Holiday Break: 7 tips to make the most of it

The break between two semesters is approaching or for certain students like me is already happening.

It represents for most of the students a relaxed period where they are free to do whatever they want and start any projects they didn’t have time yet to start during their studies. However, some others are anxious about this period where the routine created by the online classes stopped and feel lost about doing something from their holidays.

Since we are still restricted to stay at home, occasions to travel abroad are limited and almost all public places are closed, finding a new rhythm could be anxiogenic and difficult. 

I would like to share with you 7 tips to make the most of your break:

1. Take care of your body

It was sometimes difficult to find time to prepare lunch properly between two online classes or during a class that was happening during the normal lunch break. You could take the time during the holidays break to eat healthy and cook your own meals. 

Same happened for exercising. For some of us, having a physical activity was simply impossible because of the limited space and/or motivation. AStA still offer online workouts every week but now that you have a break, take the time to move your body: sports, running, having a walk, and so on.

Finally, use the break to sleep correctly in order to release the stress accumulated. However, it could be interesting after some days without any alarm to wake up again with one to create a certain routine and not missing out your day because of waking up at 12 every single day.

2. Take care of your mind

Meditation helps keep a healthy mind. It is an approach promoting health, well-being and personal development which consists of an active training of the mind, to increase the capacity to be in full awareness of the present moment. It also helped to learn how to focus and can be helpful for studying.

Then, the holiday break can be perfect for an introspection time. Indeed, while being in a routine with daily habits, we don’t take the time to think about the mid or long-term perspective.  After our studies, life goes on and visualizing the future but also having plans can help to be more serene about the future.

Finally, personal development could be also beneficial for everyone to work on our weaknesses to better communicate with others and work on ourselves.

3. Help others

Even if contact with others is limited, you could still find a way to help around you. It can be simply a neighbor that would need some help to paint his/her walls, your parents that would need from you cutting woods, an old restaurant owner that would need to learn how to use social media to promote his/her location. You could also search online for helping in an Association for sustainability, precarity, animals, and so on.

4. Start something new and challenge yourself

This period would be suitable for starting a new activity or learning a new skill: a language, painting, how to do the handstand, cooking. It is very stimulating for the brain to do so and will keep you busy. Moreover, it could be interesting to set challenges to finish before the end of the break: being able to run a half marathon, sticking to morning routine, speaking the sign language, finishing a saga of books.

5. Calling your relatives and friends

We usually let time pass without thinking about maintaining the bonds created with others. This break is an opportunity to call an uncle you barely call, a friend you met during an exchange semester but never took the time to contact him/her again. Relations are fundamental, even more during this pandemic time. Creating new friendships is complicated but maintaining existing ones is easy thanks to the technology.

6. Cleaning up

I am not talking especially about your room or apartment you were too lazy to do during your studies. It is more about cleaning up your documents, folders? or any materials you needed during your online classes. Maybe you downloaded a software you will not use again during your next semester or maybe you borrow a book from the Library, and you have tons of Post-it inside. Take the time to clear your personal space to be able to have a fresh start for your next semester.

7. Find the balance You don’t always have to do something productive during this holiday break. The goal here is not to feel guilty of doing nothing or to watch movies in the row. It is just important to find a balance between entertainment and learning. You should take more time you usually don’t have normally for cocooning, but you could still then check some tasks you have on your to-do list. A perfect day would be a mix of both, but everyone would have his/her own approach and preferences.

Text by Margaux Venet