Spring semester is done! One more semester done and dusted. Nothing is to be taken for granted these days when normality seems something of the past. The pandemic has come with a myriad of lessons and has definitely turned things topsy-turvy. However, as the long awaited summer holidays begin, one thing remains more or less the same. Long days at home of endless chillaxing. Even in times of COVID, the principle of resting and rusting still holds true for everyone, especially for students or graduates. Are there any remedies? Can the situation be salvaged? What could students do to avoid rusting?
An aspect of life that most people tend to shun, which contrarily would be very helpful during the pandemic summer holidays are routines. Routines are those seemingly boring activities that we do everyday. These range from cleaning and gardening to cooking, laundry and other chores. It is quite understandable that we abhor some of these monotonous routines. They even exasperate us at times. Yet exactly here is where we should begin. Research has shown that it takes about 21 days to form a new habit. This means there is ample time to make some of these routines a habit. Furthermore, it is also known that positive habits and routines are essential in combating anxiety and depression. Mental health is a high priority always but especially these days when stress levels are high. Having a set of activities that we do everyday will surely go a long way to reduce the stress and fight the burnout.
The Germans say “wer rastet, der rostet” which means that if you rest, you rust. For most students, holiday means sleep, sleep, sleep. Whilst this is very attractive and understandable after the ordeal of the online semester, we should beware of letting the brain rust. It is not uncommon to see even the best of students struggling to communicate in the English language after the summer vacation. So why not build the habit of reading at least 2 to 3 articles a day. Needless to say that this new habit will go a long way in building knowledge and enhancing language skills. It is in the end all about investing time and effort in getting what we ultimately want. And like the saying goes, we really do “reap what we sow”.
The never ending Lockdowns have a range of repercussions that will plague us for years to come and there is one which as students on summer vacation will haunt us rather quickly. Inactivity and reduced movement will lead very quickly to weight gain. There is the latin adage which says “Mens sana in corpore sano” and literally translates to a healthy mind in a healthy body. Our comfort zone during the vacation means as little movement as possible, but when we keep this saying in mind, we see that the price for this is very high. We are not only going to gain a lot of weight which will be detrimental to our overall well-being, but our minds will suffer a downward trend as well. So get up from that couch, routinely so some squats, jumps, situps or anything that keeps the body active.
Time is that commodity which has been allocated to us as long as we are alive and it is really our decision to use or to lose it. The summer vacation unarguably is that time when we should unwind and let our hair down. It is a time when we should just chillax and recuperate the lost energy. Nevertheless, the key here is striking the balance between the right amount of rest and leisure and maintaining enough brain activity to avoid atrophy. Likewise to ensure we are aware of the pitfalls which inactivity and the lack of healthy habits and routines conceals! Happy Holidays!