After attending the first lecture on September 17th, I was already on the lookout for when the Christmas break would begin. I remember giving out a big sigh when I thought about the 12 looming weeks ahead of me. [something happened and then next thing I know] Christmas break began. I am still unable to fathom how time flew… A slow-mo video of the 12 weeks that passed would still feel like watching a time-lapse.
Every day was challenging, stressful, and overloaded with 10 to 12 hours of work. I was unsure on how to describe the 12-weeks. “Busy-ness” would be the wrong word to use.
While pondering over this, a bigger puzzling question occurred to me. How did I survive it?
I felt like a sprinter running a marathon. Running continuously at full speed is humanly impossible. Nevertheless, I had to complete 12 weeks successfully. To do so, I worked on practising some activities to wind-down. I have to tell you, had I not consciously practised these activities, I would have gone mental.
1 – Know your surrounding; you will know how to relax
Entering Manchester was overwhelming and exhilarating for me. The one thing I do to make sure the place does not intimidate me is to familiarise myself with it. I chart out new walking paths or meet people at different places every time. With familiarity came comfort. That was all I needed. As I became comfortable, I was able to concentrate on my work without having to worry about my surrounding.
2 – Watch the sunset, every day
With a view like this, who would not love seeing the sunset every day? I am someone who believes that creating routines make life easy. After a long day, I enjoyed my every evenings with a hot cuppa chai. This very zen moment I shared with myself helped me alleviate all the stress that I had built up.
It need not be tea with a view; everyone has different kinds of zen moments.
3 – Exercise and music
By far the most useful thing that helped me throughout these 12 weeks was exercise(gymming). With regular exercise, you create a healthy vicious cycle. Gym kept me disciplined with my diet. As an outcome, I slept well. I was recharged and ready for the next day and this cycle repeated. From personal experience, the gym has helped me bring greater control over my mind, body and soul.
4 – Get away from your place
This point might be a contradicting to what I said in the first point. But going to new places brought new perspectives. Like exercise, “newness” for me is a recharger as well. These mini trips to new cafes, restaurants, places in the city can gave me the same effect without having to make long and expensive trips.
Stress is a natural accompanier.
Although we do know that stress is self-inflicted, it is there. These winding down activities that I did were to keep stress at bay. So yes, It is possible for a sprinter to run a marathon and be successful. Wind-down then and there to get the most out of what you do.
This experience is from my first 12 weeks of masters at the Alliance Manchester Business School, University of Manchester.