Tag Archives: nap

The Magic of 10.

20 Jul

As students, and human beings in general, time is of essence. The idea of “free” time seems illusionary and unattainable, but perhaps it is the manner in which we perceive free time that constrains us to believe it nonexistent. What I mean to say is that perhaps when we think of free time we think it to be an expansive amount of time like an hour or more. What if you had 10 minutes at this very moment free of responsibility and restrictions? What can you possibly do in 10 minutes?

In my busy schedule, 10 minutes can allow me to do a numerous amount of activities. Here are my top 10.

1. Eat.

Sometimes 10 minutes will be as much time as you will get to grab lunch or a snack in between classes, work, or any other commitments. Take advantage of it!


2. Work out.

Feeling in need of an energy boost or perhaps a release of stress? 10 minutes can be more than enough time to get your heart racing and blood pumping with 10-minute workouts. If they are high intensity workouts, they can serve to burn a good amount of calories.

3. Make a to-do list.

Ten minutes can help you organize yourself for the remainder of the day or the week even. Create a to-do list of what needs to get done, what deadlines are coming up, and what other commitments you have to keep front and center. You will be surprised at how much organization can flourish from just 10 minutes.


 4. Meditate.

Take time to find some peace if that is what your heart desires. Ten minutes of yoga, breathing exercises, sitting under a tree, or whatever relaxes you can have an immense impact on your mood and the rest of your day. Find peace and concentration in ten minutes by doing what you love.



5. Play games.

Allow your inner child to come out! Find a game to play in 10 minutes. Whether it is solitaire or a friendly game of tic-tac-toe, 10 minutes can be enough to get your creative, competitive juices flowing. Go solo or share the game with a friend! Just do not get too competitive.



6. Tune into the news.

Hop on the news train and submerge yourself with the latest news. Nowadays, a newspaper, the internet, the tv, or even your phone will allow you to read/listen to the news. Just 10 minutes can be enough to update you on all that is going on in the world.


7. “Me” time.

Yes, most of these activities are already about “me” time, but this bullet really emphasizes the idea of doing something that you really love. For example, dance your heart out to those embarrassing songs you are too afraid to admit you like or go on a photography adventure. Whatever it is, do it!


8. Reach out.

This can be a great time to write a letter to an old friend that you have not talked to in a while or perhaps an email or Facebook message. Ten minutes is all it takes to make somebody’s day a little better.


9. Study.

You might be thinking to yourself that studying in 10 minutes might not be the best strategy. Well, if you are trying to study a semester’s worth most likely 10 minutes is not enough, but if you are trying to gradually learn something then this is the perfect time. Ten minutes is a good time to learn new vocabulary words in another language or memorize those calculus equations.


10. Write.

Express yourself freely. Write a blog, a journal entry, a poem, a story, anything that will liberate your mind. Ten minutes can be a great chance to create something unique and express yourself to the best of your ability.


       Some of these ideas might seem unworthy of your time. Perhaps you think them to be wasting time, but remember:

“The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time” -Bertrand Russell


Happy ten minutes (:


Lucero Pesqueira

Sleepless Nights, Afternoon Power Naps

6 Mar

It’s midterm exams season, and even though your professor, your Think Tank tutor, and your Outreach Facilitator all told you to start early and make an exam study schedule, things didn’t quite work out as planned. So here you are, downing your caffeinated beverage of choice and pulling one all-nighter after another as you try to figure out how many resonance structures there are for that molecule and when you should use that Spanish conjugation.

Sound familiar? Well unfortunately, behavioral and cognitive research shows that skipping out on sleep like this has a strong correlation with lower exam performance.

Although it’s not as ideal as getting your eight hours during the night and is certainly no replacement, power napping is actually a great way to recharge and supplement your sleep if you’re losing hours from staying up late studying. Trust me, it’s pretty glorious once you get it down.

Here are a few tips that I find to be helpful:

–          Establish a time. For most people, sometime in the late afternoon right after lunch is when your circadian rhythm decides that it’s time to be groggy. Being productive is least likely to happen during this time of the day, so why not take a short 20-minute nap?

–          Avoid the caffeinated and sugary stuff during lunch. This probably goes without saying, but if you’re planning on napping after lunch, having an energy drink with your sandwich won’t be conducive to sleep.

–          Find someplace quiet and away from the place that you use to study. Libraries may be quiet, but trying to be relaxed enough to nap when there are other students furiously studying just a desk away may be difficult.

–          Set an alarm! This one is super important because neglecting to wake up and missing the exam as a result is definitely one of those worst case scenarios.

One more week, Wildcats. Then you can remedy your sleep deprivation the normal way during Spring Break.

Places To Nap, Read, and Creep

22 Feb

If you have a schedule like mine, there’s an awkward hour here and there in between classes/clubs/meetings/office hours. I set it up like this so that I wouldn’t have to do anything impossible, like rushing from the ILC to Harvill in less than 10 minutes.

Unfortunately, I live off-campus. Don’t get me wrong. I love the freedom and privacy that comes with not having to live with a whole wing of other students under the supervision of an RA. But when there’s time to kill and you’re stuck on campus because an hour is just enough time to get home and then immediately start heading back to school, not being able to go back to a dorm kind of sucks.

To remedy this, I have been exploring campus for the past few years in search of nice, quiet places to spend an hour of time and de-stress. In no particular order:

5th Floor of the Science and Engineering Library

This floor houses the University’s collection of books about art. I recommend grabbing a few from the shelves with pretty illustrations (It’s like picture books for non-six-year-olds.) and retiring to a desk near a window overlooking the Mall. It’s also a good place to people-watch, which is totally not a creeper-type of activity and something that I do not do. Maybe.

Any Tree

The nice thing about going to a university that is also an arboretum is that there is no shortage of trees no matter where you go. We’ve been getting what I consider perfect outdoor napping weather, which is even better in the shade of a tree. Bonus points if there’s a grassy slope within the scope of the shade, which is pretty much nature’s version of a living room recliner.

Turtle Pond

Situated on Park Ave. between Speedway and University Blvd., the turtle pond on campus is a great place to sit and read while occasionally glancing over at the orange koi swirling about in the water and the snapping turtles coming up for air.

Ben’s Bells

If you go a little further down University Blvd. into Geronimo Plaza, you can find the Ben’s Bells Studio. Ben’s Bell is a local non-profit whose mission is to remind everyone about the power of kindness in the community. Volunteers are always welcome during open studio hours (10AM – 5PM, Tuesday – Saturday) and can come in to make or paint clay pieces that will later be distributed randomly around the city. No artistic ability is required, and it’s an activity that has a really therapeutic effect, which is what the founders of the organization discovered when they were trying to cope with the death of their toddler son.

Obviously, this is not a comprehensive list. To be honest, I am too selfish to share a couple of my very favorites (I don’t want them to get too crowded until after I graduate!), but a lot of the fun is in finding your own favorite relaxing places on this 380-acre campus. So go forth and explore, Wildcats!