Academic Lens: Taking a Break

Posted by Scott Allenby


Proctor’s long-winter weekend, or Bonus Weekend, has arrived. It marks the midway point between Winter Break and Spring Break, and provides a much needed respite for all in the community. While we’ve enjoyed one of the nicest weeks of January weather any of us can remember, the winter remains a long, exhausting term. Despite these challenges, our goal is to embrace all the Winter Term has to offer, rather than feel like we are just ‘getting through it’.  In order to ensure this mindset lasts, we need occasional encouragement.

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A coaching colleague at a neighboring boarding school recently posted an article from The Good Men Project on social media on five rules we need to follow in order to take care of ourselves. The rules apply to all of us and are worth reading as we enter Bonus Weekend. Here are a few excerpts from the post:

1. Be willing to ask for help. 

“Asking for help is one of the strongest things you can do. Being willing to admit that you can’t do something on your own is the surest sign of strength – you’re showing greater security in who you are." 

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2. Find the things that speak to your soul. 

“No matter how #blessed your life may be, it’s going to take it’s toll on you...This is why it’s important to find the things that fulfill you emotionally and spiritually...No matter what it is, it should be something that makes you look forward to getting out of bed each day.”

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3. Value your health. 

“Our bodies are designed for movement, not for sitting around – in fact, our sedentary lifestyle is actively hurting us, physically and mentally. One of the best things you can do for yourself, both in terms of your physical and emotional health is simply to move more.”

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4. Find your community, find the right community. 

“One of the most important parts of self-care is finding your “team”. Your community, your family-by-choice, whatever you may call it, we are social animals and it’s important to have people who support and encourage you. If you want to be a better, more interesting person, you want to surround yourself with people who feel the same way and work to encourage and build one another up instead of tearing down some nebulous ‘enemy’.”

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5. Take a break. 

“We’re taught over and over again to chase after our dreams with endless tenacity and to never, ever give up… which is great for motivational speeches but it’s also a wonderful way to encourage burnout.  It’s as though we believe that if we don’t give our all – even at the cost of our sanity and soul – then we just don’t want it bad enough.”

This weekend, we encourage you to unplug, unwind, get out for a walk and enjoy nature. Go for a ski on our Nordic trails, or go skating on the pond. Call your siblings to say hello. Refuel yourself and remember when your to-do list is longer than ever, taking a break might be just what you need to move forward! Students return to campus by 7:30 PM on Monday, February 1 refreshed after their break! 

Check out more photos from life at Proctor on Flickr!


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