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5 1/2 Ways to Actually Relax on Break


Fall Campus Scenes, photo by Priscilla Grover

Time away from classes and responsibilities can be an…interesting time. In a world of maximizing productivity, taking time to chill can often be a challenge. Breaks often include changes, like going back to your hometown, which can be totally disorienting and distracting. You may also be signing up for a whole new schedule and starting to work on final projects. For the sake of actually unwinding and taking, well, a break this upcoming break, here are 5 ½ ways to relax.

1) Don’t bog yourself down with work

While breaks, especially long ones, can be a great time to catch up on work or school, don’t let work be the center of your time off. Maybe just set aside a specific day or amount of time to get ahead, but stick to that limit! Maybe even log out of school email for a day or two to hold yourself to it. Breaks are there for a reason, and no one is going to blame you for taking a little time for yourself.

2) Plan out some books or movies to catch up on

One of my favorite ways to decompress on breaks is planning some books or movies to enjoy. Check out Albertsons Library or a bookstore (like Rediscovered Books or Barnes and Noble) and pick out a few titles you can flip through over the week or on plane or car rides. Check what’s new on Netflix or flip through your watchlist. Maybe after this break, you won’t feel out of the loop next time your friend asks you, “Hey, have you watched the newest episode yet?”

3) Make time to see friends and family

If you’ve been away at school for a few months, it may feel like it’s been eons since the last time you saw old friends or family. You might feel like you’re an entirely new person. If it’s felt like it’s been a long time for you, then it’s probably felt like a long time for them as well. A great way to relax and help ground yourself, especially if you’re “home” for the break, is reaching out to those you haven’t seen for awhile. Allow yourself to have fun and value great friendships. It’s bound to be a good time!

4) Journal

Even if you’ve never journaled before, writing down what’s happening in life can be a fun and creative way to relax. A lot happens during our college years and writing things down can help you get in-tune with what’s happening in life (and in the world). A wise professor once told me, “life moves too fast to forget!”

5) Connect with nature

Whether it be going for a hike, stepping outside for a scenic drive, or even just going for a walk around the neighborhood, find a way to get outside and connect with your natural environment. It’s a key way to relieve stress. And with autumn coming to a close, it’s a beautiful time of year to button up and let your mind and body wander in the outdoors.

5 ½)  Sleep!

Something that we (myself definitely included) may often forget about in the heart of busy school weeks, is sleep. Breaks can offer a great opportunity to kick back, curl up with your favorite blanket, maybe throw on some lo-fi music, and get caught up — let your body recharge. Use this long break as a valuable opportunity to get some well-deserved rest!

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