By: Elias Azizi, Contributing Writer
At school, apart from summer break, winter break is the longest break students get. Typically, students are off for 2 whole weeks; with no classes and very little homework. Frankly, it’s a break that is well deserved. The first semester can be very rough and tends to feel harder than the second semester, since you’re entering school with a mind that’s still used to summer vacation. When it comes to winter break, most students would spend this time simply relaxing by watching Netflix and hanging out with friends virtually or physically. Yes, this is a valid way to spend some of your time during winter break, but these shouldn’t be the only things you do. In this article, I will discuss the best way to effectively spend your winter break.
Sleep, sleep, sleep
A large portion of students lack adequate sleep. This is due to the sheer amount of assignments and homework that is given during the semester. Sleep is needed to function properly, so a consistent lack of sleep can be harmful to your health. Inadequate rest can lead to mood changes, memory issues, and even an increased risk of heart disease. So, to try and prevent these health issues, one should utilize their winter break by sleeping. No, this does not mean to sleep all day; too much sleep can be harmful as well. Try and establish a routine sleep schedule during the winter break to make sure that you get enough sleep. 7-11 hours is the amount of sleep you should be getting to function and remain healthy. As well, one should be sleeping more at night than during the day.
Hang out with family and friends
During the semester, it can be very hard to spend time with your family. Students tend to be extremely busy during school days, since they have classes, homework and extracurricular activities to be part of. With such a busy day, it’s almost impossible to find time to relax with your family. However, during winter break, one can definitely spend a lot of time with their family. One may wonder, how is quality family time any good? Well, by spending time with family, you are bonding with them and improving your relationship with them. Also, spending time with supportive family members can improve mental health and reduce stress. As stressed in other Teen Health 101 articles, humans crave interactions with others, so by hanging out with others, you can satisfy this need and reduce tension. Healthy relationships are key to good wellbeing and a healthy mind.
Go over your work during the semester
This may seem like the most dull thing to do during winter break, but it sure is important. Before winter break, one has likely gone through the majority of course material for the semester. If one were to spend their entire winter break playing video games and completely disregarding their coursework, they would likely forget all the material. This can have a catastrophic impact on a student’s success after the winter break; especially during the exam period for the semester. By forgetting most or all of the topics you learned before the winter break, one would have to relearn all of them before exam time, which can lead to cramming; an ineffective studying method. Obviously, to avoid this from happening, you should spend a bit of time during the winter break to review the course material that you learned. You don’t have to study for too long; half an hour per day is likely enough. However, keep in mind that winter break should be used as a restorative period.
As the winter break approaches, students are encouraged to spend their time by relaxing (watching Netflix and gaming) and forgetting about their work. This may seem like the most fun thing to do, but it surely isn’t the most effective. A well spent winter break includes getting adequate sleep, spending time with friends and family, and briefly reviewing what you learned before the break. By doing these three things frequently, one will ensure that their winter break has a positive long-term impact on their mental health, and success at school.
Congratulations to all the students who have survived the majority of this hectic semester. Stay safe, stay focused, and cherish the winter break :)
Link to cover image: https://www.stpaulschool.ca/school-closed-for-winter-break/