How to Practice Mindfulness at University

Although university is often fun, it can also be stressful. You have a huge number of commitments — from your classes and clubs to all the responsibilities that come with being independent. It’s easy to become overwhelmed, which can cause anxiety, burnout, and even poor physical health.

The solution is to practice mindfulness every day.

1. Learn to Meditate

When you think of mindfulness, there’s a good chance you think of meditation — and it’s true that this is a big part of mindfulness. There’s a good reason why meditation is becoming so popular: it’s effective. Taking just a few minutes a day to practice mindful meditation will improve your focus, help you retain more information from your classes, and clear your mind. Plus, there’s no need to do anything complicated: simple breathing exercises or listening to calming music can yield plenty of benefits.

2. Join a Mindfulness Program

If you’re serious about making mindfulness a big part of your life, find out if there are any clubs or organizations you could join. This includes on campus and in your community. You may be able to start taking yoga classes, attend meditation sessions, or learn tips from the experts about better balancing your life.

Having a regular commitment like this can help you see results. You may even like to buddy up with someone and attend the sessions together — that way, you can hold each other accountable.

3. Slow Down

When you start university, it can be tempting to take on as much as possible: a full schedule of classes, a large number of extracurriculars, a part-time job, and plenty of social activities. After a few weeks of this, though, you’ll likely find it’s too much.

To practice mindfulness, you need to take care of your well-being by making your life easier. Learn what your limits are and stick to them. This could mean signing up for fewer classes next semester, choosing only a couple of extracurriculars, or turning down invitations when you’re already tired.

4. Block Time for Activities

If a heavy schedule is non-negotiable, work on better managing your time. One of the most effective ways to do this is through time blocking: you dedicate a certain amount of time to a particular activity by blocking out this time on your calendar.

When you block time for all your activities, you always know what you need to be doing, meaning you avoid procrastination, never waste time trying to multitask, and don’t leave high-priority activities to the last minute. To make sure this strategy works for you, block time for everything from homework to socializing and self-care.

You’ll be able to focus more on mindfulness if you have a comfortable home with your own bedroom. For McMaster off-campus housing, you have West Village Suites. Located just steps from campus, there’s no need to worry about making it to your classes on time and you can easily return home when you have a long break. Better still, whenever you want to unwind, you can head to the fully-equipped fitness centre or state-of-the-art games room. Book your tour now to see how you could make your time at university more enjoyable.

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