6 fun ways to liven up your dead week

Photo of someone reading
Maya Valluru/Staff

Feed your creativity

For many of us, RRR week (often dubbed “dead week”) is a laborious, repetitive week of studying, writing and catching up on work. Finding ways to spark creativity is both more difficult and more necessary than ever during this time — repetition does not inspire nuance. 

Everyone feels creative in different ways. Maybe you feel inspired when writing code for your own computer game, maybe you love watching old black-and-white movies or maybe you like to get out your paints and lose yourself in splashes of color. Whatever your channel of creativity may be — music, drawing, reading, writing, film, building and so on — schedule it into your day. 

Add some color 

Sitting inside and staring at a screen for hours on end is unfortunately all too familiar to many of us, and while before COVID-19 we at least had the ability to roam from Doe to Strada to Main Stacks and back to Strada, the isolated and stationary nature of finals week can always become quite dreary. 

So, add some color to your day! Take 20 minutes off from studying to go for a walk around your neighborhood. I guarantee it’s more interesting than the walls of your room. 

And if you have more time, consider going for a hike or a beachside stroll. If you have less time, consider sitting out in your garden — if you have one — or any communal outdoor space.

Smile

Smiling has been proven to elevate our moods and alleviate stress, as feel-good neurotransmitters — dopamine, endorphins and serotonin — are released when we smile, relaxing our bodies and brains. 

If I can, I love to talk to a friend or play with my bunnies, activities I know will put a smile on my face. But if I’m away from home and my friends are busy, I’ll watch a comedy episode. I love Kevin Hart, and Netflix recently released a new special, “Kevin Hart: Zero F**ks Given,” which I’m looking forward to enjoying. 

Explore

Take a walk through your neighborhood and stop at that coffee shop you’ve never noticed before, explore that antique store you’ve never entered or try a new dish at your favorite restaurant. It can be a big adventure or a small one, from driving down the coast and taking in the beautifully infinite skyline to mixing yourself a drink you’ve heard of but never tried.

Move

Exercise is a proven stress reliever, so moving in any way you can is guaranteed to help with your studies. Personally, I have developed a routine of strength exercises I like to do with glute bands, weights and a yoga mat. I blast Travis Scott and Megan Thee Stallion for two hours and zone out as I go through my routine, looking forward to the hot shower that I know will feel so good afterward. 

There are some great workout videos online if you have a yoga mat, such as those by Chloe Ting or BullyJuice. And if you like to get moving a bit more, go for a quick run around the neighborhood, a brisk walk or an uphill hike. Or, add some fun to your movement with biking or roller-skating. And if you have a pool open near you, challenge yourself to a swim!

Give your room a makeover

Sitting inside all day is frustrating, but it doesn’t have to be uninspiring. If you don’t have the money to buy new decorations, rearranging furniture and cleaning your space can be just as invigorating as new decor. Personally, fresh sheets and a vacuumed floor have an uncanny ability to lift my mood.

And if you do have the funds to buy some new decorations, go for it! Adding new lights, paintings, posters, mirrors, plants or flowers to your space is a great way to get creative and feel happier in it. 

Whatever inspires you, makes you smile or lifts your spirits is sure to help you with your studies — because it makes you happy! So try not to guilt yourself; you need this. 

Contact Nathalie Grogan at [email protected].