Welcome to spring break!

Image courtesy of PickPik

Congratulations, students, you made it! Whether your class on Friday has been cancelled or not, spring break starts at the end of this week, and I for one could not be more excited. It can seem impossible to get through the spring semester, like marching through molasses only the molasses is midterms and due dates and class projects and you are just a sad little slug. Spring Break is like an extended weekend — it doesn’t really feel like a break at all and all the anxiety of the week ending lingers over you like a stormy rain cloud, but instead of bringing up daisies, it just breeds mosquitos and deadlines.
The good news is that even if you have a Friday class you can’t get out of, or you have to work over break or you have way too much homework to relax, this really is your time. I’ve compiled a list of things you can do over spring break (no, not activities) to help you de-stress so that maybe you can get rid of that soggy guilt feeling that’s been plaguing you since October.
I know it’s tempting to go to sleep for the next ten days — don’t! You’re only going to ruin your sleep schedule. Catch up on missed Z’s, but also, take a walk. Whether you’re staying in the UP or going somewhere warmer (Grand Rapids is supposed to have a high of 60 degrees on Sunday!) go outside and take a deep breath. The first day of Spring is March 19 and it’ll be here before you know it, no matter how much Jack Frost likes to linger in the window panes. Taking in much needed Vitamin D and actually having the time (and energy) for a brief walk in the rare sunshine will do so much good for your mood and concentration.
If getting out and walking is too much, take a little chunk of that time you’ve been given and practice meditating or stretching. These are easy to do while you do other things — stretch between video game battles, meditate before bed. This can help you keep some kind of structure during this tease of a break. Without any structure, coming back, you won’t feel refreshed but rushed and in over your head.
Plant some seeds! This is a fun and productive thing to do. Since we live in Michigan, some plants should be started indoors 6-8 weeks before they should be planted outdoors (think: bell-peppers). If you’re going home, you might consider starting a little indoor seed-garden to plant when you return for the summer. Now is the perfect time to start your garden indoors and the plants should be sprouting by the time break is over! Green = happy = increase in work productivity. It’s math.
Now, here’s the fun part — do whatever you want! All of the above is clear your mind type stuff. Get prepped, get relaxed. You have ten days to hang out with friends, go out to eat, play video games, stay up late, watch movies and re-read an old favorite. Your professors might swamp you with projects, and that’s life, but you deserve a break as well. If you can’t get over that guilty feeling everytime you start to do something fun, try doing something productive first. Dedicate one hour out of every day to finishing an assignment or reading study notes, and then don’t think about it again.
Use this gift of time to get ahead with assignments, so you aren’t swamped when you come back! You don’t have class to worry about and that means you have extra time on your hands! Sometimes a break is catching up, sometimes it’s getting ahead, and sometimes it’s getting your head on straight. You know what you need, and you shouldn’t feel guilty about resting where rest is due.
Enjoy your time off, and come back feeling better than ever! After spring break, we only have six weeks left, and then summer. It’s almost here!