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How to utilize vacations effectively

From taking on a summer project to discovering a new part of town, this is the best time to have loads of fun and prepare yourself for the next academic year or the world beyond the studies

Vacations have changed drastically over the years. From the time of unstructured play and fun, vacations now are a time to learn and hone new skills. Once the hectic school schedule is over for a while, sleeping late, watching TV or playing video games all day is fine, at least for the first days of your vacation. If you are finding it difficult to use your vacations more productively, then here are 7 ideas from our Teentalkindia expert to help you:

1. You can learn to develop a website from scratch with HTML. Or, you can learn to create a website without computer language skills on a publishing platform like WordPress or can also launch a personal blog on a free blogging platform.

2. It’s more fun than being able to speak another language. Teens can learn the basics of any new language by downloading a language-learning app and completing all the lessons.

3. You might like to be outside during the summer if you're athletically inclined. Consider learning to play an individual sport like tennis, swimming or basketball. Local universities, community colleges and sports clubs are some of the best places to look for beginner classes.

4. Find a job to earn some money. Start by discussing with your guidance counselor about your desire to get a summer job. Guidance counselors usually know about local summer jobs for teens. Try to think about the kind of job you might want after college. Then, work closely with your parents, teachers and guidance counselor to identify companies that take on high school interns during the summer.

5. Choose volunteer opportunities based on the things that you like doing. If you enjoy spending time with senior citizens, you might volunteer at a local nursing home or some NGO. 

6. You want to choose a place to visit in your city or town that's close by. You can check out a place you've never been or a place you don't visit often, which can still be elevating. Places you do visit regularly can also offer new experiences if you explore them from a new angle.

7. Local parks and recreation departments usually publish a list of their summer arts/crafts or music classes for teens. Library branches, craft stores, and local businesses sometimes offer classes too. The great thing about them is that they're inexpensive. They're also of short duration, so you can take several classes over the summer.

Make a decision to use the vacation time effectively from the very first day onwards. Once you postpone the commencement, it is difficult to stay on track. It’s very important to note that even on holidays, studying remains essential for a student. It doesn’t matter whether we have completed one academic year or it’s a vacation after the exams. Make a habit to study for a particular time each day. You can revise the previous year’s subjects or read in advance for the year coming ahead. These activities are great for teens alone or together or with families and hope everyone has a rewarding summer!

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How To Strike a better work-life balance

You cannot have more than 24 hours a day. If you don't set limits, then work or other commitments can leave you with no time for other activities

As the saying goes ‘all work and no play makes jack a dull boy’, it becomes crucial that we give enough time to both our work and other aspects of life. Striking a healthy work-life balance is not a one-shot deal; it is a continuous process as your family, interests and work life keep on changing. If you too find yourself striving to find that perfect balance, we at teentalkindia.com are there for you.

Firstly, you need to consider the consequences of poor work-life balance:

Tiredness - When exhausted, your ability to work productively and think clearly suffers a great deal. This, in turn, might take a toll on your professional reputation or lead to mistakes.

Bad health - Stress is associated with adverse effects on the immune system. Moreover if you have any medical condition, things can worsen because of excessive stress.  

Less quality time with friends and family – When you spend more time working, you might miss important family events and milestones. Consequently, you might start feeling left. It's also difficult to nurture any kind of relationship if you're always working.

How to achieve that balance

For working people, managing the demands of career and personal life is an ongoing challenge. However, if you can set limits and look after yourself, you can achieve the work-life balance that's perfect for you.

Manage your time

Cut off the activities that you don't enjoy or can't handle. Try to organize your household chores efficiently, you can start by doing a load of laundry every day instead of saving all the laundry for your day off. 

Plan accordingly

Making a plan will hep you maintain focused. Make a weekly calender every Monday and jot all the family events and other functions of that week.  Also, making a daily to-do list works wonders in organsing your lfie, at work and at home too. In absence of any plan, it becomes easier to get involved into the plans and priorities of others.

Learn to say no

It is fine to say no at times. When you stop accepting tasks out of guilt or a false sense of obligation, you'll surely have more time for meaningful activities.

Leave work at work

With a smartphone and technology to connect to anyone at any time from anywhere virtually, it becomes essential that you create a boundary between work and home. Separate your work time from personal time consciously.

Reduce email access

Make a habit of check emails no more than three times a day — late morning, early afternoon and late in the day. Avoid looking at the emails first thing in the morning, as then you’ll tend to focus on and respond to other people's issues rather than being proactive about your own needs.

Also, a healthy lifestyle is essential to cope up with the stress and to achieving work-life balance. Here are a few tips to take care of you:

Eat a healthy diet - Take fresh fruits and vegetables and lean protein in your diet as it enhances the ability to retain knowledge and stamina as well.

Get enough sleep - Lack of sleep will lead to increased stress. Avoid using personal electronic devices right before bedtime. The blue light emitted by these devices decreases your level of melatonin, the hormone associated with sleep.

Make time for fun and relaxation - Set aside daily time for an activity that you enjoy. It would be even better if you would do that with your partner, family or friends.

In case you need more advice in your work related to personal life issues, our experts are always there to help. You can send us an email on [email protected] or directly chat with our experts between 11 am to 8 pm from Monday to Saturday.

If you have a story to share, Email it to us HERE.

If you have a query, Email it to us HERE.

You can also chat with the counsellor by clicking on Teentalk Expert Chat.

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