Try staying home this break

Sometimes the best way to recharge is to simply stay in. That can be surprisingly easy to forget.

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Illustration by Sam Mott

Tyler Rogers, Sports Editor

The daily grind can be draining. Rarely do people have time for much besides their jobs or coursework. Planning an extravagant vacation can just add to the stress of it all. Staying home this spring break holiday could give you that much needed time to recharge and regroup. 

Billy Nzalasse, a Brookhaven student, is about to experience his first spring break in the U.S. Nzalasse said he did not plan on partying over the break.

He said back home in Africa, he would spend his spring breaks dedicating his time to his personal interest, which is working on computers.“It’s therapeutic,” Nzalasse said.

Harold Duncan, a Dallas psychotherapist, said, “There are numerous techniques to relieve stress and really free the mind from being trapped.” Duncan said journaling and personal interests struck the hardest with him. “Being able to write out what is on your brain and then seeing those thoughts on physical paper can be very liberating,” he said. “Journaling is the cleaning of the mind.” 

Personal interests could be a wide variety of things, ranging anywhere from working out and reading, to seeing live music performances, to cooking.

“They help us focus our energy into positive things,” Duncan said. Spring break provides students with ample time to pursue those interests. 

According to The American Institute of Stress, 80% of students will experience frequent stress. The financial strain spring break causes can become stressful for the months that follow. Staycations give you that mental relief of saving money and not going for the extravagant vacation. That relief will have a trickle-down effect even after the break is over. 

Sandra Melgoza, a student, said her plans for the break were to save money and work extra hours at her job. “Many of my co-workers are going to be out of town for at least a couple of days so why not take advantage and save?” Melgoza said. She said she also intends to get caught up on her sleep. “Waking up early for class and then working at night leaves me very tired,” she said. 

Lack of sleep can severely affect one’s grades and contribute to mental health problems. According to The National Alliance on Mental Health, 44% of students experience symptoms of depression. Also, 80% feel overwhelmed by academic responsibilities and 50% have struggled with anxiety. 

David Gonzalez, a student, said he intends to find a good balance between being productive and partying this spring break. “I would like to get a head start on the second half of the semester, but I know myself and I will take my time to have fun as well,” he said

Don’t get all stressed out traveling to these exotic destinations or pricey music festivals. Save the dollars, and your bank account will thank you later. Journal your thoughts and ideas. See those ideas come to life by getting a head start on the second half of the Spring Semester. Pursue new personal interests. Take the time to learn how to make those double fudge brownies you never thought you’d have time to. Catch up on your sleep. Never neglect your mental health.

Recharge, regroup and focus your brain instead of burning it out.