Relaxation: Thoughts Over Winter Break

After a long first semester, I found myself with the flu on the very first day of winter break. Both my mom and sister had gotten the flu shot over Thanksgiving, but I don’t usually get sick and determined “I didn’t need it.” This is something I regretted as I found myself unable to sleep, up late with a terrible sore throat, headache, chills, nausea, fatigue, and nasal congestion. None of these were what I pictured my winter break to be: I had been excited for ice skating outdoors, crossing restaurants off my list, and celebrating both the Christmas season and new year with friends & family. Instead, I was utterly miserable and stuck in bed, all while still wanting to do everything I had originally planned to do.

I’m not the best patient—I am stubborn and always think I know myself better than others do. Therefore, I didn’t follow every advice and got frustrated when the flu persisted. My hopes & dreams for winter break activities continued to be crushed when the days passed by and I still didn’t feel like anywhere near myself. Eventually, I realized I had to accept the situation for what it was. I began to see the positives, such as at least having the flu over break meant I didn’t have to make up missed school work. Taking the time to relax is important, and I made my sickness into a reason to binge-watch Grey’s Anatomy and stay in my pajamas all day.

What does relaxation look like? Of course, it is different for each person. Immediately I think of meditating in a yoga class, but relaxation could be vastly from that. Sometimes it’s simply a homemade meal enjoyed with family; sometimes it’s walking your dog, and sometimes it’s that movie you’ve been meaning to watch for the longest time. I’m sure you’ve heard this a thousand times, but it’s important to take time to relax. This can be achieved over winter break, but it also means setting aside time each day for ourselves, unwinding and—if possible—*not* thinking about the million things we have to do the next day.

There lies beauty in doing nothing. I’ve always been the type of person who loves to “go, go, go,” living for outings and celebration. However, the simplicity of breakfast at home and movies in my living room holds a special place in my heart. For this break, I ate doughnuts in bed and did crafts in my basement. I made sure to see icy Lake Michigan and, yes, I went ice skating. Relaxation is not the same for everyone, but we must realize what it is that helps us unwind. Winter break is a perfect time for that.

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Doughnuts in bed at 11:30AM
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Sister bonding with painted canvases
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Skating at the Christkindlmarket in Wrigleyville
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Ice-covered pier on the shore of Lake Michigan

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“The truth is rarely pure and never simple.”

—Oscar Wilde

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