Back to school blues

Combatting the real world

By Cazzy Lewchuk, Staff Writer

After countless hours of opening presents, eating delicious meals, attending ugly sweater parties, sleeping late, and fighting the inevitable hangovers, the holidays are over and school is back in session. For many of us, this also means a return to our job, sport, volunteer work, and other extracurricular activities. It’s a scary thought, but it’s a harsh reality.

Nothing will ever compete with the feeling of sleeping until 2 p.m. under those warm, fuzzy, and oh-so-soft blankets and then watching Netflix the rest of the day while sipping a rum and eggnog. That said, there are a few ways to make the transition from holiday mode to reality mode easier and simpler. These tips will help your well-being, your work performance, and your relationships with those who have to interact with you.

Wake up, damn it! Sleep schedules wreak havoc with the rest of the day, and the holiday season is exactly when they get out of whack. Making the shift from rising at 7:30 a.m. instead of noon may be one of the hardest aspects of January, and it’s also one of the biggest adjustments. Getting up early jolts the body into being productive as soon as it’s awake, and hopefully that productivity rubs off on the rest of the day. Do what you have to do to wake up on time. Set five alarms on five devices. Get a roommate, family member, or significant other to bang pots and pans. Dump a glass of water on your head when your alarm rings. Regardless of your method, escaping the sleeping-late rut does wonders to get back in the groove.

Have a proper morning. Once you’re up, be healthy. Actually eat breakfast. Shower fully. Take time to apply deodorant, make-up, hair gel, or other products that make you more appealing. Do some exercise, even if it’s just a couple of push-ups or yoga moves. Keep a routine going and the morning will stimulate your entire self into feeling happy and prepared to take on the day.

Enjoy the changes. Chances are, something new has come into your life since the holidays ended. New classes, new professors, new clients at work, suddenly even colder weather—the New Year brings new things. Find out what the change can offer you. Maybe your new professor is the key to helping you find an internship. Maybe the cute guy whose hair you cut is now single. Even if you can’t find anything for yourself, get to know the change and find out its merit. Enjoy people or things for what they are—you’ll probably learn to enjoy yourself in the process.

Take time to relax. Don’t transition too quickly. Even if January brings a crazy schedule with it, do your best to schedule a little bit of Netflix and blanket time. The holidays are a time to relax, but there’s no reason to not relax at all just because they’re over. You’ll wear yourself out otherwise, so find a healthy balance between adjusting and refusing to give up the old ways.

Be excellent to each other. Remember, everyone else around you is going through their own stuff. They’re likely also tired, stressed, hungry, hung-over, or cold. Treating others with kindness is a good idea in general, but the post-holiday winter is especially a time to remember this. Take an extra second to remember that everyone else is a human being worthy of respect and you’ll give off warmth (metaphorically speaking, unless you’re giving hugs) to everyone you interact with.