Written by Dana Mallett, CATL Office Program Assistant
By March most, if not all, of us are very ready for a break. The gap between winter break and spring break can feel like an eternity and being in a cold climate often makes the days leading up to summer feel even longer. Whether you are planning a trip somewhere far away and warm, to curl up on your couch watching Netflix, or just enjoy a quieter work week on campus – here are a few ways to utilize this week off to prepare for the final months of the semester.
Don’t overschedule yourself
Using this break to catch up on all the things that have been put to the side as you are putting out the daily fires of the semester can seem like a great idea. But try to do it in moderation…as much as a week can allow. If you stuff all the things that need to be done in this week there will be no time to stop and enjoy the quieter, more relaxed atmosphere on campus.
Try to sleep a little more
That might be easier said than done, but maybe one day this week sleep in a little later. If you are lucky enough to be at home this week, sneak in a 20-minute (or 2-hour – no judgment) nap. Our students have it right – naps are golden and can work miracles to reenergize you. Don’t have a lot of time to catch a nap? That’s ok, according to the Journal of Sleep Research, a 10-minute nap “improved subjective and objective alertness, decreased fatigue, increased vigor, and improved performance.”1
Step away from the screen
Most of us spend a good amount of time in front of our computer/laptop/iPad in order to perform our work duties. Stepping away from the computer screens may seem counter-intuitive in our effort to have a productive work week, but maybe a break from your screen is exactly what you need to get some work done. Stepping away might allow for the time to really think deeply about your goals for the remainder of the semester. Maybe there are some research articles or book that you have been setting aside since the beginning of the semester. Or maybe you just really want to catch up on the latest magazine of choice. Whatever it is – take a day and step away from the screen. You might be surprised at how much time it frees up.
Connect with family or friends
At some point in adult life, getting away and spending time with a friend or loved one can seem like a task that needs to be carefully planned out as to not neglect one of the many responsibilities you may have on your plate. While the students are off campus there might be a little more time to take the lunch hour to connect with a colleague, or to stay out a little later enjoying dinner with your family, knowing you don’t have to be 100% on point in front of a class at 8:00 a.m. the next day. The relaxed atmosphere of the campus during this week can allow a little more flexibility in how you spend time outside of the work hours. We all aren’t able to head to Puerto Vallarta this week, but maybe head over to El Sarape and catch dinner and a margarita with a friend.
Reflect on the semester so far and where you want the next couple of months to go. What have you addressed to date? What still needs to be covered? What are the overall learning objectives of your courses and do you feel that the students are going to meet those by May? The second half of the semester can go by pretty fast and keeping everyone focused can feel like herding cats at times – but May will be here before we know it!
Hopefully you have had a chance to take some time for yourself and enjoy the spirit of Spring Break. Do you have any tried and true ways to make sure you return to school after break feeling refreshed and ready to face the end of the school year?