Things have been super stressful this semester and trying to juggle my COVID concerns with my stress over school has started to become really difficult for me. My friends keep telling me that it’s alright to take a break and they keep urging me to go out, but I can’t help from feeling hesitant about seeing bigger groups of people. After spending the last break day studying in my room, I’m realizing that I really do need to find a healthy way to destress and take a break. How can I take a break from my work and have fun with my friends without feeling like I’m putting my health at risk?
-Stressed and Overwhelmed
Hi Stressed and Overwhelmed,
Thank you for submitting this wonderful question! We’re sorry to hear that this semester has been such a stressful toll on you and that you haven’t been able to take a proper break.
Firstly, we totally empathize with your struggles in trying to navigate the stresses of your classes and the ongoing COVID situation. It can definitely feel overwhelming and finding ways to destress can sometimes seem challenging. Your friends are right, taking breaks can be essential to helping us manage our stress and keep our spirits high. However, you are totally valid in having reservations about seeing your friends in person and wanting to prioritize your health. If the ways in which your friends are hanging out seem unsafe or uncomfortable to you, it might be easiest for you to suggest some alternative ways of socializing! Now that the weather is warming up, an outdoor socially distanced picnic could be a great way for you to see your friends. There are also plenty of virtual games that you could play over zoom as well! If you want more ideas of fun and safe ways to socialize, check out the safe socializing page on PHEP website or go to our instagram! It is also important to remember that social events and gatherings are not the only way to take a break. Taking time to yourself and exploring any of your personal hobbies and interests can be great ways to destress as well.
The PHEPs will also be having COVID-safe virtual and in person events planned for the upcoming break days that you should definitely consider checking out. If you’re looking for a change of scenery, we’ve compiled a great list of locations on and off campus that you can visit on your break days.
Finally, if you feel like the stress is starting to take a negative toll on your mental health or you just want to talk to someone about your concerns, there are many resources available on campus to help you do so! We’d recommend checking out the Yale Mental Health and Counseling Website or the Walden Peer Counselors. You can also visit the Yale Well Website for more wellness resources.
Whether you find a safe way to hang out with your friends or just take time for yourself, we hope that you can take advantage of these upcoming break days to give yourself a chance to breathe! Thank you so much for reaching out and don’t hesitate to follow up with us if you have more concerns!