5 Healthy Habits to Practice Over Break


Image courtesy of Gabin Vallet via Unsplash

Over spring break, students should aim to practice healthier habits that will benefit them in the long run.

Bushra Syed, Copy Editor

Even though spring break is still a week away, making a plan of what to do can help keep us all optimistic over the holidays. Some students have an idea of how they’ll spend their break and will stick to it. However, many of us let these free days fly by, and before we know it, it’s time to go back to school.

While sleeping in, “bingeing” on Netflix, late-night snacking, and endless scrolling through social media may seem ideal for some students, it’s probably not the healthiest way to spend time off.

To avoid this cycle in the future, students should find better, healthier ways to enjoy their break. Here are the five biggest habits that students should aim to practice over spring break.

1) Getting sleep. There’s no doubt that sleep is extremely important for our physical, emotional, and intellectual health. However, many students struggle with getting enough sleep. According to Psychology Today, teenagers need about 8-10 hours of sleep each night, but most only sleep for 5-6 hours. Getting an appropriate amount of sleep can prove to be difficult for some students, especially those with tighter schedules to work around. 

So how can we practice healthier sleep habits? For starters, students should set a specific and consistent bedtime. This can help build a good routine for your sleep cycle. Avoid eating late at night so that you’re able to fall asleep more easily. If stress is preventing you from getting enough sleep, meditating or journaling before bed can help power down your brain and prepare you for sleep.

The adolescent brain is still developing, and restful sleep is crucial to achieving healthy brain development. With the upcoming break, you can work to restore a healthier sleep cycle to power through your day and perform your best.

2) Limiting screen time. Virtual screens have invaded most of our lives, especially during the pandemic. Studies show that screen time more than doubled during remote learning last year. Even after returning to in-person school, many of us are still spending just as much time on our phones, laptops, and other electronic devices. We have become increasingly reliant on screens; nowadays, we can access a camera, notepad, printed books, and games at the push of a button.

It’s not always easy to know when it’s time to put your screen down, but practicing healthier habits in regard to using our electronics can be extremely useful, especially when we need to get our work done. Taking breaks in between screen time, even a ten-minute walk outside, can help significantly. Instead of scrolling through social media all day, consider picking up a new hobby. Is there something you’ve been wanting to learn how to do but you’ve never had the time for it? Maybe you want to give dance a try or learn a new baking recipe. Perhaps you want to start doing DIY projects; the possibilities are endless. The point is, there are a ton of other things we can spend our time doing without staring at a screen for hours on end.

3) Eating healthier. You’re probably really tired after school and just want a quick snack to tide you over until dinner, so you head to your favorite fast food place to get a drink and snacks.

While this may not seem like an issue to some, doing this on a regular basis can be harmful to your health. Many students enjoy their regular trips to McDonald’s or Starbucks, but eating and drinking too much of anything, especially food overloaded with sugar, sodium, and carbohydrates, can have detrimental effects on one’s physical body. A study from the CDC shows that over one-third of children and adolescents consume fast food on a given day.

This spring break, students should focus on maintaining a healthier and more balanced diet. Nutritional health, especially during teenhood, is extremely important to live a fit lifestyle.

4) Getting organized. It’s not easy to balance school with your personal life; you have other priorities to think about too. This is a struggle that students know all too well.

For many, it can be difficult to get work done because of things going on at home. Some distractions that students regularly face are noisy and hectic households, disorganized work environments, electronics, etc. Any of all of these disturbances can prevent us from completing our work, whether academic or personal.

There are multiple ways to become more organized. First, it’s important to find a good study area free from distractions or anything else that can hinder your work schedule. Regularly cleaning and organizing your work materials in a dedicated spot can also help you stay on task. Avoid keeping your electronics in your dedicated workspace, and make an agenda of everything you need to get done each day. Always remember to cross off any task you’ve already completed so that you don’t get overwhelmed with what needs to get done.

5) Spending time with family. For many of us, both students and teachers, finding time to spend with our families can be difficult. With all the tasks and responsibilities each person has, time with family may be limited, and this can cause a strain on our relationships with them.

While some students are taking a vacation with their families next week, many of us will be staying at home. Whatever the case, we should all make an effort to spend more time with our loved ones while we can.

Being around our families and engaging in healthy communication can greatly boost our mental, emotional, and social health; it also reduces the possibility of developing anxiety and depression. Families should dedicate a specific time each day to spend with one another. Whether it’s daily conversations held at the dinner table, movie nights, or any other family-bonding activities, everyone should be present and involved. Each family is different, so take the time to figure out what and how you can spend more time with your parents, kids, and siblings. If possible, find ways to spend time with each member of your family respectively to further build and improve those relationships.

It may not be easy, but practicing healthier habits over the break will ultimately benefit our overall health in the long run.