Pursuit of Happiness: Take a break

Students are seen working in the Homer Babbidge Library on UConn's Storrs campus. (File photo/The Daily Campus)

Students are seen working in the Homer Babbidge Library on UConn's Storrs campus. (File photo/The Daily Campus)

Happy (almost) spring break! I don’t know about everyone else but I have been in great need of a break. Being on the verge of sickness mixed with the stress of back to back midterms is not exactly my cup of tea. Needless to say, I’m absolutely ecstatic to check out and take a break. 

 I wish could say I’m checking out to somewhere warm and tropical, but unfortunately I will most likely be at home doing pretty much nothing and catching up on schoolwork. It is, however, super important to remember that break, whether or not you’re on a plane to somewhere warmer than Connecticut’s bipolar weather, is essential for happiness and peace of mind.  

 Winter break was when I hit the biggest reset button of my life. I remember coming home and sleeping for almost 12 hours, as if I had to sleep for the rest of my life to give my mind some rest from a very stressful semester. I took time to sit back and reflect on what I needed to improve on (there was plenty). I also remember feeling a thousand times better when I finally came back for the new semester. It was a fresh start and I was able to give my mind a break. 

 Of course, spring break is nowhere near as long as winter break and it technically isn’t a fresh start, so I might not feel as rejuvenated. I will say, though, I spent plenty of time during winter break moping around miserably, stressing over things that I could not control – things that were far out of my reach. I’m hoping to utilize this week to recharge as efficiently as possible.  

That’s where variation comes in. What makes an efficient recharge for me may not be the same as other’s, but they all have something in common: Being in control of yourself. This might come in the form of lots of skincare (me), catching up on work (also me), finishing a personal project, working out (not me at all) and doing fun things that make you feel happy (me, but not as much as the people going on vacation). The thing about recharging yourself, in regards to having control over yourself, is that it reignites your sense of overcoming the obstacles of your life. This is where the mindset of celebrating small achievements for yourself brings a little more positivity in your life. Personally, the positivity I get from a break comes from giving myself some time to relax and following it up with being able to say, “I am on top of my sh*t.” 

Last semester, I worked through all-nighters and built up stress and was constantly carrying the weight of my own negativity that I lost sight of how I need to keep my chin up to finish strong. This semester, I came in knowing that I cannot exhaust my body and mind to the point that, no matter how hard I work, there is no payoff. I knew I needed to give myself time to relax, mentally and physically, so I tried to stop feeling as guilty about taking time to show a little self-love on the weekend.  

With the clock ticking as spring break approaches, I want to remind everyone (including myself) to not feel guilty about enjoying their time off. Breaks are important for the body, mind and soul. Keep it relaxed by doing what makes you feel best, and keep yourself on track by taking control of the things you can change over the course of this break. I hope that everyone (and me, fingers crossed!) can come back to campus in a week feeling more rejuvenated than ever before. 

 Make the best out of your break and keep smiling! 


Armana Islam is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus and can be reached via email at armana.islam@uconn.edu.