobbies and ways to unplug and get back to nature.

The most important part is actually stepping back from the pressures of work and study to make time for these activities.

What is mindfulness?

It's all about focusing on the present moment. That doesn't mean switching off completely, but rather being able to shut out all the peripheral distractions that can side-track you on the way to completing your goals.

When you're studying it means not flitting between the other tasks on your to-do list, emails and social media. And when it's time to unwind, it means giving yourself the right to relax and not becoming anxious by the things that are yet to be done.

Practising mindfulness for just 10 minutes a day has been shown to reduce anxiety and depression as well as improve memory, decision making and stress management.

UQ runs mindfulness programs to help you relax your mind and body.

Mindfulness meditation

The 45 minutes will be broken down into several shorter Mindfulness practices to help you build up the capacity to maintain a steadiness in present-moment awareness. Beginners often fall asleep, feel uncomfortable, struggle with difficult thoughts or emotions, and become bored or distracted. This group session is support to overcome these common obstacles. Time will be offered at the end of the session for reflection on insights, experiences, or questions with an experienced mediator. Beginners are welcome.

Mindfulness yoga

The style of yoga will be slow, breath-focused, and longer holds of yoga postures to train our brains to listen deeply to the body. The practice supports the training of attention into present-moment awareness by focusing on the breath and body sensations. This will activate the relaxation response in the nervous system supporting a deeper presence, calmer mind, and rested body. Please dress appropriately for stretching movements.

And if you want to make these practices a regular part of your routine, you can join the UQ Yoga and Meditation Club.

A guide to better sleep

Sleep is crucial to maintaining a healthy immune system, recharging our physical and mental batteries and consolidating memory; what's the point in all that study if you can't recall anything during the exam?

Between study, work and social life, you will burn the midnight oil during your degree. The important thing is to not turn one hectic week into a habit and to strive for a regular sleep routine.

  • Aim for 8 hours of sleep per night, but everyone is different. If you wake up not feeling refreshed, try to go to bed an hour earlier and see if it makes a difference
  • Avoid bright screens before bedtime
  • Avoid caffeine and stimulants later in the day
  • Get regular exercise
  • Make sure your bedroom is conducive to sleep: quiet, dark and cool.

For more tips on achieving quality rest, visit How to sleep better. 

More resources

Information that appears on the Wellness website is general information only and is not intended to be medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or instruction. UQ Law encourages students who have health-related concerns or questions to seek professional healthcare assistance, either from the student services provided at UQ or from their general practitioner.