“Christmas break is way too short!” A complaint every teacher and student hears at least ten times on Monday after break. However, I’d argue that the problem is not the actual length of the break we get, but the amount of rest we get over it.
For the entire month of December, we tie ourselves to a rocket of over-commitment, too much homework, stress over finals, and the drama that surrounds Christmas Banquet. To come screeching to a halt on Friday at 11a.m. as we walk out of our last final feels weird. We’re still caught up in a false sense of needing to be productive or cry about how overwhelmed we are.
As a result, we sometimes spend our Christmas breaks continuing with the pattern of business. We hurry through visiting relatives, opening presents, and eating Christmas dinner.
Or sometimes, we do the exact opposite. “I’ve been so busy this month! I just want to do nothing!” So we do. We stare at a TV screen for hours on end, we lock ourselves in our rooms and catch up on what feels like years of lost sleep, and we avoid potentially stressful interactions at all costs.
The danger of this is that we are not actually resting. We’re lulling ourselves into a false sense of rest, but in reality, we’re remaining stagnant, rather than rejuvenating. We return to school in January with the same exhaustion weighing on us that we left with.
This Christmas, I encourage you to pursue stress relief, rather than just avoid stress. The best way to do this is to talk with your loved ones and express your emotions and engage in activities you truly enjoy. As much as you may love marathoning on Netflix, go back to the things you miss doing when you have more time. Paint a picture. Have a snowball fight. Bake cookies with your friends. Go to your church Christmas party and fellowship with the people you normally only see for a few minutes on Sunday. I promise you, you’ll come back much more rejuvenated.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from The Roar staff to you!