At this time of the year, so many people turn their thoughts to spring break. It is a chance to push aside the cold, dreary days of winter, thinking instead of the promises held by thoughts of warm, sunny days. Spring break offers a time to de-stress and a respite from our daily routines and responsibilities. Science tells us that breaks help with depression, lack of sleep and eating too much. If left to build up over time, these symptoms can contribute to a number of diseases. Now that you know how beneficial spring break can be, all that is left to decide is what type of break that you want to take! Consider the options below to determine which break works best for you.
Go to the Beach
After struggling through snowy days, the immediate thought many people have is to head to the beach to relax and unwind. For some, this offers the best opportunity to take leisurely walks at the water’s edge while others enjoy the chance to get deeply involved in a good book. A day at the beach also offers a great excuse to unplug from your tablet and smartphone (since sand and saltwater can be hard on electronic devices). Trips to the beach can be very calming. Exposure to sunlight, the soothing sounds of waves and the texture of sand on your feet have all been shown to decrease symptoms of depression.
Make It an Adventure
If a day at the beach sounds too calm, consider an adventure break. Options for adventure vacations include cycling trips, hiking expeditions or rock-climbing. Take advantage of this as an opportunity to start leading a more active lifestyle. Meeting the challenges of a new adventure also increases confidence in your ability to handle new experiences. Another big advantage of an active break is that it helps to avoid the weight gain that often comes with more sedentary vacations!
Often referred to as an alternative spring break, many people prefer to use time away from the typical daily routine for a mission trip or other philanthropically-focused travel. Several different groups organize these kinds of trips. Join others who share your desire to support people from a different culture, protect an endangered species or address social justice concerns. This is your chance to have fun while meaningfully impacting the lives of others, doing so in a way that provides a great deal of personal satisfaction.
Not everyone likes to travel to an exotic destination at spring break. Some people find that spending quality time with family and friends is a great way to spend days away from work. Take advantage of this as an opportunity to reconnect in person rather than through email and social media. Your family will be especially happy to see you if you have been away for a few months and may even offer to spoil you, so let them! Spending some time with family members promotes a sense of closeness and builds bonds that will be very helpful when challenges arise.
Finally, consider the benefits of having some alone time. When you are alone, you can be yourself without feeling obligated to fill all of the different roles that require your attention during a typical work day. This is a chance to stop and reflect on what it is that really makes you happy or to discover new talents and interests. After having some alone time, you will be more ready to be truly present to others when it is time to return to work.
Obviously, there are many ways to take advantage of some time away from work during spring break. What is most important is that you choose an option that affords you an opportunity for self-renewal. This is your chance to do what feels right in order to replenish and be your best self!