Winter Break is a Mental and Physical Vacation


Media by Marin Ellington

Traveling over winter break has been the source of much controversy, but the affects of this sort of getaway can be beneficial for both the mental and physical health of students and faculty.

As school comes to a close today, a break from school is all we need.

Reclaiming that lost free time throughout the fall that had been taken over by hours of homework and studying is necessary.

Traveling serves as a way to release stress from school and return to a pre-COVID-19 mindset. Forgetting about the pandemic altogether, though, is clearly not possible nor safe for anyone. 

Although the CDC discourages travel, they understand it will occur and they have suggestions on how to make it safer such as checking travel restrictions and avoiding public transport. I plan to follow these guidelines to the greatest extent possible on my own travels, and, in doing so, take a mental vacation from school while refraining from putting others at risk.

Self isolating as much as possible helps to eliminate risks of potential exposure. My family will be driving to Florida and staying at a house where we will be residing when at all possibly, swimming at the pool rather than the beach and sitting on the porch rather than on the sand.

Taking the time to research safe ways of getting away takes minimal time and decreases risks substantially. 

While some aspects of the “traditional vacation” are lost, it is a small sacrifice to be made when considering the overall safety of everyone involved.

While some aspects of the “traditional vacation” are lost, it is a small sacrifice to be made when considering the overall safety of everyone involved.”

According to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, there have been 370,439 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Missouri and 5,158 deaths as of Tuesday, Dec. 22. There is no denying the seriousness of the pandemic, and choosing to ignore it would be detrimental.

However, the mental health of the nation as a whole also needs to be a priority.

Our daily lives amidst a pandemic have become repetitive and offer no exciting stimulation to the brain. We wake up, go to school, do homework, study and stay home. 

According to the CDC, the pandemic is a source of fear and anxiety and can quickly cause a worsening of mental health conditions. Mental health is also an important part of physical well-being, and taking the time to cater toward one’s mental health is important. We are more susceptible to disease when our bodies are worn down and exhausted. 

It’s important to remember, when traveling and choosing whether or not to wear a mask, that the health of others is just as important. 

Unfortunately, not everyone will choose to follow official guidelines, but making it a priority is the only way to safely ensure that travels this winter are successful and a lockdown with limited to no interstate travel is not reinstated. 

Taking into account the school environment RSD is working hard to restore is also something to consider. Putting students and faculty at risk through negligence tears down the progress that has been made in regards to a successful return to in-person learning. 

The constant schedule changes that have occurred this year as a result of COVID-19 have been a great source of stress for me and many others. Having this break to get away from my daily schedule gives me a chance mentally prepare myself to come back in full swing for the second semester. 

As long as it is done safely, winter travels can be this outlet for many.