Taken by Phoebe McGowan, A waterfall hiding between the lush trees at Hidden Falls Regional Park, St. Paul MN.
In Minnesota, spring break is not so much a “spring” break but more of a chilly, short winter break. The promise of spring can be seen in small corners of campus: familiar green friends are finally poking through the tired snow. But the weather still leaves much to be desired, creating an overwhelming yearning to be anywhere (warm) but here. Unfortunately, for too many of us, that isn’t an option. Lazy filled days watching Netflix and experiencing FOMO while our luckier friends post Snapchats of life on the beach, so far away from frozen St. Paul, can make you hardly believe such a place even exists. But this break doesn’t need to be us feeling sorry for ourselves. There are plenty of positives about staying home for spring break; all that extra time is precious and should be handled with care. So here are some ideas of what you can do this coming week.
Delete Snapchat and any other social media that is toxic:
This doesn’t mean you need to delete your accounts altogether, just the apps off your phone. Watching others live it up without you can cause serious FOMO (aka fear of missing out), and make you feel like your break isn’t worth anything. It can also distract you from having positive experiences. Sometimes I’ll look up from my phone and HOURS have gone by! Precious time during the day I could have invested, rather than just spent on a false reality.
Do what you always wish you had time for:
This can be going out of your comfort zone and joining a friend who goes rock climbing, trying out a float tank, or meditation class. It can also be simple things like reading a book strictly for pleasure, spending the afternoon walking around your neighborhood and discovering new spots. I truly find my deepest satisfactions and fulfillments in the smallest things—spring break doesn’t need to be “wild!”
Use this time to start anew:
With so much going on with school, work and other activities, it can be hard to begin a new healthy habit you’ve been wanting to implement into your routine. Beginning a new routine during break can get you used to doing it, without stressing you out. Adding yoga in the morning, or painting at night will be much easier if you’re in your groove and enjoying it.
In our Uber materialistic society, you probably have accumulated too much stuff over the years. Take a day or two to reorganize, donate and throw out or recycle what you definitely don’t need. Going back to school with a clean slate and room for things that you actually need will set a fresh tone for the end of the year.
We are finally out of the sub zero stage of winter, and need to appreciate any amount of warmth given to us. Nature has so much to offer, no matter the temperature.
And as always, spend time with those who lift you up and help you grow, including yourself. Any extra time to ourselves we are given should be taken seriously, but not too seriously! Don’t forget to play, be safe, have fun and practice self care. If anything, that’s what spring break should be all about.