How I unwind

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A photo of a person doing yoga outdoors by a lake.
It always impresses me that people do yoga, while I hurt my back trying to read. Derekpics via Pixabay

Using exercise to help seize the day

Today, I had a full day at the University of Regina. You know, a typical full day for a full-time university student. I got up at 6:30 a.m., got ready for the day, and made some food. Then I headed out the door just in time to catch the bus to make it for my 8:30 a.m. class.   

Once I got to the university, I attended my first three-hour lecture of the day. It was a very informative class. After that, it was time to take a short break to study, have some lunch, and get a caffeine boost. I typically hide in an office space away from people so I can just work and listen to music. After a couple of hours had passed, it was time for my second three-hour lecture of the day. And, once that ended, it was time to go home! 

On the bus ride home I think to myself, “What am I going to do once I get home? I have to finish that big paper which is due tonight. But my brain feels like mush after six hours of lecture and all the studying I did in between. I cannot bear to look at my computer screen for any longer. I need a break! I am exhausted but not physically, just mentally and emotionally. It’s not like I am craving a nap or anything. I am just craving a break from brainwork, but not for too long, because I do have to get that paper done tonight. So, I am going to hit up the gym for a few hours and do some physical activity.” 

This is what a typical day at the university looks like for me. A day full of lectures, studying, and a lot of sitting and staring at a computer screen. I am sure it is the same for a lot of students.  

Some of us might spend the evening watching TV, hanging out with friends, making supper, or doing any number of other activities. But I always try to spend some time in some physical activity. It is my form of guilty pleasure, to turn my brain off and relax myself. 

But why physical activity? Well, for the last three to four years I have been going to the same gym, Oxygen Yoga and Fitness. This gym has two main forms of classes that I love to partake in. You can choose to do a fitness fusion-style class, or a yoga and relaxation class. For myself, the type of fitness class I choose depends on the day I have had. Some days I looked more toward a fitness style of class, for the opportunity to lift weights, jump up and down, and challenge myself to work hard. On other days I want to relax, take deep breaths, really focus on my movements, move slowly and dial in.  

I always use physical activity as a way to turn my brain off. It allows me to get away from screens, listen to music, move my body, and decompress. This is what works best for me, not only because it allows me to move my body, but also because my gym gives me an environment that lets me focus on moving my body without any distractions. They have an environment with dimmed lights, silenced phones, instructors to guide you, a warm space, a welcoming environment, and so much more. It truly allows me to decompress and reset my brain.  

Once I have spent some time at the gym, I head home and have some food to help fuel my body. Then, I can focus on getting that paper done. 

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