Why You Should Relax This Spring Break

Many of us were disheartened when we learned our spring break was being shortened to a long weekend. With COVID and less time off, many are choosing to work and stay on campus. While this may be best for you, I’d still encourage you to find ways to relax and recharge even with a condensed break.

Like many of you, I decided not to travel over spring break as I normally would. Instead, I thought I’d spend the break getting ahead on schoolwork and fitting in more shifts. While this would be productive, it wouldn’t be nearly as beneficial to me as I’d first thought.

Even with fewer days, Spring Break should still be a break. During the pandemic, our classes have managed to become more demanding and are often less accommodating. Our breaks have been shortened but we’re still expected to work diligently and productively. The pandemic has placed unprecedented stress upon students both financially and emotionally, which has left most of us feeling more overwhelmed than ever. And I was prepared to spend my spring break doing more of what I’ve done the entire semester: work, school, sleep, repeat.

It wasn’t until my mom recommended that I come home over the break and take some time to relax, that I actually considered that a real “break” would be better for me. With the monotony of work and school without the social connection, I’ve been left feeling drained. It’s been harder for me to accomplish my schoolwork and I’ve felt busier than ever. I spend most of my weekdays in the library or at work without time left for much else. Because of this, I’ve felt unhappier and even more stressed out.

For those reasons, I decided to reframe how I was going to think about this break. We often feel like we always need to be productive and that rest is actually laziness. But rest, I’d argue, is exactly what we need at a time like this. We’re living in unprecedented times with an insurmountable amount of pressure placed upon our shoulders. We’re so focused on completing tasks that it becomes difficult to slow down and take the break that we need. Rest is so important for mental and physical health and it can provide a reset, so that we come back to school feeling refreshed and focused.

I know that for many, it’s necessary to work over the break―which is okay. But after work, I’d encourage you to find periods of rest and renewal. Slow down and do something that you want to do, not that you have to do. Take a walk, watch a good movie, order takeout from that restaurant you’ve been wanting to try. Whatever you do, find something that allows you to relax and enjoythe break that we do have.

Despite the fact that spring break is shorter, we can still make it work to our advantage. Sometimes all we have to do is remember that it’s okay not to be productive and to simply do things for ourselves. If you want to live in your PJ’s binging Netflix over Spring Break, then I say, do just that.