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picture of people enjoying jengaWith finals over,students are ready to rest and enjoy the Winter Break. It’s important to take time to have fun and relax so you can begin strong when the new semester starts, so here are four ways you should take care of yourself over the winter break.

Take Care of Your Physical Self

No doubt you want to have some fun during your break, but take time to get some rest and relax. You don’t want to return in January more tired than you were when you left.  During the crunch of finals, many students don’t take time for meals or eat enough of the right foods. What you put into your body is important, so refuel your body by making good food choices.  And, make time to exercise. While it is tempting to lay around watching movie marathons on Netflix, exercising consistently for thirty minutes three to six times a week will increase your ability to be proactive when you return to campus instead of reacting to all the outside forces around you. As a bonus, all the endorphins you produce will help you enjoy your break even more.

Take Care of Your Brain

After all the studying and preparing you do before your finals, you may think that you just need to empty your brain for a while. What you want to do it feed it; or more specifically, feed the creative side of your brain. Let’s face it; almost all your finals required you to use the left side of your brain. You had to practice logical thinking, accuracy, and analysis, and all that brain work has left you exhausted. To refresh your brain do something creative. Read a book, just for fun. Write in your journal, or blog, or just a letter to a friend or family member. Paint something, take some pictures, build in Minecraft, sing and dance, or play some video games. Do something that requires you to be intuitive, subjective, random, and creative. Rest the left side and enjoy engaging the right side of your brain.

picture of stacking stonesTake Care of Your Spirit

Taking care of your spirit means to reconnect to your value system and the things that inspire you. This is a very personal form of renewal and people do it very differently. Some people immerse themselves in distinguished literature or surround themselves with great music. Others head outdoors to communicate with nature. Still others refresh their spirit through prayer and meditation. Whatever method you use, take the time to reconnect and recommit yourself to those things that inspire and uplift you.

Take Care of Your Emotional Self

Take some time to heal after the stress of finals. Spend time with people you enjoy: with family and friends who make you feel loved and secure. Perform at least one act of service, especially an act of anonymous service, where you will gain nothing more than the satisfaction of helping others. Make a difference to someone else on a small way. As humans, doing something that is meaningful and beneficial to others brings out the best in us and renews our emotional self.

You will find that the best self-care comes through finding the balance in each of these four areas. So enjoy your Winter Break, relax, and we will see you when you return in January.