As the weather got colder this week and a forecast of snow popped on my weather screen, I started to the think about the months ahead. For many people November and December are a time for getting together with family and loved ones. You may travel to a relative’s house and/or take a vacation from work or school. With end-of-year deadlines or fall finals these breaks are often welcome respites from busy and sometimes stressful schedules.
Holidays and vacations give us time with family and to unwind and relax. However, transitioning back to school or work can be hard, especially when the amount of light in our day is limited and the temperatures are colder. After my first Christmas break away from school, I was shocked when I felt the transition back to school after the holiday was harder than starting out my freshman year. Although I was excited to be among my friends again, I dreaded the stress of my classes. Going back to school or work after an extended break can bring up anxiety or sadness. We may feel pressured by expectations and be concerned about our work load.
REACHOUT.com has some suggestions for easing back into school or work.
1. Set goals for the year or even just a quarter or semester. This gets you motivated and thinking about what you want to achieve.
2. Get involved. Trying a new activity can give you a fun outlet for stress and help you meet new people.
3. Break the ice. Talk to new people in your classes and ask them to get coffee or form a study group.
4. Don’t stick to stereotypes. It’s often easy to put ourselves and others into different groups based on how they look or act. Hanging out with people with different interests can help you expand your friend circle.
5. Express yourself. Release tension by doing something fun. Find an exercise you like, journal, do an art project. Winter months especially can seem dark and depressing. Spruce up your living space by decorating with color. Make a craft like multi-colored 3D magnets for your locker or fridge, fruit garland for your wall or locker, DIY fruit magnets, colorful perler bead key chains (wait my kids make these), get crafty with some fabric and make a fun bag, decorate a pot and pot a plant, or get a colorful rug for your room. For more fun tips you can go to hercampus.com at http://www.hercampus.com/diy/crafts/14-fun-fruity-diys-brighten-your-space?mc_cid=eb466f0e69&mc_eid=80e48a360a.
You can go to REACHOUT.com for more information at http://us.reachout.com/facts/factsheet/going-back-to-school-after-break.
Whatever you find that helps to lighten your mood, do it! Schedule in some fun time with friends, plan a gym schedule, read a book, go see a movie, or make time to do something artsy. Having sessions of time in our week that are fun give us something to look forward to when we’re feeling stuck in the rut of work and study.
Until next time, all the best!