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Inside Beat

Tips on how to relax, enjoy this holiday break

After a long semester, taking time to recharge during winter break and practice self-care is essential for avoiding burnout and improving our mental health.  – Photo by Pxhere

This semester has been the craziest one yet, being our first fully remote semester since the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic started. I think we can all agree that it has been difficult and feels never-ending.

As the semester ends and we get closer to winter break, it’s important to plan out some ways to relax after finals. I’m here to give you some ideas, tips and tricks on how to wind down, avoid burnout and get ready for another fully remote semester in January.

Here are five ways you can relax this winter break:

Have designated spa days

A spa day is always a great way to relax and unwind. Taking the time during this break to do a face mask, take a bath, focus on yourself and your health is so important.

It doesn’t have to be every day, maybe once a week, but take some time to focus on yourself and give yourself the extra care you need after a stressful semester. You can watch Netflix while eating takeout after taking a nice bath and doing a face mask. Or, you can give yourself a mani-pedi, do your hair in a new fun way, try out some new makeup looks — the possibilities are endless. 

Declutter your space

Cleaning and organizing can be a great way to relax. I know when I'm stressed out, the first thing I do is clean my room and then I automatically feel a bit better. Giving your room, apartment or house a revamp can help make you feel refreshed and renewed.

New space, new you, right? So take some time to rearrange your space, add some new decor, get rid of things you don’t need, throw away any papers, notes or things from last semester that you may not need any more. Make room for the new year and the new semester to come. 

Spend time with family and friends (virtually)

The holidays this year are definitely going to look different in light of the pandemic, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still find ways to spend time with family and friends. Having Zoom holiday parties or game nights can be a great way to feel close to those you love while protecting yourself and others from the virus. 

Create an organizational system for next semester

Organization, or a lack thereof, is a huge part of feeling stressed. Taking some time this break to find an organizational system for your notes, your homework and big assignments can help to decrease potential stress in the coming semester.

Everyone studies and functions differently when it comes to school, but taking the time to find out what those systems are that work best for you and implementing a strategy for the next semester can make all the difference. 

Have feel-good holiday movie marathons

I already know most people are going to spend most of their break binging TV shows and having movie marathons while eating snacks on the couch. Something you can do to relax and kick back is have a holiday movie marathon.

Make some holiday cookies and hot cocoa, get those fuzzy pajamas and blankets out and pull up those holiday classics. Taking a day to do absolutely nothing and just soak in all of the holiday feels while stuffing your face with cookies sounds like a relaxing day to me!

Self-care is so important to our mental and physical health and helps to prevent burnout. Focusing on self-care this break will help you refresh and prepare for the semester to come and to unwind after a difficult and hectic semester that just occurred.

Do whatever makes you feel good and helps you to relax, but don’t forget to stay safe in the meantime.


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