Term break used to be the same across all grade levels. But since most of the universities and colleges have shifted their academic calendars, the month of May became a strange middle ground for those whose school break are ending and those whose school break are just starting. For most of us, this is the month when we are all on break at the same time.

This season is a great opportunity to do the things we couldn’t find time to do during the busy school year—binge-watching your favorite series, playing video games, reading books. Sometimes, the activities we want to do during break will turn us into couch potatoes. But health is wealth, and these days are perfect for activities that are enjoyable and healthy as well.

We came up with a list of some hangouts that can help us have a healthy body, mind, and soul.

For a Healthy Body

Physical activities can help us get into good shape while we’re spending quality time with family and friends. Jumpstart the exercise plan you’ve been putting off because you were too busy or tired from schoolwork!

You can take up a sport like swimming, badminton, biking, and others, depending on what equipment is available to you. If you don’t have the gear, though, don’t fret! There are many other ways to break a sweat.

First on the list and always one of the most popular: running or jogging. It is more rewarding when we run or jog alongside someone or a group. To make the exercise more interesting, you can take different routes, like nature trails leading to a hilltop or to the beach. If you’re into a more relaxed pace and in a countryside setting, you can go hiking. Setting simple goals like catching the sunrise or watching the sunset is a good motivation.

To put a unique spin to your outdoor workouts, consider some Larong Pinoy like patintero, agawan base, luksong tinik, and tumbang preso. Not only are these games healthier alternatives to those you play on your computer or mobile phones, they are also great avenues to make memories with your friends.

For a Healthy Mind

There are days when the stifling heat may leave us with low energy, but you can stay productive with these relaxing and mind-enriching hangouts with your family or friends.

Not everyone enjoys reading, but going through a book together on lazy afternoons brings both laughter and learning. Some good books to go through with a group are The Life You’ve Always Wanted by John Ortberg, Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge, The Way of the Shepherd by Kevin Leman and Bill Pentak, An Enemy Called Average by John Mason, and Good To Great, by Jim Collins. You could also go through literary classics by authors like Jane Austen, Fyodor Dostoevsky, and Charles Dickens. Some non-fiction books come with discussion questions at the end of every chapter that can help you. If it’s going to be your first time to read from this genre, you can start with shorter books like The Values Driven Heart by Joey Bonifacio or The Prayer of Jabez by Bruce Wilkinson.

If you prefer to be more kinesthetic, learning or developing a skill like cooking can be both useful and fulfilling. “Life hacks” videos on youtube may help, but it’s important to actively develop life skills. You can get your parents or older siblings to teach you how to fix broken things around the house. Working on a home project together makes for great bonding time. You can also learn silkscreen printing and t-shirt dyeing with your friends. These skills might also come in handy for fundraising! You could also try to learn a language at a tutorial center or online. This could eventually open doors for you or help make friends from other countries.

With these activities, you don’t just learn something new but you also gain wisdom and deeper friendships.

For a Healthy Soul

Another way to make the most of the break is to try more traditional things that used to be common before the smartphone became the most popular pastime.

When was the last time you went on a picnic? Weather permitting, maybe it’s time to pack a basket and go to the local park or somewhere nearby with just enough patches of grass; some malls have artificial but nice garden areas. If there seems to be no suitable area to spread out your blanket, you can just set up a table and chairs under a big tree, as long as you get to eat alfresco with a big serving of conversation.

During humid afternoons and warm evenings, deep conversations also happen while taking long walks with people you’re journeying in life with. Just like in running, you can be creative with the route you take but even if it’s just around the neighborhood, what makes it meaningful are the hopes, dreams, and prayers being shared.

You can enjoy these soul-healthy hangouts with your favorite humans, with new friends, or just by yourself—to reflect and make it a memorable time with God.

So there you have it, some of the fun and healthy ways you can spend your term break. Not all these activities may be possible for you at this time, but surely, you can take on one or two to make it a vacation to remember.

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