9 Relaxing Ways You Can Spend Your Holiday Break

Student Life

Let's face it, after the semester we've had, a winter break is really needed. Winter break is a great time to unwind from finals, forget about the stress school brings, and spend time catching up with loved ones. Here are 9 ways in which you can use your holiday break to unwind and relax.

1. Reading

Use your holiday break to catch up on some reading you missed during the school semester. Many of us were busy with schoolwork, assignments, and exams to really focus on reading for fun. Reading can be relaxing for some, and boring for others. Make reading fun, if it's something you don't really enjoy. Try reading a new book, poems, short stories, or magazines. Ask your friends to recommend their favorite reads. If you're someone like me who loves reading, but can't seem to find the right time or place to read, go find somewhere quiet and relaxing to read. This can be anywhere from your bed or outside, to a coffee shop or bookstore. I think finding a good, comfortable place to read is the first step to enjoying reading.

2. Baking

This is the season for baking, and lots of it. Another way to relax during your holiday break is through baking. Baking is a great way to release all that pent up stress and anxiety from exams. Plus, it's a great way to reward yourself for studying so hard in preparation for those exams. Give yourself a break by baking. You definitely deserve it. Bake cookies for the holiday season for your friends and family. Try a new recipe, or bake a new dessert that you haven't tried baking yet. Or just for the fun of it, if your not a great baker like me, try baking something simple and have fun with it. In the end, it's all worthwhile once you can eat your hard work.

3. Walks

I believe that one of the best things one can do to relax is go on walks. Walking or spending time outside can be a great way to unwind, think, reflect, and letting all the stress and anything that's been bothering you go. Take your dog, take a friend, going on walks has serious benefits for your mental health. Walking improves self-esteem and mood, and reduces anxiety and stress. Not only is it good for your mental health, but also good for your physical health as well. Walking improves blood flow, even in the body, which leads to oxygen in the brain. Oxygen and blood flow are important for the brain and body, because they help brain performance.

4. Puzzles

Puzzles are also another way to relax. I find it so satisfying when the final piece fits perfectly to reveal a complete picture or image. Every piece fits perfectly with each other. For some, challenging yourself is relaxing and fun. For others, it's fun to just try and finish a simple puzzle. This doesn't just have to apply to puzzles in particular, but all types of puzzles. Sudoku, crosswords, and word searches are all great ways to relax and unwind.

5. Movies

Grab your hot chocolate and favorite snack, and snuggle up in your coziest pjs and blankets! Watching movies is a great way to relax over winter break. Binge watch your favorite movies and shows, or catch up on all the classic Christmas holiday movies. Watch your favorite movies with your friends and family. Have a marathon, bake or cook as you watch, have fun with it. Watching movies doesn't always have to be a group activity, you can always watch by yourself.

6. Spending Time With Friends

This season is meant to be spent with loved ones, like friends and family. Use this semester break to spend time with the ones you love, like your friends. Spending time with them can help you feel more relaxed and less stressed. Whether it be shopping, grabbing coffee, or watching a movie with them, having your friends around you can feel relaxing, as long as you're having a good time with them.

7. Listening to Podcasts, Audiobooks, or Music

Use your break off school to catch up on your podcasts, new favorite music, and audiobooks. I find listening to music a great way to calm down after a stressful semester. Listen while you decorate for the holidays, baking those classic holiday treats, or simply to get into the Christmas spirit. I think listening to podcasts is also a great way to relax. Podcasts have a way to inspire and motivate people, whether that be to step out of their comfort zone, try something new, or looking at things from a different perspective. Listening to really anything is a great way to put your mind at ease.

8. Repetitive Crafts

By far, I think that many people do repetitive crafts to unwind and relax. This can be a relaxing activity because you're constantly using repetitive movement, and the end result is very satisfying and worthwhile. One of the projects I did last year during my holiday break was hand knit a chunky blanket. The process was very easy and simple because most of the steps involved repetitive movement. In the end, I loved what my blanket looked like, and now I use it when watching movies or to display it on my chair as a throw. Crocheting and knitting has been trending lately, with people creating clothing pieces and cute bags with different patterns and a variation of colors. This break could be your chance to try something new. Hand knit a blanket, crochet a bag or purse, it might be relaxing and therapeutic.

9. Games

Another way to relax this holiday break is by playing games. I think games are much needed, especially during this time of the year. Anytime my friends are over, we always take out our go-to game, and play. Playing with them always helps me relax, have fun, and really enjoy spending quality time with them. This doesn't just apply to board games, but also logic, strategy, video, and card games. Any type of game, especially when played with friends, can help you relax and unwind this holiday season.

Samantha Ferrer
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Samantha Ferrer is a 19 year sophomore in college in California. She enjoys reading, writing, spending time with close friends, and binge watching her favorite shows and movies. Samantha also enjoys watching Rom-Coms and John Hughes movies. On her free time, you can find Samantha thrift shopping, and enjoying/looking at nature.