How to Actually Take a Break this Spring Break

My friend and I often reflect on how we don’t know how to stop anymore. Stop studying. Stop working on internship and grant applications. Stop stressing about every little thing. During breaks during the Fall semester we found ourselves confused as to what to do with ourselves, allowing our minds to drift to back to school, the exact topic we were trying to forget about for just a mere 96 hours. Our parents became concerned for our sanity and health, making our stress grow even more. I ended up spending my breaks staying up just as late as I would when at college even though I resolved not to, spending just as much time on work, and spending just as much time stressing about my future. What is the point of a break if you can’t actually take a break?

I am hoping that I am not the only one who feels this way. Although perhaps I should be saying the opposite because now I am just wishing pain and suffering on innocent readers. Whether you feel this way or not, I think most can relate to the struggles of disconnecting from school or work during time reserved for relaxation. It is hard to leave your worries tucked away neatly in your dorm room as you travel home for Spring break - this can be made even more difficult when professors assign work (but that is a different issue). I spent my Fall, Thanksgiving, and Winter breaks not taking this precious time to rejuvenate my mind and body. And boy do I regret it.

 

My friends binged watched documentaries and shows, made their way through podcast series, and read an entire library. Meanwhile I worked out and searched for internships. Yes, I did relax and watch far too many NCIS episodes and yes I slept in multiple days in a row, but by the end of vacation I did not feel truly refreshed. That is why, this Spring break I am going to do my very best to truly try to disconnect from school, as much as possible, and take advantage of the time that is meant for my mind and body to recharge.

I thought I would share with you my gameplan:).

First Things First: Make a List

You are probably like, what?! Make a list?! How could that possibly be helpful in achieving my goals to disconnect? You’re not wrong. Perhaps, skipping this step would be helpful, however I am truly a type-A person and writing down my intentions helps calm my mind. Although I wish I could do absolutely no work this break, that is unfortunately not the reality. To resolve this obstacle I wrote out all of the school-related assignments I need to work on in my agenda. This way, I have outlined the only tasks I need to complete over break and hopefully do my best stick to this list.

Create a Schedule

Again, I know this step may seem counterintuitive, but that is in my nature. I am not implying that you need to plan out your entire Spring break minute by minute, but decide on a time of the day that you will reserve to do work. Perhaps, you will spend two hours each morning doing work and not do any work on the weekends. Perhaps you take a yoga class on Tuesday mornings and a spin class on Thursday mornings. Perhaps 3:00 to 6:00 pm is Netflix time. Getting into a mini-routine helps you feel productive, but also plan out time to be productive (to have time to be lazy later).

Make Some Plans

Many people go on extravagant and tropical trips over Spring break, but that doesn’t mean you have to. If you are not travelling, perhaps chose a town or city nearby that you have been wanting to visit and travel there just for the day. Maybe schedule a coffee or lunch date with friends. Buy movie tickets to see a new film with your mom. Scheduling in these larger events gives you something to look forward to, and again remind you that you are being productive even if you have been laying on your bed for the past three hours.

Find Your Safe Space

One of my biggest regrets from my past breaks is that I did not spend as much time lounging in my bed. I read, watch Netflix, write, and work in my bed: it is equally my safe space as it is my work space. This break I hope to crawl back to my bed at home with a new sense of appreciation as I indulge in hours of reading and binge-watching. It is the simple things in life that are important, am I right?

Surround Yourself with the Things You Love

I specifically said ‘things,’ rather than ‘people’ because as I mentioned earlier, breaks are meant for you. It is important to spend time with friends and family, but I think it is just as vital to carve out time for only yourself. To do this, pick up some books you have been wanting to read from your local library. Compile movies, shows, and podcasts you want to watch/listen to. And then, sit back and enjoy;).

Take Things Slowly

This last piece of advice is perhaps what will be hardest for me to achieve this Spring break. During school our minds are constantly racing with what we have to do combined with mundane  daily tasks such as brushing our teeth and eating lunch all sped up to 100 miles per hour. Thus, during Spring Break try to embrace time. Enjoy the moment and try not to think about the next hour, day, or week. Do your best to stay in the present and embrace all of your five senses. I know. I should be a yogi, right?

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