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Home Sweet Home: How to make the most of Thanksgiving weekend
With midterms winding down and the semester nearing a close, the anticipation for Thanksgiving break surely begins to mount. Hearty dinners and celebrations aside, there’s also much to look forward to in terms of relationships and self-reflection. For some of you, the short break may be the first time home since the start of the academic year, and you might encounter changes that may or may not be easy to adapt to. However, being proactive and not just reactive to certain changes at home can help you enjoy a fun, restorative, and much-needed mini-vacation.
What are some things you can focus on during this break?
Too much caffeine and not enough sleep lately? It’s time to pack in some Zzz-s. Having a long weekend to worry less about schoolwork means you should aim to get enough sleep to reinvigorate yourself and revive that ideal 8-hours-a-night sleeping habit. When you’re fresh and energized during the day, you can also begin to restore healthy eating and exercise patterns that may have gone out of whack these past couple of weeks. For some that may mean finally having time to carve out an hour of running each day, for others it could be taking up cooking again to not have to rely on instant ramen for a quick hunger fix. If there’s ever a time to treat your body to some TLC, it’s now.
Family, Friends, Relationships
Arguably the best part about coming home is reuniting with those you’ve missed. Maybe you’ve reminisced about the good times you used to have, with hopes that you’ll experience all that again in one weekend. However, don’t feel discouraged if common interactions begin to feel less familiar. During the time you’ve been away, it’s likely you’ve grown and changed as a person, and so have they. Face these new feelings with an open mind; if your family and friends ask you a lot of questions about college, you can take that opportunity to share about your experiences, re-involve them in your life, and also to get up to speed on what they’ve been up to while you were apart. You all know at heart that you aren’t strangers to one another, but it may take a little patience to feel as close with each other as you did before.
Whether it be a massage, a trip to the park, or a good book you’ve longed to read, this is the time to indulge in what makes you happy and shut down any sources of stress. The break is a great opportunity to take a load off your shoulders and recharge those batteries, so that you feel good about finishing the rest of the semester strong. For some, me-time can even mean taking a bit of time to study, catch up on assignments, or reorganize your school life in general. That way, you will be able to check off to-do boxes in a calmer environment and without the looming time pressure. This will surely help make the transition back to college after the break a lot less difficult. Plus, family and friends will surely understand if you need to reserve a bit of time to refocus and gather what you need to round out the year on a high.
Returning from a break can provide you with the much needed motivation to perform well before leaving campus again for the winter. However, if you’re finding it hard to adjust and get settled back in, we’re always ready to lend a helping hand. Need to talk? Let’s Talk. Maybe you need to get back on track with your eating habits? We can help with that too. Check out uhs.wisc.edu for a full list of counseling and consultation services that can help you achieve a successful run to the end of the year.