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By- Kelli Drummer-Avendano

It’s time for a break! Finally! Unfortunately, the holidays can be just as hectic and stressful as work. It’s hard not to get caught up in the hustle of trying to create the perfect holiday experience for everyone or trying to squeeze in every activity you’ve ever wanted to do in the span of two weeks. Below are some suggestions for making the most of your holiday break.

1. Unplug. 

This is the number one way to make sure you truly enjoy your break—but don’t just disconnect from work, unplug from your devices, too! It might be impossible to stash your phone, computer, and tablet away for your entire vacation, but you can put limits on your (and your family’s) screen time. For example, have everyone turn off all devices after a certain hour or make everyone take a screen break for a couple hours throughout the day.

2. Get enough sleep.

While you can’t really “make up” for lost sleep, you can get yourself back on track by creating a sleep routine. Try to keep a regular schedule of when you go to bed and when you wake up, but don’t be too strict with yourself—it is the holidays after all! Remember, getting enough sleep will ensure you won’t go back to work feeling like you need a “break” from your holiday break.

3. Read for fun.

Magazines, novels, mysteries, newspapers, blogs, children’s books … It’s easy to forget that reading is enjoyable when you haven’t been the one choosing the material. Now’s your chance to read what you want to read! Revel in any (non-job related!) reading material while you sip a cup of tea, coffee, or hot chocolate.  

4. Begin an exercise routine.

If you enjoy working out at a gym, go! But remember, you can always walk, dance, practice yoga, or Zumba your way to more energy and a healthier you. Any exercise is better than no exercise, even if it’s only five minutes at a time. Physical activity is especially important during the colder, darker months because it helps lift your mood. Try incorporating five to ten minutes of brisk physical activity somewhere in your day. You don’t have to change into workout clothes; just put on some comfy shoes and move!

5. Spend time outside.

It might be frigidly cold where you live, but bundle up and go outside. If it’s nice where you live, lucky you! You have no excuse to stay in. If possible, take a short walk in the woods or a nearby park at least twice during your break. You may find that strength in numbers is better. That way you have someone to chat with while trying to ignore the fact that you can’t feel your toes!

6. Write.

Just as with reading, writing can also become tedious and dreary if you’re always doing it for work. Fortunately, now you have some time and space to write what you want. If you lack inspiration, there are a ton of writing prompts online, or you could buy a journal that guides you. The idea is to relax, let go of expectations, and appreciate your own creativity. Trust me—it’s in there somewhere. 

7. Watch movies or play board games.

It wouldn’t be a holiday break without movies and board games. These classic pastimes are perfect activities for when the weather is not cooperating. If you’re spending time with family and friends, take turns choosing the movie or game. Or you can write different options on pieces of paper, put them in a bowl, and pick one.

8. Enjoy a hobby.

Do you ever complain that there’s not enough time in the day to do something you love? Maybe you’ve forgotten what it’s like to have a hobby. Maybe you have several projects sitting in the basement waiting to be finished. Maybe you’ve never had a creative pastime. Whatever the case may be, take advantage of your extra time during the break to discover or rediscover a hobby you love. Keep in mind, though, you don’t have to be good at it; you just have to enjoy it.

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