What are they?
As someone who has spent a lot of time in full time education (this is my 5th year of university!) I have noticed a very specific trend. At the start of term, everyone is loving life. You start school after spending some quality holiday time with your family desperate to hang out with your friends 24/7 again. This bliss lasts for a not so significant time- a few weeks, maybe a month. But then suddenly everyone is hit with the stark reality: you still have over a month left of school! This realisation leaves everyone with a sad muddle of feelings. What am I doing here? Why am I doing the IB? Why did I decided to do Maths SL over Studies? The overall effect is that while you should be getting hyped for Christmas, instead there is a sweeping case of the Mid-Term Blues.
The Mid-Term Blues (a name my friends and I affectionately invented) are a reality for so many people. In this blog, therefore, I'm going to give you a run down of my best tips to beat it!
Before I go any further with this blog though, I want to stress that while it is easy to trivial and joke about feeling a little down and stressed about work every once in a while, if this is something that you are persistently feeling, then it shouldn't be taken lightly. If you think that there is no escape from the stress of your work or you are constantly feeling sad or anxious then there is no substitute for seeking help. Mental health is never an easy thing to talk about, but I've included some links HERE to some free and anonymous help sources online.
So, how do I beat them?
Look to the future
When I am feeling frustrated with my studying, one of my favourite things is to think about 'future fun'. I open up my diary and write in every non academic activity I have on which I am looking forward to. This could be something huge (CHRISTMAS!!!) or something really small like having a coffee with a friend. I find this helps me break out of the bubble that I am stuck in. I can hold on to something tangible that I know I will enjoy. This often drags me out of whatever rut I am stuck in that day and gives me the motivation to study.
Speak to someone outside of the bubble
I mentioned this 'bubble' above, but I think it's a universally acknowledged feeling. Where everyone around you is stressing about the same thing and you feel like there is nothing else going on outside of this. When I get like this, I find it super helpful to speak to someone outside of this bubble. Whether that be a friend from another school (NOT doing the IB) or a relative, it can be invaluable to hear that there is life outside the IB! Just hearing someone chat about something completely unrelated to your current stress can be incredibly helpful. It allows you to get perspective on your situation and crucially see that there is life beyond school.
Take some time for self care
Self care has recently had a bad rep in pop culture. Yes it is true, missing your friend's birthday to take a bath is not great but the premise is still super important. You need to take time for yourself to beat the blues! Whether that be an evening in every week just to watch Netflix or going for a run 3 times a week. There is no substitute for doing something which you enjoy every once in a while.
I hope this blog has given you some ideas of how to tackle the mid-term blues! If you want to find out more about the support Lanterna offers, click HERE!
Don't forget to check back next week for even more IB wisdom!