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Dust Don’t Stop You: Top Tips for Productive Studying in Nigeria’s Harmattan Season

As a student in Nigeria, the arrival of the Harmattan season can bring a unique set of challenges that may affect your productivity and learning. The dusty winds, dry air, and varying temperatures can make focusing on studies a bit more challenging. It is normal that this harmattan got you feeling lazy and hazy, however this dry season doesn’t have to crush your academic goals. So, let’s turn the dust into fuel for your brain. In this guide, we’ll explore effective tips tailored to help Nigerian students thrive during the Harmattan season, ensuring that you stay focused, healthy, and productive amidst the seasonal changes.

Understanding the Harmattan Season

The Harmattan season typically spans from November to March in Nigeria, characterized by dry and dusty winds blowing from the Sahara Desert. This period brings reduced humidity levels, hazy conditions, and fluctuations in temperature. The dryness can impact skin health, respiratory issues, and overall comfort, potentially affecting your concentration and study routine, and at night, it makes you enjoy sleeping better, which may be bad for night readers.

Tips for Boosting Your Productivity

Rise up early with the coolness of the day. You can start your day with a steaming mug of tea (ginger tea may be good if you have one, and if you don’t, use what’s available). This will give you the refreshment you need to tackle your most demanding tasks from early morning while some people are still rolling on their beds. The crisp air and quietness will sharpen your focus and set the tone for a productive day. This is the time to plan your activities for the day.

Take Care of Your Health

Harmattan loves to steal your water. The dry air can quickly dehydrate you. Keep a water bottle handy and aim to drink at least 8-10 glasses of water daily to stay hydrated, you can also throw in some fruits or herbs for extra flavor and vitamins.

Moisturize and Protect Yourself

Ensure to use skin-friendly moisturizers or oils to combat dry skin. Don’t forget to protect your lips with lip balms and your eyes with sunglasses when outdoors. Use air humidifiers or bowls of water in your room to maintain moisture levels. Consider wearing face masks in extremely dusty conditions to protect your respiratory system.

Optimize Your Study Environment

Regularly clean your study area to eliminate dust buildup, try to have up to 2 handkerchiefs or towels at hand, one for cleaning your face when it’s hot, and the other for real dusting. A clean environment can positively impact your focus and concentration. Consider investing in air purifiers or using natural air-purifying plants like aloe vera or snake plants to improve indoor air quality. Ensure your study area is comfortable. Use cushions or ergonomic chairs to avoid discomfort during long study sessions at home. If you feel weary or sleepy in class, change your position, seat or move around.

Time Management and Routine

Develop a daily or weekly study schedule that accommodates the unique challenges of the Harmattan season. Allocate specific time slots for study, rest, and outdoor activities. You may need to review your study schedule before harmattan to check if it still works. Am I still able to read at night or sleep after 2pages? What time of the day do I find easy to read during this season? Should I read on campus before going home? Is overnight still working for me or it’s oversleeping I’m doing? What times are my peak concentration hours? These are some of the questions that can assist you in managing your personal study schedule in this season.

If you are able to answer the questions above, then you need to start prioritizing tasks. Identify the most important tasks and tackle them during your peak concentration hours. Don’t forget to incorporate short breaks into your study routine to prevent burnout. You can employ the promodoro power by studying in focus mode for 25 minutes, taking a 5-minute break, and then continuing the cycle. Use the break to stretch, hydrate, or take a brief walk. At times, that short walk is what you need to restore your concentration and probably not Tiktok videos.

Healthy Lifestyle Practices

Consume nutritious foods rich in vitamins and minerals to boost your immunity. Add fruits, vegetables, and nuts to your diet. Try to engage in indoor exercises or yoga to stay physically active. Exercise helps combat lethargy and enhances cognitive functions. The Harmattan season can cause fatigue, so prioritize restful sleep. Ensure you get sufficient sleep to recharge your body and mind.

harmattan season nigeria
Source: Tribune

Adapt and Be Flexible

Harmattan isn’t all bad. Understand that the season might disrupt your routine at times. Be adaptable and adjust your schedule accordingly without feeling discouraged.

Try to develop backup plans, have alternative study spots or methods in case your usual environment becomes too uncomfortable due to the Harmattan conditions.

Find your study squad! Share tips with friends, refuse to stay idle, stay motivated, and conquer the dust and cold together.

SUGGESTED: How to Study Effectively for Exams

These strategies will not only enhance your productivity but also help to maintain your well-being during this unique time of the year. Remember, with the right approach, the Harmattan season can become an opportunity to develop resilience and better study habits that will serve you well beyond this period.

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Share your own harmattan study hacks in the comments! Let’s build a community of successful students who conquer the dry season together!


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A. A. Badmus

A. A. Badmus is a seasoned Educational Consultant that assist students in processing admission into schools in India and Nigeria. Currently studying Nursing at OAU Ile-Ife and passionate about serving accurate and timely information to admission seekers as well as students at large. I write about Education, Tech and Health.

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