By INDIA KRUG – While the holidays are an exciting time of year, preparations for the season and the wrap-up of school can lead to exhaustion. Junior Paige Mitsko says, “I personally love the holidays and am always ready to ‘deck the halls’ in October, but I think the days leading up to Christmas are very stressful.”
The importance of practicing self-care to battle holiday blues or just alleviate stress cannot be understated. Sophomore Justin Reese comments, “Intensive classes, family responsibilities, and extracurriculars can amount to a lot of pressure. With all of these stressors and anxiety-inducing toxins, it’s vital to maintain healthy practices to keep your mind and body fine-tuned.”
However, in today’s society, the culture of self-care is rooted in things you can buy that will supposedly make you feel better. In reality, bath bombs and Mario Badescu facial sprays won’t solve all of your problems. Junior Reese McFarlane shares, “I usually get rid of all external distractions and do things that make me happy like practicing guitar.”
Here are some tips to consider during break.
- Make a to-do list.
You are 70% more likely to complete your goals if you write them down. Organize your plans for break and look ahead to what the end of the quarter will consist of. In the same vein, writing down what you accomplish throughout the day– even if it’s just small things like showering or brushing your hair– will encourage you to get things done.
2. Phone time does not equate with relaxation time.
In most circumstances, our phones cause more stress. If you want downtime, ditch the phone. Instead, pick something like reading a book, spending time with a pet, or listening to music. Allowing yourself to be present in the moment means you will appreciate it more. If you do crave a Netflix episode, invite sibling or parents to join you instead of sitting in your bedroom.
It may be the opposite of what you feel like doing, but when you get your body moving, it releases endorphins that combat stress. You can keep it fun by finding an exercise partner and picking activities you enjoy. Balance out that action with calmness by downloading free meditation apps like Headspace.
Productivity can eliminate the potential for stress in the future. Since you’ll have some time at home, take the opportunity to clean your room or do a load of laundry. This will put you on the right foot for when the bustle of school returns in January.
5. Get out of the house.
Even if it’s just running errands with your parents, taking a walk, or grabbing coffee with a friend– getting out of the house will motivate you to change out of your pajamas and freshen up. A change in atmosphere can have a positive effect.
6. Spend time with your relatives.
While the arrival of relatives might be considered a stressor for some people– as high schoolers, this holiday season will be one of the last we spend living at home. Being with family is the most important part of the holiday season.
Wishing you a happy holiday and a wonderful break!
[Photo courtesy of Paige Mitsko]
Photo Caption: “Junior Owen Morris enjoys some coffee out with his friends.”
India is a junior and a second year reporter for the High Arrow. High school journalism is important to her because it is dangerous to be uninformed. As a part of the High Arrow staff, she is able to grow as a writer while learning from her peers and those in the field.