Since heading back to the classroom this past fall, most of the educators we know have been anxiously awaiting the first full break of the school year. Depending on the district, most teachers get anywhere between five and seven school days off during winter break. Unfortunately, with Christmas and New Year’s smack dab in the middle, it tends to fly by in the blink of an eye.
We’ve come up with 12 simple (yet effective) self-care ideas to help you make the most of your precious time off.
1. Get outside. Even if it’s freezing where you live, bundle up once a day and take a 15-minute walk around your neighborhood.
2. Say no. If you’d rather lounge in your PJs and catch up on the latest reality TV drama, it’s 100% okay to say no to plans.
3. Go social media-lite. Take a break from checking your TikTok or Insta every 20 minutes. If you can muster up the courage, try deleting those apps from your phone for a week!
4. Sleep. Go to bed early and wake up late. Or take a mid-afternoon nap.
5. Light candles. Pick your favorite winter scent and keep those candles lit all day long.
6. Create a gratitude list. There is no better time than the holidays to reflect on what you’re grateful for. This is a great list to take out on days where you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed.
7. Meditate. It’s okay if you are a newbie. Log into YouTube and check out 10-Minute Meditation For Beginners.
8. Stay hydrated. With the extra indulging we all tend to do this time of year, staying on top of your water intake is key to feeling good.
9. Pamper yourself. Try to carve out an afternoon to do something just for you. Whether that’s a mani/pedi, a hot yoga session, or a meal at your favorite restaurant, make sure to fit it in at least once.
10. Lower your expectations. It’s common to create an unattainable to-do list whenever you have time off. Instead, focus on one or two things you’d like to accomplish. (Think: sort and donate one bag of old clothes to Good Will).
11. Eat nourishing foods. It’s okay to enjoy your favorite holiday foods, but when you’re not at a party or event, make sure to fill your plate with foods that make your body and mind feel good.
12. Be a kid again. Do something from your childhood that brought you great joy. Whether it’s building a gingerbread house or going sledding, enjoying the simple pleasures in life can be magical for your mental health.