Finishing up midterms just to jump into final papers, projects and exams when you return from break is exhausting. Just when you feel you can get a break or relax, you’re loaded up again with twice as many papers and exams. For me, all of my midterms and papers were due last week, but I somehow still have an insane amount of work after break no matter how well I have planned and stayed on top of everything. With all this craziness, it can be hard to find time to take care of yourself both physically and mentally. Those few days of being home for Thanksgiving is the perfect time to reconnect and take care of yourself.
If you’re anything like me, you’ll spend hours at your desk trying to work on one of your many papers due December 1st, yet somehow manage to get nothing done. It’s frustrating because you’re home and you want to relax, but you know you have work you should be doing, yet when you try to do the work, you get distracted by everything else you could be doing at home. It feels like a lose-lose situation.
One thing which works for me is to set aside time for work, where I only focus on work, and free time, where I leave all thoughts of school behind. Being intentional with my time and focusing on the task in front of me is something small which helps me from getting distracted over break. When it comes to taking a break from work there are some categories that I like to pick from.
Be with family, or a friend you have not seen in a while
If you go away to school, then you probably don’t see your family or hometown friends much, so make a point to spend time with those people. Make lunch plans or friendsgiving plans with your friends to spend time and reconnect. Spend time with your family too. Watch a movie together, do a fun fall/thanksgiving themed activity, or go on a foliage drive to see if there’s anywhere left with colorful leaves. Whatever the activity is, make sure you are spending time with the people you love and haven’t seen in awhile.
Touch some grass
Okay now I don’t actually mean go outside and physically touch a patch of grass, but after being on our laptops all the time and being inside, break is the perfect time to reconnect with nature. Go for a walk on a nature trail and really be present and listen to the natural world around you. Go outside and read your favorite book. Take your dog for a walk. Look at the stars. Whatever it is, make time to be outside without any electronics and appreciate nature.
Do an activity or hobby you don’t have the ability or time to do at school
This one can mean so many different things to different people. It could be playing a game of one on one basketball with your sibling in your driveway. It could be skating at your favorite rink. For me it’s painting and making time to read.
At school I really do not find/make much time to read, so it is very important for me to make time when I am home to curl up with a good book and just read for hours. Aside from the time part, it is quite difficult to have my painting materials in my dorm room. Theoretically, I could make room for them, but finding the room to paint, and having a safe place for it to dry in a small room which I share, is very tricky. Luckily I do not have this problem when I am home so I can just paint to my heart’s content.
Being home for break is amazing, but it can also be stressful. It’s important to find time to do something you enjoy or that’s good for you. Make it your purpose to reconnect with nature, spend quality time with those you care about, or just do something you love. It is a very busy time, but remember it is also a BREAK from school, so it is important to treat it as such.