Flow your way through the winter break-spring break stretch

Image+courtesy+of+MCT+Campus

Image courtesy of MCT Campus

Problem 1: “I hate everyone in my life.”

Step 1: Analyze why. Are your peers/family members more obnoxious than usual, or has your personality iced over with the weather?

Step 2: Get some time to yourself. The long wait for spring break might have made you impatient with others. Scheduling more “me time” sometimes helps us better appreciate the nice aspects of socialization and forgive others for their flaws.

Step 3: Make a list of all the people you liked before the temperature dropped. List the reasons you liked them, what drew you to them and then read through the list out loud. This will help you gain some patience with others for the sake of their positive traits. If you can’t come up with anyone, you’re probably a sociopath.

Solution: Appreciating others can be difficult when sunshine and freedom seem so far away, but perception and forgiveness make it a bit easier. Don’t face the stretch alone.

Problem 2: “My grades are plummeting faster than the temperature.”

Step 1: Get organized. Assignments don’t get done when they’re in grandma’s sink or in the zebra exhibit at the zoo. Place them in one folder or binder for each class. It’s a lot easier to do homework when everything is in one place.

Step 2: Keep up with work. It’s like my girl Jordin Sparks says, “One Step At A Time.” Conquer every assignment piece-by-piece. Never put something off, and get work done right away. Cut out distractions like TV, iPhones and laptops. If that’s too difficult, speak with a counselor to try to schedule a study block/IP.

Step 3: Communicate. Teachers aren’t as mean as they look. They want to teach, and they’re interested in helping you. Stop by their class after school if a lesson sounded like Yiddish, and let them know when you’re overloaded with homework.

Solution: Step back from the mess, and clean it up. Never think an academic situation is too difficult to press through. A mild change in lifestyle can get grades up in no time.
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Problem 3: “Everything’s fine…but I’m still depressed.”

Step 1: Get some sunlight. According to the Huffington Post, the decreased amount of exposure to sunlight during winter months can affect chemicals in the brain and make people feel exhausted or depressed. Bundle up and take a morning walk whenever the sun is out. If it’s too cold, follow my example and pick up an artificial sunlight lamp from Target or Bed Bath & Beyond. Twenty minutes next to the lamp a day perks me right up.

Step 2: Exercise. According to U.S. News, burning 350 calories three times a week can reduce symptoms of depression about as effectively as antidepressants. Go for a run before or after school, break out a jump rope every morning or invest in a gym membership. Just make some exercise time. The results will be worth it.

Step 3: Sleep. According to WebMD, when sleep is inadequate, it can lead to increased tension and irritability. Getting a solid amount of sleep per night can make a massive difference in mood. If that’s not possible, try taking a nap after getting home. Even that much extra rest can help.

Solution: Taking care of your body will take care of winter sadness. Finding time to sleep and exercise will shoot you across the stretch to spring break in no time.

Problem 4: “I’m bored with life.”

Step 1: Find a new hobby, something wildly different or challenging. Try making Youtube videos, start a unique club, learn how to play the didgeridoo; it doesn’t really matter what you choose. Just choose something that puts some excitement into the tedious stretch of time.

Step 2: Meet new people. As lovable as friends are, sometimes it’s good to find a change in social pace. That doesn’t mean get rid of your whole friend group; it just means reach out to people who are different from yourself.

Step 3: Plan fun things to do like traveling or hosting social events. Accepting that the period between winter break and spring break is ridiculously boring will make it ridiculously boring. Find ways to make the time a bit more bearable by jazzing up life with memorable occasions.

Solution: Mix up daily life. Boredom is caused by an overdose of normal. Slipping in some variety and excitement will help the stretch slide by.

Conclusion: The winter break-spring break stretch can drag a person down, but with a few lifestyle changes, spring break will come in no time. Just hold on, push through and most importantly, live. No matter how dark or dreary these upcoming months might seem, they are still a massive chunk of the year. Don’t miss out on opportunities because of the weather. The sun will come back; high school won’t.