Self-care is an important part of your study routine. Taking regular breaks, creating a good environment and looking after your physical and mental health can all help to ensure that you get the most out of the time you spend studying. This page features advice on finding somewhere to suit your study needs, information on digital wellbeing and reflective practice and where to go if you need help at any point during your time at Cambridge.
Want some extra support with your study skills? Check out our new User Support Collection covering areas including academic writing, presentation skills, time management, dealing with stress, getting the best out of supervisions and much more.
You can also book a 1:1 appointment with our Research Support Librarian to discuss any aspect of your studying. Just fill in our appointment form.
Whether at home, at the library or somewhere else it's important to ensure that your study space works for you and the type of studying you're doing. Some people need complete silence to work whilst others need to have the background noise of a cafe or groups of people to concentrate. If you need to focus on a difficult task you might choose to study somewhere different than when you are working on a group project.
Over time you will find a range of study spaces which are suited to your needs. You can use the Spacefinder tool to see a range of options available across Cambridge (note: some of these may have changed since the pandemic so always check before visiting). If you want to work in a quiet library environment the Betty and Gordon Moore Library is open to all and offers nearly 200 study spaces available on a first come, first served basis. You can recreate the feel of the Moore Library from home with our range of virtual backgrounds below. All you need to do is right-click on one of these pictures, left-click on 'Save image as...', and apply them as your 'virtual background' the next time you take an online video call, so that you can be in the Moore Library!
You can also get into the mood with our science themed playlist on Spotify. Our colleagues at the Engineering Library have a range of other Spotify playlists you might enjoy - including some devoted to revision and relaxation.
It's vital to build regular breaks into your study routine to reduce your stress, boost your energy and improve your memory. Most people can only truly concentrate on a task for between 10 and 50 minutes and research has shown that working in short blocks of time with breaks in between is one of the best ways to achieve your overall goal. The Pomodoro Technique encourages us to work in 25 minute bursts to break up a study session. How long you want to work between breaks will depend on both your project and your individual preferences but why not try some of the ideas below to give yourself a rest.
If you're working from home there are some steps you can take to make sure that you create an environment that helps you to study.
Increasing amounts of our lives are conducted online and it's important to pay attention to wellbeing in this space. Taking a step back and thinking about how and why we are using technology can help us achieve a balance and be more productive.
Our colleagues at Wolfson College have produced some great advice on digital wellbeing in their library guide, including how to build your online identity and switch off when you need to.
We can all feel overwhelmed at times but it's important to know when to ask for help. The University offers a range of advice and support services who can help you in confidence and without judgement.
Being able to reflect is a valuable skill to have both during your studies and as you move on to the workplace. Even if it is not immediately obvious from the description, many assignments contain some form of reflection. Courses will increasingly expect you to reflect on your own learning, either formally or informally. This reflection can help you to assess what has gone well, identify areas for improvement and set achievable goals.
You can find out more about reflection and how to use it in the the Reflective Practice Toolkit.