Mia Smith is a sophomore and in her second year in Journalism. In her free time, she enjoys dancing, listening to music, and petting her cat.
Five Tips to Help Yourself Improve Over Spring Break
March 20, 2019
While thinking about spring break, you may think of a week of traveling, hanging out with friends, and unwinding from the stress of school. But what if your family can’t afford a vacation, or take time off of work? Are you stuck sitting at home waiting to see your friend’s travel pictures?
The fact is that even if you don’t have extravagant travel plans for spring break, there are plenty of things for you to do from home that can benefit you in the long run. So when planning what to do this spring break, consider incorporating these self-care tips.
1) Get ahead on assignments
While doing class assignments over a school break may not be anyone’s idea of “fun,” it can pay off in the long run to give you a headstart on the rest of the semester. Some teachers may assign homework for students to do over the week, and a zero in the grade book is not the best start to the last several weeks of the year, especially if you’re facing a big project. One recommendation is to do most of the work during the first weekend after getting out of school. This way, the directions will be fresh in your brain, as you’ll still be in “school mode.” If you finish your work in a timely manner, you may feel more put together, prepared for the final stretch of the school year, and overall, less stressed. Plus, you’ll still have several days left of break to relax.
If you are looking to give back to your community, volunteering can be a great way to spend part of your spring break. According to Healthy Place.com, volunteering can actually boost your self-esteem, because it takes your attention off of your own issues and gets you thinking about others. You might choose to volunteer at the FSPCA (fspca.org) or Fluvanna Meals on Wheels (mealsonwheelsfluvanna.org). Or, you can help beautify Fluvanna by simply picking up trash in the community. Better yet, consider texting some friends and volunteering together with them.
According to VeryWellMind.com, exercising is one activity that people wish they had more time for in their schedules. With nicer weather on its way, spring break is a great time to try to incorporate some physical activity into your day. It doesn’t have to be too difficult, it can just be a walk or a bike ride to a friend’s house, a hike at Pleasant Grove, or swimming at a pool or beach. Try to make it a shorter, enjoyable activity that you could continue in a daily routine after break ends. After all, many people claim to have better mental health after they begin regular exercise, and what student doesn’t already feel stressed? Fitness could kill two birds with one stone by improving both your physical and mental health.
4) Discover new interests
Many students have hidden talents like arts and crafts that they have never uncovered due to lack of free time. Or, they could have possibly explored those talents earlier in their life, but then dropped them. Spring break is a perfect time for you to resurrect old or new hobbies, like creating artwork, cooking, writing, or playing a sport. All it takes is a bit of inspiration, maybe a trip to a local store, and dedication.
5) Sleep in
While you may plan on sleeping in over break, you may not actually end up getting the sleep you need. Plenty of students consider staying up until 5 AM and sleeping until noon in their heads as “sleeping in.” However, this would only give you seven hours of sleep, whereas studies show that teens typically need eight to ten hours of sleep per night to properly function throughout the day without being tired. Instead, consider going to bed between 10 pm and midnight and waking up before 11 am over break. While it may not sound very exotic, you won’t have to adjust your sleep schedule too much the following week when you’re back at school. Plus, you’ll be getting the sleep you need, and won’t waste an entire week by sleeping the daylight away.