Top 5 Tips for Dealing with Spring Break Anxiety

Hello again, my sweet, sweet friends. By the time y’all will be reading this, it is probably spring break. Yeah, that’s right it is SPRANG BREAK!

CAN I GET A HECK TO THE YES?! CAN I GET A YEE TO THE HAW?! Finally, it is time for some much-deserved rest and relaxation! You, my gals and pals, have truly earned it. It is time to put away those books and break out those bathing suits! Look, I know a tropical spring break is not in the cards for all of because it really be like that sometimes, but if it is then this article is for you. Even if it isn’t, this article is still for you because this is my house and you are welcome in at any time! So, come inside, make yourself at home! Let’s talk about this whole spring break thing, shall we?

So, each year when spring break rolls around, I start to notice a trend, not only in myself but in my friends (yeah, I have real life friends) and those around me. This is a trend that my finely tuned nose for anxiety sniffs out. What is it, boy? What scents are you picking up? I’m picking up the scent of a very specific brand of anxiety, something I call Spring Break Anxiety. You may be reading this and thinking “sounds fake, but okay," but I assure you that spring break anxiety is a real thing. Look, there’s a lot of pressure on us coming from a lot of different directions to make good use of our spring break. Whether that be by devoting your time to getting ahead academically, picking up extra shifts to get that cold hard cash, or going on an MTV style Tropical Spring Break, the anxiety is real.

Lucky for you, and unlucky for me, I have been anxious since the day I was removed from my mother’s womb (I was born via C-section, so removal is the proper word). The positive of being the anxiety-ridden being that I am is that I have some pretty cool and effective tips to dealing with it. These are some tips that I think can help alleviate some of the spring break anxieties you may (or may not) be feeling. Here are some of my top tips:

1. Carve out some time for academics.

Ugh, I know, I know. This is supposed to be a week for you to just kick back and relax, but taking a few hours to get your ducks in a row academically can really work wonders. I usually spend some time the week before and that first Saturday of spring break getting all my academic responsibilities out of the way so I can take some of that pressure off myself and actually enjoy spring break. There have been times in the past where I haven’t taken the time off and all it led to was more anxiety. It made it so I spent the whole spring break anxious about all the things I knew I should be working on. So, just do yourself a solid and get those academic responsibilities out of the way. You’ll thank yourself for it later.

2. Take a whole lot of time for yourself.

Now I know that not everyone has the luxury of being responsibility free all spring break, but do make sure you take the chances you can to just chill out. Take some time just to breathe and veg out. You deserve a break, and this is your opportunity to do some self-care. Take some naps, do some face masks, binge watch Law and Order: SVU for the fiftieth time (@ me). Do whatever calms you down and give yourself the much-needed break that you deserve!

3. Don’t compare to others.

This is a tough one. This is one I probably struggle with the most. Whether it’s me comparing my spring break destination to others or me comparing how I am looking on my spring break with others, it’s a real problem. Most of these comparisons are being done on social media. I think we have all fallen into these traps at one point or another: you’re scrolling through Insta and you see a picture of your friend looking hot as heck in a bathing suit, lounging on the beach in Cabo while you are literally sitting on your couch in rural New Hampshire wearing the same pajama pants you have been wearing for the past three days. It’s hard not to compare and feel jealous that you aren’t on that beach doing a photo shoot too but take it from me: comparing will get you nowhere. All comparing does is make you feel bad about yourself. Whether it be you comparing what kind of spring break you’re having to what kind of spring break someone else is having, or you are comparing the trendiness of your outfit to someone else's, just put an end to it. Don’t let comparison ruin your break. This time is supposed to be about giving yourself a break and taking care of you, not comparing to others.

4. Ditch social media. 

This is a controversial one because I know that a lot of us do some of our best work on social media over spring break. My Instagram feed freaking craves it because spring break gives me so many opportunities for so many cool, fun, and flirty photos, but that puts a lot of pressure on me. I end up feeling like I have to produce certain content that no one is even asking for. This is where our old foe comparison comes in again. We can slip into the trap of just comparing the kind of things we are seeing posted by our peers on their seemingly amazing looking spring break trips to what we're doing on ours. Then we can feel like we have to get that “perfect” shot of ourselves. For me, the shot I always feel pressure to get is of me, in a bathing suit looking hot yet not too hot, trying but not trying too hard. There are so many dumb unspoken rules about getting these sorts of pictures and I’m just not about it anymore. If you find yourself in a similar position to what I have found myself in the past with the pressure of social media, just take a break from it. Sign out or delete the app for the week. Seriously, spending your spring break torturing yourself over social media is no way to enjoy your time off. Plus, what you’re seeing on social media is just smoke and mirrors. Everything is so posed and edited, you never know the full story and it’s unfair to compare yourself to that.

5. Be kind to your body.

A lot of spring breaks are pretty swimsuit focused which can bring up a lot of negative feelings for people. I know this personally from experience, because I literally hiss at the mere mention of having to put on a bathing suit, but we gotta toss that fear to the side. Not to invalidate it, because it is incredibly real and something I and many others continue to struggle with but let yourself have a break. Push those dumb and unrealistic beauty and body standards to the side. Put on whatever bathing suit you brought and just go have fun! Enjoy the moment and try not to let your inner critic steal your thunder. Sure, you may not feel comfortable or confident, but just try and fake it till you make it. This is something I try to do every time I wear a bathing suit, and I have to be honest, it is not a sure thing or a definite fix to the problem, but it can provide some relief or at least point us in the right direction of body positivity. I know wearing a bathing suit is hard and I usually hate every minute of it, so please don’t think I’m making light of the intense feelings of uncomfortableness that a lot of us feel while wearing bathing suits. I’m just trying to provide an alternate method for dealing with it. Instead of sitting and stewing about how much you don’t like your body, be rebellious and say, “you know what, this is my body and I’m not gonna let my negative feelings about it stop me from having a good time!” We are all on a self-love journey. We will get there. It’s small steps.

So, there you have it folks, my top tips to making spring break enjoyable. Please remember to have some fun and enjoy yourself because you have earned it. Go out there and strut on that beach just like Tyra Banks taught you to and don’t forget to smize (smile with your eyes, come on, get with the program). Take the pressure off yourself, kiddo and just say YOLO. Enjoy yourself and stay safe out there.

 

Want to keep up with HCBU? Make sure to like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram, check out our Pinterest board, and read our latest Tweets!