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Sky Alton

Being Kind to Yourself (And Why You Should Be)

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  Over in the Discussions Area, we’re talking about how we’d kick back and relax at Hogwarts. And while we can’t really snuggle up by the Gryffindor fireplace with hot chocolate or go and shoot some goals on the Quidditch Pitch, relaxing at HOL is just as important.

 

  It’s sometimes hard to remember when you’ve taken on 5 classes, articles for several house newspapers, signed up for a reading challenge and committed to practicing your quaffle Play that HOL is meant to be fun and a break from real life. While it’s important to honour your commitments if they’ll effect other people, you shouldn’t let purely personal goals weigh you down (I was going to say ‘become an albatross around your neck’ because I’m a literary nerd).

 

  So while Gryffindor needs points, it needs you more. Make sure HOL stays fun, take breaks, switch things up. Prioritise what’s important and let things go if they’re too much. There’s no shame in working within your limits. And if you don’t achieve what you wanted, be kind to yourself and build on what you did manage.

 

  Do you guys have any favourite strategies for keeping yourself interested, relaxed and well grounded? Personally, I like to break things down into chunks and mix and match so I’m never stuck on the same thing too long. I also reward myself with half an hours reading or Netflix once I’ve achieved something: it keeps me motivated and gives my brain a welcome change of pace.

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  For me, I have a sticky notes tab on my computer that I always have open. I'll write down what I need to/want to do, both HOL and RL stuff in the order that I find would give me a good mix and then as I work through them in a day, I'll take little breaks to keep myself energized. Most of what I do, I can listen to music while I complete them which keeps my mind interested while I work. I'll also take little breaks to play a quick game.... which I probably shouldn't be doing when I have other things to do, but it does make for a nice break when I'm able to focus myself back on what I was doing. Even if I have an enormous stack of things I need to do, music is definitely something that keeps me from getting overwhelmed. 

 

  Like Sky said, breaking things down into chunks helps a lot as well. I have an essay I'm working on now that I'm writing in little bits because writing is not something I personally enjoy when the topic doesn't interest me. I'll put on my sticky notes: 1. write paragraph one 2. something interesting 3. edit paragraph four 4. something interesting.... and on like that. I'll do that for pretty much any long task I have. It helps to keep me interested and motivated because I know what I have to do next and am able to realize that whatever I'm doing, I'll get a break soon. 

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