With the fading summer vibes, you are probably packing your luggage to be back in the university town or perhaps buying stationary for the start of the  semester or maybe even checking the new courses and all whilst being haunted by the incessant fear of Monday blues,we are finally at the same time of year again. Yes, a wonderful time of season, transitioning into the fall spirit, giving you the chance to gulp down extra mugs of warm coffee  preparing your mind for the unknown of a semester study start.

Going back to study mode after a summer, loaded with fun and rest, can be a very challenging task. But if you are looking for an entertaining way to prepare your mind to face academic challenges for the next few months or so; there is something other than caffeine to help you. Intellectual recreation, the best prescription for your study block.

Intellectual recreation is a type of recreation in which an individual engages in different creative activities which stimulate the functions of the brain. Such activities include chess, sudoku, crosswords, puzzles, learning music or a new language, journal writing, hidden object games etc. to name a few. Research states that while engaging in such kinds of activities different brain parts are stimulated and neural connections are improved which tends to boost our brain functions. Considering the fact that academics and studies involve more mental work than physical work, therefore engaging yourself in intellectual recreation is a sure way to provide your brain with the neural kick for it to function properly during the entire semester.


Learning time management, keeping abreast of new ideas and events happening around the town, developing an awareness of the balance between life, study, and work, and becoming more apt to new ideas and views are a few benefits of intellectual recreation worth considering. A recent study done on medical students revealed that students who indulged themselves moderately in intellectual activities either at the university or at home had lower levels of anxiety and stress as compared to those who seldom participated in such activities. Similarly, a recent neuroimaging study also revealed that chess players have more profound neural connections and enhanced cognitive processing. Recently medical researchers are also trying to incorporate different mental games as a part of therapeutic recreation in their clinical practice.

But the big question remains; what kind of intellectual recreation is the best for you?

Well, the answer is pretty easy. For some who are inspired by music, they will find learning a new instrument easier and for others book-reading or book writing will sound more appealing. If your recreation is driven by your interest then the question becomes way simpler to answer because you will find the activity more fun and engaging.

There are plenty of options for intellectual games on several websites on the internet. Similarly, there are numerous options to explore in the town where you can finally find your perfect place for taking a refreshing break from your studies. I am sure for many of us we already know what kind of recreation is suitable for us and we must be already following it but for those who did not think of recreation like this before; it is finally the time to consider because it is better to be late than never.

The Bottom Line:

With the multitude of assignments, exams, study chapters, classes, thesis heaping on every day let us not forget to treat ourselves for a short activity which refreshens us up because we can only work and live better with a healthy mind and soul. As the old saying goes; “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” so let us not be like Jack here and instead gird up your loins with a healthy mindset and explore the benefits of intellectual wellness on your academic journey.

Written by Mariam Maqsood