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  • Michelle T.

Utilizing Winter Break in an Effective Manner

After graduating highschool as a class of 2023, the first thing I knew I needed was a BREAK. This was a time for me to take a step back and reevaluate. Previous years I was working diligently,and definitely took  pride in all the hard work. Your academic goals and outcome are important. However, are you taking care of your mental health and well-being? In the long run, you aren’t going to succeed as a well adjusted student if  the overload can tempt you to find shortcuts, especially if you are so exhausted. As a highschool graduate, I’ve experienced “burn-out”, and this is not something I would like to repeat as I start my journey as a first-year college student at University of Miami. It is important to not be afraid to implement self-care into your routine since this will ultimately boost your mentality and motivation. Since winter break is approaching, this is YOUR time to do activities you love. Seize the opportunity to engage in a new hobby for stress relief and slow down to spend quality moments with your loved ones.Here is a list of what I personally like to do and some recommendations:


  1. Hobby

Find something you enjoy doing or seek out something new. Personally, I’ve always enjoyed crocheting since it calms my mind and allows me to reset my mental state. I am able to freely create anything I wish and complete something that I can look at later and still be proud of it. Even though the process of crocheting requires a lot of patience, it pushes you to be persistent no matter how difficult it is to finish a pattern. Allow yourself to have fun while pursuing an activity.


  1. Exercise

 Sometimes sitting at home can produce boredom or too much idle time. Your brain produces the chemical serotonin that helps boost your positive mood. It also reduces stress and anxiety. Indoor or outdoors, create an opportunity to get your body moving. It’s beneficial for both your physical and mental health. Plus, you can always have a friend to join you!


  1. Meditation/Prayer

Peace and rest are necessary to recharge. Meditating helps your brain focus, breathe, and slow down. It allows you to reflect, relieve your mind, and listen to your body. Prayer can help you express gratitude, improve your mindset, and restore your soul. Either mental connection can help you reduce stress and refocus. Step back, take a break, and make space to meditate or pray. 


  1. Journaling

Not only does journaling allow you to write everything out on paper but it allows you to keep track of your mental state and what you are thinking, to set goals, or just let go.  It is an effective tool when you are trying to reflect. It’s best to physically write versus type because the motion of writing can improve your cognitive skills and long term memory. 


Alongside the examples, anything that motivates you and carves time for you to properly rest is beneficial. Find what works for you and make it a habit. Remember, rest is a necessary part of your academic journey to reach your goals with a proper mental state. Take charge of your well-being—your future self will thank you.


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