Take a true break

Enjoy time with your family and friends this season

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With winter break upon us, motivation to complete school work is plummeting. But what isn’t plummeting is the anticipation of warm cookies, movie marathons and sleeping in.
And although these activities are all wonderful, challenge yourself to do something more worthy with your time. Whether you celebrate Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas or nothing at all, now is a great time to surround yourself with the people you love and consume your time with things that fulfil you.
For most of us, in just a few short years or even months, we will be moving out of our homes for the first time. We will also be moving away from our families and the friends we’ve grown up with. This can be a huge adjustment for anyone and often takes a toll on the relationships we thought we would always have.
Before it’s too late, spend more time with the people who mean most to you. Put away the cell phone and listen to the stories Grandma tells at holiday dinner instead of tuning her out for endless strings of 140 characters you’ll never remember. Don’t mock your aunt’s knitting, have her teach you. Choose to help your mom bake those cookies you love instead of laying on the couch and taking a nap. Invite your best friends over and go ice skating instead of just sitting on your phone checking social media.
It seems that having a passion or hobby outside of updating social media and napping is the rarity these days. Outside of school, when was the last time you did something physically and mentally challenging? When was the last time you tried something new? School consumes us. We spend eight hours a day, five days a week juggling work, homework, club activities and countless other tasks, leaving absolutely no room for healthy and relaxing hobbies.
The amount of time students spend indoors and inside a classroom setting is not healthy. That is why it is important that we find ourselves a healthy outlet to unwind and clear our minds. According to Dr. Pat Alban of the Be Brain Fit Organization, the average person has 60,000 thoughts per day. Activities that allow you to express those thoughts, other than schoolwork and your social media feed, can leave you feeling less stressed and less overwhelmed. Anything from running to painting to meditating for 15 minutes can improve a person’s mental and physical health dramatically.
So during this holiday break, use your two weeks of freedom to rejuvenate your mind and discover something new. Take the time to strengthen bonds with your loved ones and go on adventures that will produce memories that will last a lifetime. Find something that truly makes you happy and at peace. For some that may include people. For others it may simply mean dance or knitting.
The only way to find these things is to take the time to try new things and take a chance. Take that chance now before it’s too late.

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