I had the opportunity to go on a well-deserved camping/cottage trip a few weekends ago, and I must say that I have sorely missed swimming in the lake and sitting in front of the campfire with some great friends. It was definitely an unforgettable weekend.
When I came back though, I was ready to get right back to the RED Zone; I was ready to return to my second home here at York University. However, I am certain that I needed the break, and I am really glad that I took the weekend to get away and relax.
So this is what I think you need to know – although school is demanding, and although at times you may think that you cannot take any time for yourself, it is really important to get away from it all, and to relax when you feel the need to.
In a presentation by Peer Health Education Coordinator Danielle Stein in April, I was told all about Self-Care, and how simply looking after your physical health is not the only prerequisite to staying healthy. You must also look after your mental and emotional well-being, which definitely includes taking some time to relax and de-stress every so often.
So let’s talk options: what can you do to take a break from the everyday stresses of class and homework? Here are some of the things I like to do whenever I need to take a break: Give them a try!
- Take a trip
It doesn’t have to be a week-long tropical vacation; why not try taking a trip to Montréal or Mont Tremblant through your college? All the colleges put on trips and events all year round, and they are all super cheap! The York Federation of Students, as well as many clubs, also run various trips during the year for their members, and they are usually very cheap as well. If you don’t get the chance to take that family vacation this year, why not travel with your new family here at York University?
- Be Active
For me, going to the gym or playing intramural sports is a great way to take a break from the stresses of school. There are over 25 intramural sports available for you to play for free through your college – join a team as an individual, or make up a team of your friends, and play a sport that you love! Additionally, all York University students can get a membership to all of the fitness facilities at the Tait Mackenzie centre (Weight room, gymnasiums, squash courts & tennis courts, track, pool, etc) for only $15 for the whole year. Memberships begin going on sale in August, so pick up yours, and use it to relax, stay fit, and have fun!
- Join Clubs
On York University’s co-curricular hub online, YU Connect, the current number of organizations (as of today) is 504 – that’s 504 different clubs and organizations for you to get involved in! Whatever interest you may have, whether academic, religious, athletic, cultural, hobby-related, or just simply something you’ve always wanted to try, York University has a club for it. And even if we don’t, all it takes is 15 people (including yourself) to start a club – basically, whatever you’d like to do outside of the classroom, you can, and you can use clubs as a great way to spend your time outside of the classroom. What’s better than escaping the stresses of school by doing something that you enjoy? Truly, nothing that I can think of.
- Attend Events
There are always events going on at York University. Whether put on by your college, by the York Federation of Students, or by various clubs on campus, attending events on campus can be fun, rewarding, and a great way to relax and take a break.
- Do What You Love
This isn’t necessarily referring to something at York University. If what you love is at York University, than all power to you! For me, when I am really stressed out about school or about something in my personal life, there is nothing I enjoy more than picking up a good book and getting lost beneath the pages. Whatever you love to do, treat yourself once in a while when you really need a break!
- Reset Yourself
I have spoken about this in a blog post a few weeks back; you can find a bit more about it there. But this practice is great for assessing whether or not you need a break. You can sit back, look at how your week went, see what you need to accomplish for the next week, and then decide how and when to take your well-deserved break. The great thing about resetting yourself as well is that you can, temporarily separate yourself from your stressors – it is an opportunity to look from the outside in upon your life at present, and you can take a ‘break’ in this way without even taking an actual break.
Try some of these practices, and just remember that sometimes the best medicine is a break with a little bit of R&R – rest & relaxation!