You’re Not Too Old for Spring Break

Ahhh, spring break. The time of year Jimmy Buffett sounds like a metaphysical poet. A time where the ability to keg stand is considered a virtue worthy of Aristotle.

You need to go on spring break.

No, you are not too old (I have this category covered). If, like the rest of us living north of the Equator, you have spent the winter commuting between snowdrifts, you need to escape. Seasonal disaffective disorder during the extremes of winter (and summer) is real, as I have written before. It is a time when workers in general show signs of depression and their work suffers, and it is at its worst right about now as winter drags on. A break will help. A spring break.

It has probably been a while since you have been on spring break, so let Psychology at Work perform a public service and provide a few rules and reminders:

Rule 1. Go on spring break. No excuses. Book a plane or hop in a minivan with a couple of buddies and road trip. It doesn’t have to be a full week; three days counts as spring break in my book.

Rule 2. Do not break rule 1. No excuses, I said.

Rule 3. Spring break must be on a beach. I know some will claim skiing counts, but it is called SPRING break — not SNOW AND ICE break, for goodness’ sake. You need to feel the first hint of a summer breeze, get a whiff of bougainvillea and have sand in your sheets for it to count. And no, don’t tell me Vegas is a place to take spring break. Vegas is for bachelor parties; those are different.

Rule 4. Spring break must have no socially redeeming value. I have respect for earnest Sheryl Sandberg-wannabes who rack up service hours for their college applications over spring break de-worming orphans in Somalia, but that doesn’t serve the cobweb-clearing purposes spring break was meant for. If you want meaning on your break, try winning the Mullet Toss at the Flora-Bama.

Rule 5. No regrets. Don’t come back to the office whining about eating too much, getting sunburned, staying up too late, etc. Forget about it; no regrets. Unless you do something really bad like cheat on someone, or get a snootfull of blue meth and knock over a liquor store. Then regrets are OK, important even, to your parole officer.

Rule 6. What happens on spring break stays on spring break. And Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Have fun, but don’t be stupid. Tune up your moral and ethical compass before hitting the road and check it every now and then, especially after 3-1 shot night at the Green Parrot. Assume your boss and family are going to find out whatever you do — particularly if it’s something bad. So don’t do it. There is a vast difference between acting a little silly with your friends and doing something that’ll get you booked on Jerry Springer.

Rule 7. Pace yourself and be smart. Veteran spring breakers know how to keep it between the lines. You are going on spring break to have fun, not to catch up on your sleep, but don’t crash and burn. Good rule of thumb — if you are on your seventh rum punch before 11 a.m., you aren’t going to last. And you’ll probably violate Rule 6.

At the risk of sounding “bossy,” GO ON SPRING BREAK. Before the end of the month. If you need a written excuse, show this to your boss. Promise her an ROI. When you get back to the office, you’ll have a little more bounce in your step and twinkle in your eye. Some good stories to regale clients with. Laughs around the coffee pot. Go, and tell us about it here in the comment section.

That’s it for today. Originally I was going to write 10 rules, but I am on spring break myself and I gotta run. You see, they quit serving dollar rum punches at 11.