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Yes, You Need a Spring Break (Even If You Graduated Long Ago)

Topics: Work Culture
spring break
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Taking a vacation in the early days of spring isn’t just an idea for college kids and students — it should be a part of your adult plan for self care.

What does a spring break give you, the working professional and alleged grownup, that a regular old vacation doesn’t? Plenty.

1. Time to catch up on your lost hour

In spring comes the dreaded “spring forward” of Daylight Saving Time. We’ve already talked a bit about that “lost hour,” but you should be careful when it comes to messing with your sleep cycle. Doctors liken that lost hour to jet lag, and it can affect you a lot if your body doesn’t adapt well.

“We know from small studies that in people who are sleep deprived, the amygdala, which is the emotional center of the brain, is much more reactive to disturbing images as compared to somebody who’s well rested,” Dr. Charles Czeisler, chief of sleep medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, told CBS News.

2. Get some much-needed vitamin D

Coming out of winter, you might very well be struggling with some seasonal depression. One great way to fight it is by getting a smidge of natural light. Do that while you sit by a relaxing body of water, and you’ll enjoy the “medicine” even more.

(Note: Your lethargy, irritability, lack of attention and more could be a sign of seasonal or clinical depression, so you might want to talk to a medical professional about your symptoms and feelings. If you feel “down” for many days or are contemplating hurting yourself, please seek help immediately. You can always call 800-273-8255 24 hours a day to get free help.)

3. You need to break your routines (before they break you)

If you’re just going through the motions at work, day after day, use a spring break to disrupt the habits you’ve built up over the winter. If you’re lacking motivation to get through those (now abandoned) new year’s resolutions, then it’s a great time to reevaluate and adjust. Unfamiliar things, new things, risky things … they’re all ways to open up your life to new possibilities. Taking a trip to a new locale this spring could be the springboard to a new you!

4. Travel can change you (for the better)

Spring is an ideal time to travel, because so few people do it. Rather than waiting until August, when the whole world (seemingly) takes their vacation, travel in the spring can be a quieter affair. Spring break could mean a trip to the beach, or some alternative location that isn’t as popular. 

Or you can work on a project with an organization sponsoring an “alternative spring break” like ones that build houses or help local communities here or abroad. It’s up to you! If you choose a charitable sponsor for your break, you may even be able to get the time donated by your employer, if they support employees’ volunteer time with “free” vacation days.

5. You might want to spend time with your kids

There aren’t a lot of other times when your schedule aligns with the school district’s, so why not use spring break to spend quality family time together? Spring break is a chance to take a road trip before it gets too hot, or just plan some hangouts at home before the summer schedules heat up. Before your work stress negatively affects your relationships at home, slow things down and really take time to focus on your loved ones.

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Do you take a spring break? Where do you go? We want to hear from you! Comment below or join the discussion on Twitter.

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