Rest is important for hardworking students, but don’t get too comfortable as a couch potato.
As soon as the last bell rings for the end of the third term we can finally feel the weight of schoolwork and responsibilities lifting off our shoulders. When we get home and feel the holiday set in we can easily get into the habit of being a couch potato. Even though holidays are specifically there for us to rest, to spend the whole holiday watching television or playing on our phones won’t ensure that we are rested out and ready for the last school term of the year.
In this week’s blog we want to share with you 3 ways to recharge your mind without becoming lazy. As Thich Nhat Hanh once said, “We will be more successful in all our endeavours if we can let go of the habit of running all the time, take little pauses to relax and re-centre ourselves. We’ll also have a lot more joy in living.”
In this article we discuss the following aspects surrounding rest and relaxation in the school holidays:1. Take care of your body.2. Exercise your brain in a different way.3. Spend time with your loved ones.
1. Take care of your body.
In order to take care of your mind, you also need to take care of your body. During this short holiday, take the time to rejuvenate your body. When you take care of your body, your mind will also feel renewed. This doesn’t mean you need to start a strenuous workout routine or to get your body into shape during this short holiday. We recommend the following activities you can do to rejuvenate your body:
- Try yoga or pilates. This type of exercises help you stretch your muscles and increase blood flow to your brain. Yoga is known to have a very calming effect on your body, mind and spirit, even if it is only performed for 30 minutes.
- Take a hike. Hiking is one of the best exercises, as walking in open air helps you recover mentally. The increased oxygen is good for all your organs, including your heart, lungs and brain. You will also get Vitamin D through sunlight exposure and feel nature beneath your feet.
- Feed your body properly. In the holidays we love treating ourselves to junk food. No one can deny that a pizza or chocolate milkshake is really delicious! Your brain gets instant satisfaction from the sugar. However, if you continuously eat unhealthy you will feel much worse in the long run. Instead you can try to make delicious fruit smoothies and other healthy snacks.
- Pamper yourself. This could be something extravagant like going for a massage, or simply to take a long bubble-bath. You can also listen to relaxing instrumental music before you go to bed at night. Pampering yourself is different for everyone, but whatever makes your body feel relaxed and refreshed, this holiday is the time to do it.
2. Exercise your brain in a different way.
Studying for tests or exams can be quite a mental workout. We suggest you take a break from all your academic books this short holiday. However, to stay mentally fit, try exercising your brain with activities you don’t normally do. For example:
- Play a musical instrument. Maybe you’ve learned to play an instrument while growing, but haven’t gotten time during the year to practice this instrument. Take the time now to enjoy making music once again. To learn more about the effect music has on the brain, read our blog, ‘4 Benefits of music on the brain.’
- Create art. You don’t necessarily need to have a talent to make art to enjoy the process of creating something. Whether it is simply drawing with pencils or splashing paint all over a canvas, making art has great benefits on your brain and can help you with self-expression. To learn more about the benefits of art on the brain read our blog, ‘4 Positive effects of visual art on the brain.’
- Read an interesting book. The best way to take your mind off of school, without getting lazy, is to read a wonderfully written book. A good book will transport you to a different world and help you rejuvenate your mind.
3. Spend time with your loved ones.
We all have a support structure, like your parents, siblings, friends and other family members. During the academic term, and especially when we write tests, our support system helps us in various ways. Simple encouragement, checking in to see if we’re doing okay, bringing us snacks while studying or even just a hug is the loving acts our support system performs during school. Now that it’s holidays, it’s time we return the favour. Spend time with your loved ones and remind them how much you care for them. We suggest the following activities to enjoy quality time with your loved ones:
- Make dinner together. Helping your mom or dad make dinner will show them that you appreciate them. It’s a great time to talk about the day or about the things you like or dislike. Use this time to get to know your parents a bid better.
- Exercise together. When you exercise you usually need a little bit of encouragement. Support your loved ones as they work out and give them the encouragement they need. You will form an even stronger relationship as you spend this active time together.
- Have a game night. A fun way to spend time with your family and friends is to have a game night where you can play board or card games together.
We want to encourage all school students to have a relaxing short holiday and to return to school well-rested. Let us know what activities you will do this holiday. We would love to hear from you.
Visit our website www.asp-schoolprojects.co.za for more information about what we do.