Spring Break is typically scheduled around the middle or end of the month of March so that students can get a bit of reprieve from hectic school responsibilities before finals and the last half of the school year. Spring break is often idealized as being a week of nonstop fun and traveling, and while it can be those things, spring break actually does have a ton of other mental and physical health benefits, too. There have been discussions among different schools in the country about whether or not spring break is a good idea given the current times we are facing, but the overall response has been in definitive favor of keeping the vacation around. Especially in these unprecedented times, when students are experiencing school in such an unusual way, on top of the added stress that so many have been feeling from the pandemic, spring break is needed more than ever. The Southlake psychiatry team known as Dr. Messina & Associates is well equipped to work with children and adolescents in school that might be dealing with high levels of stress and anxiety. Let’s go ahead and talk all about some of the reasons why spring break is so important for students everywhere.
Spring break has shown to be highly beneficial to student's mental health because this week of vacation allows for a much-needed mental decompression from demanding school-related responsibilities. Students commonly do not receive enough credit when it comes to all of their various responsibilities, since so many are managing to balance six or more classes, extracurricular activities, social lives, and possibly even part-time jobs. All students, from grade school to college-age individuals, deserve ample time to decompress from chaotic school schedules. The act of being in school and learning has looked a lot different this past school year, so it should not even be a question as to whether or not students throughout the country need their typical spring break.
Not only has spring break proven to be fantastic for the mental health state, but it is undoubtedly beneficial for an individual’s physical health, too. When the mental state is in the right place, then the physical body also reaps all of the incredible rewards. Stress and anxiety can reduce during this time, which we certainly know by now is massively favorable to the overall health of an individual. Not to mention, spring break is the perfect time to enjoy the weather that is warming up and to obtain all of the many various health benefits that come from spending time in the fresh air and sunshine. When students are given this week to decompress and not think about assignments, their health has the chance to benefit greatly from it. Keeping mental and physical health in tip-top shape is crucial and so very necessary, especially nowadays.
While a lot of traveling has been put on a pretty big hold for the last year or so, there are still accessible ways to travel and to make the most out of the time allotted for spring break. Road trips are a phenomenal way to get out and satiate the travel bug that so many begin to feel by this time of year, and it is one of the safest means of travel at the moment, too. Traveling is so wonderful for the mind, body, and soul because it allows us to go have new and exciting experiences and to break out of the often-mundane day-to-day norm. Traveling of any extent is able to provide such a great reset, and students that work so hard each and every day in school truly deserve this reset. They will be more likely to come back and finish the year off on a strong foot after having the chance to go and spend some time in a different environment.
Plenty of students in high school and college have so many different responsibilities and activities on their plates, from part-time jobs to homework, sports, and their individual hobbies. Many full-grown adults do not even know how to easily navigate so many obligations and activities at once, so students certainly need to be given substantial breaks once in a while to allow them to destress and have the ability to catch up with anything pressing. While spring break should be a time for fun, it is also the perfect time to regroup and catch up with any important assignments or study materials that have been pushed aside over the course of the semester. Even if some students find spring break as an ideal opportunity to play catch up in some of their classes or other responsibilities, a portion of the week should absolutely be used for unwinding and taking a mental breather.
Some schools throughout the country have tossed the idea around of not having a set spring break to not risk any further spread and exposure of COVID-19. There have luckily been plenty of studies and experts saying that this week is indeed so necessary for the mental wellbeing of students all over. Spring break poses as a fabulous chance to mentally decompress, it is great for the physical health, it is the perfect opportunity to get out and travel to some extent, and it allows ample time and space to catch up with anything that might require a bit more focus. Being a student in this day and age is confusing and difficult enough, so offering students the opportunity of having a spring break is a resoundingly positive and beneficial thing in our books.
If you are needing support in your life, Dr. Messina & Associates has a team of psychiatrists and therapists ready to help you. We utilize cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and medication management to treat a variety of problems, such as anxiety, depression, phobias, insomnia, panic, OCD, ADHD, and child behavior problems, like oppositional defiant disorder. We also provide psychological testing and evaluation. We work with children, adolescents, and adults (individuals and couples), and are currently offering services in-person and online.