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Mental Health

How to Cope if Your Spring Break is Lame

It’s spring break week again and your fomo levels are at an all-time high. It feels like a slap in the face every time you open up Instagram or SnapChat and see another photo of tan girls in bikinis on Miami Beach or frat boys drinking margaritas in Mexico. Not to sound too melodramatic, but you’re probably wondering how life could get much worse right about now.

Without including high school, this is now my third “lame” spring break. I’ve never jetted off to a tropical, exotic location and spent my break partying poolside just like in the teen soap operas that I grew up on. This year I don’t get much of a break at all since I have to work here in Richmond most of the week. In between my days off, I’m going home like I usually do to hang out with my mom and an assortment of hometown friends who are also having a “lame” spring break.

I’ve been putting “lame” in quotes because I believe your chill spring break is only lame if your vibes and mindset make it that way. Take it from me, a seasoned veteran in dealing with crippling cases of fomo. Whether you’re spending your spring break working, catching up on your studies, relaxing at home or maybe just had to stay behind because you live far away from Richmond and couldn’t afford to travel, I feel your pain and I’m here to help. I have some tried and true tips that will make your simple spring break bearable, and possibly even fun!

Tip: Avoid social media if you need to

It may be wise to just attack your fomo at the source instead of trying to remedy the symptoms after worsening them for yourself. Turn off push notifications, or even delete the apps if you need to. Inundating your mind with images of people you know having wild fun in the sun that you wish you were having is probably going to sour that home-cooked meal you have in front of you as you binge Netflix in your pajamas.

Tip: Don’t underestimate the power of self-care

It’s called “spring break” after all, so go ahead and give yourself a break - physically, mentally and spiritually. Spend some quality time with nature basking in the fresh air, if it’s not too cold. Read that book that you borrowed from your friend forever ago but you’ve been too busy to touch it. Have a spa day your way, whether it’s going out for massages and mimosas with your mom, or doing face masks and baking while watching your favorite show. Bubble baths are exceptional for recreating that warm fuzzy feeling that sand between the toes provides. And when you pamper yourself, it shows through in your skin, your smile and in the light behind your eyes. If you won’t be coming back from break bronzed, at least you’ll be glowing!

Tip: Let yourself be lazy without feeling guilty

We get one measly week to escape the hustle and bustle of the semester, right before life gets the most stressful and overwhelming that it will have been all year. If you find yourself feeling bored and anxious about finally having a whole day to yourself again and not knowing what to do with it, that means you are in need of some serious decompression and relaxation. Dancing on tables in Tijuana wasn’t what you needed anyway, babe. Sleep for as long as you want to and fill your day with anything and everything that brings you joy. If that means never getting dressed, who cares? A few mental health days of self-indulgence are much deserved by now and something that you shouldn’t feel bad about. You earned that lazy day with 3 p.m. brunch and cartoons! If you still need some sort of structure in life for your peace of mind, which is understandable, set little goals for yourself. Return to a hobby or interest that you used to be able to make time for and really enjoy. Reach out to a friend that you miss but haven’t been able to keep up with, due to distance or scheduling or both.

Just remember, sometimes it’s the littlest of things that can bring you the most joy. Plus, if you’re the kind of person that doesn’t need a boozy beach trip filled with social media bragging rights to feel happy and fulfilled, then you should consider yourself lucky. That’s a character trait that you should be proud of.

Image credit: 1, 2, 3

Noelle is a senior at VCU pursuing a B.I.S. with a minor in Media Studies. She knows this will be of great use to her when her lifelong dream of becoming a stand-up comedian is actualized. When she's not working at the animal shelter, or busy avoiding her schoolwork by doing yoga, you can find her attempting to sleep while her cats do everything in their power to prevent it.
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