Holidays tend to be busy and stressful. Use rejuvenating winter break activities to have a recharged return to your classroom in the New Year.

Congratulations are due to all the teachers who are reading this article — another successful school year is halfway through! While school is closed during parts of December and January, use this valuable time off to recharge with winter break activities.

1. Get Some Rest and Sleep In

If possible, the start of every break should be spent relaxing at home. Remember how it feels to take the time to savor lying in bed, enjoy a favorite breakfast dish, and watch movies or read a book while wearing comfortable clothes (or pajamas) around the house all day.

2. New Year, New Fitness Routine

winter break activitiesGym rats rejoice! There is a better way to enjoy the period of post-holiday-season influx of newcomers to the gym. Use this time to add new winter break activities for a fresh workout. Try a new class during this time off, or visit the gym during off-peak hours when other members are at work and not occupying all the TRX equipment.

3. Winter Break Activities Done Write

Teachers are often pressed for time and just reading a book during the school year is nearly impossible, but everyone has a story to tell and books written by teachers are fascinating. Pick up a pen and simply start writing ideas, recording your classroom experiences and methods, or use this time to wrap up a story and publish the final draft. During spring break, work toward the next steps of writing a masterpiece.

4. Hit the Ice and Snow

winter break activitiesFeel the spirit of the holiday season by playing in the snow or on the ice during winter break activities. While skiing, sledding, and ice skating are cold-weather sports, it isn’t necessary to travel to a cooler climate to participate. Cities in warmer climates often construct ice skating rinks in parks to observe the holiday season, so bundle up and get out there!

5. Movie Night!

The preview for the new Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner film was awesome, but there has been no time to reserve for a night at the theater, as administering midterm exams and preparing student winter break assignments takes precedence over seeing “Arrival.” When thinking about winter break activities, make time for a movie night with some of your favorite people and be sure to splurge on the large popcorn.

6. Spa Day Indulgence

winter break activitiesTeachers are always thinking of best practices for solving student issues, easing their fears, and examining external causes of problem behavior. This year, discover the gift of wellness through relaxation and plan a spa day. The most soothing of the winter break activities, a good spa day will rejuvenate the most overworked teacher and help you refocus in the new year.

7. What About Your Friends?

As educators dedicate more time outside the classroom to helping students, they have less time available for a personal life, which includes spending precious moments with close friends. Before school ends, reach out to friends to coordinate schedules and plan to meet on a day when everyone is available. You don’t have to do anything complicated or expensive – meet at a coffee shop or grab lunch together – just remember to make time for the important people in your life.

8. Become an Artsy Teacher

winter break activities

Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons

When considering how to use winter break activities to tap into creative methods of refreshing the mind, taking a class in a new art form, or joining an artisan’s guild, is an effective solution. Take a class in pottery, jewelry making, painting, or stained glass artistry to soothe the mind and embrace a new hobby. If you’d rather dabble in the arts from home, watch a youtube video on crocheting, knitting, or drawing and start flexing your creative muscles.

9. The Perfect Holiday Getaway

Going on vacation during winter break doesn’t require spending a lot of money for the purchase of travel to a far away place. Devote a few hours in the car, or on a train, to find a new vacation spot that will not break the bank. If you splurged too much on your students and loved ones this holiday season, something as simple as exploring a local state or national park can re-energize your body and mind – and may even give you ideas for exciting lesson plans for the coming year!

winter break activities10. Focus on Yourself

No suggestion can help teachers fully enjoy winter break activities if they aren’t able to temporarily put themselves first. Be certain to keep appointments for special winter break activities and follow through with plans for returning to school refreshed. You’ll be glad you did!

Treat the holiday season as a time of self-reflection and self-care. Learn to reach out for help and make plans for healing. Remember, if returning to school in January is difficult and winter break activities weren’t enough, summer vacation isn’t too far away!

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