As the final stretch of the semester looms, stress is at an all-time high. But Thanksgiving break is next week! Whether you’re the type to study the entire time or sit and do nothing, here are some tips to use the break to your advantage and give yourself the best rest possible.
Disconnect from school
While finals are important, you can’t pour from an empty cup. It is important to disconnect from academic stress so you can tackle the rest of the semester. Put away the books, turn off your Canvas notifications and allow yourself to get some mental relaxation. If you have a class or upcoming test that’s really adding stress, set aside 30 minutes to an hour to study, then leave the rest of the day to get some peace. After all, it’s called a break for a reason! Use that time to recharge by yourself or spend quality time with the people in your life.
Do a digital detox
This one is easier said than done! I am guilty of spending hours on my phone every day, especially during breaks. Cutting down on screen time over the break will help you get the rest you deserve. Constant exposure to notifications, information and media can make us mentally exhausted, whether we realize it or not. Use Thanksgiving week as an opportunity to put away your phone and let your brain get some rest. Try out things like games with your family, baking or other activities.
Spend some time connecting with nature during the break. Whether it’s going on a bike ride, a walk through the park or a stroll downtown shopping, getting outside is well-known to improve your headspace. While you don’t want to pack your schedule full, being intentional with how you’re spending your time this break will help you feel like you’re ready to come back at your best. The fall weather is beautiful, so it’s the perfect time to get a little fresh air and boost your mood.
Find relaxation activities
Get creative! Try out things you haven’t done before. I love journaling, but there are tons of other avenues. Things like drawing, listening to music and yoga are great ways to reduce stress. If you’re not the mindfulness type, something as simple as watching a movie with friends or family or going for a drive are amazing ways to unwind. Find what works for you, but make sure it’s giving you the space to gauge how your brain is doing. Remember, grades and school aren’t the end-all be-all. Your well-being should always be your top priority.