As grad students, its easy to forget that the summer is the time when we are supposed to relax and recharge. We work through our Christmas and Spring breaks in order to get ahead on conference deadlines and finish grant proposals. We work on weekends to perfect papers and complete extra volunteer work. In Europe, its common for workers to have 6 weeks off! It's also unheard of for most Americans to take more than a week of vacation, when Germans are known for averaging 2.5-3 weeks for each trip. We're also expected to be available by phone or email during our time off, according to CNN.
Does this make us more productive and successful? Studies say no. They say we need a break. It is important to take time away from all the hustle and bustle to restart your brain and let your body have some down time. Think about how much happier and healthier you'd be if you took a genuine holiday and had 6 weeks off! Studies have shown that engaging in leisure activities can improve one's outlook on life, and that taking time away from work actually improves motivation (NPR).
So this summer, try to take some time off. Give yourself a few breaks away from schoolwork, away from your smart phone, and focus on leisure and focus on recharging. GradHacker is going to be taking a break for the rest of July to recharge, so shouldn't you?
Here are some of our favorite recharge and relaxation posts to inspire you! See you in August!
[Image by Flickr user Twicepix and used under Creative Commons license]