This week Library staff member Emil gives an overview of the social, wellbeing and skills activities currently happening in the Library, and invites you to develop a positive work-life balance.
By Emil Rybczak
When the Christmas break is just a memory and you’ve committed to multiple deadlines before Easter, how do you keep on top of things whilst still prioritising your own wellbeing? Whether it’s playing music, meeting friends or taking a midnight stroll, it’s essential that we all find time for ourselves – especially when theses, teaching and conferences seem more pressing. Although a busy schedule can be rewarding, we all need time to recharge as well, and writing after a break (whether 10 minutes or a week) is usually easier – and better – than when we’re already overworked and tired.
So, if you’re feeling like you need a rest, make sure you have one! Our most laid-back social event in the Library is Research Refresh, every Thursday from 10.30-12.00 in the Wolfson Research Exchange on floor 3. If you like tea and biscuits, you could also stop by the Postgraduate Hub, where we have PG Tips on alternate Tuesdays from 15.00-16.00. Both of these events are run by Library Ambassadors, who are current students happy to share their own experiences and advice. The Postgraduate Hub also hosts colleagues from the Esports Centre every Thursday from 15.00-17.00, with a range of consoles and games to try, and tips on Mariokart as well as dissertations.
In addition to these postgraduate events, the Library Study Happy programme supports a range of workshops and sessions open to all students during term time; these are a great opportunity to meet people as well as try something new. The Library Language Exchange runs every other Tuesday, 18.00-19.30 on floor 2. These workshops might include multilingual boardgames or wordgames, or a short talk by an Ambassador introducing a particular language or culture, but will always give you the opportunity to learn as well as share your own skills and knowledge. There are also Mindfulness sessions every Wednesday from 13.00-14.00, again on floor 2 of the Library, where our colleague Dean Howes helps you develop strategies to take notice, be in the moment, and refocus whenever you need.
Ad hoc events facilitated by the Library include my personal favourite, Sensory Refresh. Here, a range of sensory objects and activities are available to help you explore sensory profiles, and understand better how to optimise your learning experience. Developed in collaboration with Wellbeing and Student Support, this is also a fantastic opportunity to learn more about the sensory experience of others; and a better understanding of everyone’s needs helps us become a more inclusive and accessible community. Sensory Refresh will be coming to the PG Hub in week 8 of this term, on Tuesday 28th February from 2-4.
There are Creative Chillout sessions on alternate Friday afternoons during term time, where we have glue, glitter, wool and clay, as well as less messy options to help you engage different skills and ways of thinking. Creative events this year have included Christmas, Lunar New Year and Valentine’s Day, and we’re always open to new ideas and suggestions! If crafts aren’t for you, we also host a Library Sports Afternoon, featuring both Esports and more traditional (indoor) games and activities, such as spike ball, pool, giant jenga and table tennis. This event is supported by Warwick Sport, who have staff on hand to discuss other free and easy ways to stay active. A Sports Afternoon will be running on Friday 24th February from 13.00-16.00 (week 7).
If you’re working off campus and unable to be in the Library in person, our Postgrad Realities course provides a range of online modules on study skills and wellbeing to complete at your own pace. The Library’s On Track programme is a series of peer-to-peer seminars and workshops hosted by students, for students, encompassing topics from IT skills, to job searching and healthy eating. Many of these are available to join online as well as in person.
All of these events are structured around the five ways to wellbeing, which are:
- Be Active
- Take Notice
- Keep Learning
Whether you come to all or none of the activities at Warwick Library, why not try including these ways to wellbeing in your daily To Do list? Spending just five minutes talking to friends, having a walk, enjoying a view, reading something for pleasure, or helping a colleague with a problem can help put your own work in perspective, and allow you to focus on the positives that each day brings.
If you want to find out more about how you can stay active alongside your studies, why not read about our former editor Lúcia’s experience of weightlifting during her PhD. For examples of the crossover between academic work and creativity, learn about a collaborative exhibition at Coventry’s Fargo Village, as recorded by Emma Parfitt.
Want to share your own study happy tip? Tweet us @researchex, message us on Instagram @warwicklibrary, or email us at email@example.com