Spring break is coming up, and for many young adults that means time away from hectic work/school schedules and a much-needed week of rest and relaxation. Whether you’re traveling somewhere tropical, hitting the ski slopes, or simply staying home, don’t forget your faith! We are in the midst of Lent, after all — a season dedicated to spiritual reflection and deepening our relationship with God. Here are a few tips for nurturing your faith while on vacation (or staycation):
Help out around the community
Yes, you’ve spent hundreds of dollars on an all-inclusive resort for spring break. But what’s one less day poolside with a piña colada when you can be helping others who may not have the means or the opportunity to take such a wonderful vacation? If you’re going away for spring break, try to devote at least one day to volunteer work in the community. In the United States, search VolunteerMatch for a local organization to work with. If you’re headed to an international destination, search for volunteer opportunities on Idealist. Staying home? Check with your local parish or other community organization for ways you can help.
Strengthen your mind
Growing your spirituality is a conscious, internal effort. While you might want to let your brain turn to mush as you sit around relaxing for a week, the brain needs some sort of stimulation to work and grow. So wherever you may be, spend time learning more about a saint or other spiritual great you know little or nothing about, reading the Psalms, or writing in a journal.
Strengthen the body
The body is just as important as the mind when it comes to spiritual growth. It’s springtime, so get out and enjoy the beautiful weather! Spring and Lent are times of rebirth, and the perfect time to admire the changes of the season while running, taking a hike or biking through your beach town or hometown.
Take up meditation
A faith-filled life is nurtured by self-reflection and meditation. This alone time with God gives you the chance to gain insight that will strengthen your relationships. Think about the direction your life is going. This is the time to unwind and really enjoy living in the moment. It’s so easy to get caught up in a routine that you don’t even enjoy and just go through the motions. Slow down. You’ve got all week.
I know — it’s hard not to blow money on a vacation or spend all your time at home watching Netflix while eating takeout. But none of that stuff is actually necessary. I’m all for enjoying spring break, but there are ways to enjoy your time without living extravagantly. If you planned a destination trip, don’t go crazy at the bar or buffet. You don’t need that extra T-shirt/keychain/shot glass just because it says Cancun or Miami on it. Enjoy the weather and scenery. Your experiences (and photos) are enough to last a lifetime. If you’re staying at home, don’t rely on the Internet and television to keep you occupied. Visit friends and use this free time to meet new people as well.
Your spring break is what you make of it. Taking a little bit of time out of each day to nurture your spirituality is helpful in the long run, not only for you but for others. By bettering yourself, you can be a better person for everyone else.