Winter Break is the one and a half months, or a few weeks, where you get to unwind and enjoy the holidays without the stress of school. But it’s not all fun and games. Someone has to work, and oftentimes you find it is you that has to be one to do it. Here are 10 activities you can do to enjoy your Winter Break even if you have to work during it.
If you live in an area that gets cold enough for the ice to melt, then you have the opportunity to ice skate outside on your Winter Break. This activity is both a great way to exercise and a lot of fun to have with friends.
Don’t know how to ice skate? Never went rollerblading or rollerskating? No worries! Some ice rinks have railings and support systems built around them to help you stay on your feet, or get back up when you inevitably fall.
Ice skating outside is a great way to enjoy the brisk air that winter brings while eventually skate your way around comfortably. If you are good at ice skating, then you might feel like it’s not exercising, even though it is.
Sledding is a great way to enjoy the natural slopes Mother Nature created with the fresh fallen snow during your Winter Break. You slide down a steep hill and hope you don’t crash into anyone or any trees. Then you get up and drag your sled all the way to the top of the hill to ride back down again.
The adrenaline you get as you slide down the hill makes you forget about all the stress of the previous school semester. What’s even more adrenaline-inducing is when you are climbing back up the hill and someone else is sliding down. You look them in the eyes as they plow you down and you fall on your butt, or side or face.
Depending on how steep the hill is and how slick the snow is, you might just find yourself sliding down the hill unprepared and filled with a different kind of adrenaline. Try not to hit anything on your way down this time.
Regardless of the risk, sledding is still a great activity to do this Winter Break, especially if you have to work and want an easy way to get some of that sweet serotonin while you make memories with friends.
Baking is a great way to enjoy the winter break. You are out of the cold, in the warmth, and you get to enjoy your delicious creations after! If you bring a friend or family member into the mix, you can create some wonderful and fun memories between the semesters and work shifts.
The process of baking requires you to do some manual work and beat, sift, or fold together the ingredients. Doing this lets you beat through the stress you received during the semester as well as let out the frustrations of your job.
Also, who doesn’t love the smell of freshly baked cookies or bread or cake? Maybe, if you’re feeling generous, you can bring some of those baked goods to work. Just make sure you don’t tell your coworkers the bakery was created with the anger and frustration you feel at the workplace.
Check out Christmas lights
What Winter Break is complete without Christmas? A great way to take advantage of this amazing combination is to take the time between those work shifts and walk around the neighborhood admiring the lights.
If you’re lucky enough to live near a town that is Christmas-crazy, take a stroll through it and admire all the hard work that those people put into making the square light up. Because let’s face it, Christmas decorating isn’t for the weak. You have to be dedicated to making sure those lights stay up and that inflatable snowman or Santa stay standing during the harsh winds and snowstorms.
As you walk around looking at the Christmas lights, there’s always some sense of calm or joy that comes with it. As long as you’re the type of person who enjoys the holidays. Even if you don’t, seeing all the bright colors coming together in a beautiful array of harmony might bring some sense of relaxation and relief from the stress for that moment.
Catch up on Netflix
Let’s be honest, none of us ever stopped watching Netflix. Not even during the midterms or finals part of the semester. But there’s something about binging on a tv show during the actual Winter Break that gives a sense of relief.
No essay or exam to worry about in the back of your mind. No procrastination. Well, there is some procrastination if you haven’t done some things around the house you’ve been wanting to do. But don’t worry about that for now.
Just put on Netflix and relax while you celebrate your freedom while the wind is blowing outside and you ignore that call from work to come in for an extra shift. For now.
Take Yoga Classes
Winter break is a great time to get into some yoga classes that you have a few thoughts about starting during the last semester. If you don’t have time to go to actual classes, you can always look up videos online about how to do some beginner poses at home.
Yoga, like ice skating, is a great way to get some exercise in without realizing it. It works out your entire body as you force yourself to go slow and bend your body in ways you didn’t think were possible.
Each new pose will stretch a new muscle you didn’t know was there, and help you find an inner balance that might have gone out of sync during that last cram session where you almost cried. But you got through it and you passed. So here you are celebrating by doing your body a favor and resyncing your inner energies.
Always remember, if you feel like a pose is too hard at the time, find a version of it that is easier on you for now until you build the strength and balance to handle the full pose.
Go to the Museum
What better way to flex your new-found knowledge on certain subjects than going to a museum during your Winter Break?
There are many types of museums everywhere. Ranging from art to historical to aquatic. Chances are, you learned something that could help you understand what you see in a whole different way. It’s like watching a movie over and over and finding out new things you didn’t see the first time.
Museums are usually kept quiet so that everyone else can enjoy and appreciate the artifacts on display. So this can be a good time for you to get into your own mind and find some peace and quiet from the outside world.
They can also be good to flex your brain muscles during the break to make sure you are prepared and ready to go when the next semester starts. When you go to museums, you unconsciously are flexing brain muscles when you think about what you see, how you see it, and why you see it that way.
This is especially true when you go with friends or family and talk about what you see. While the talking is usually wanted at a low volume, as long as your discussing the artifact itself the talking is allowed.
What better way to recenter yourself and focus your mind during Winter Break than redecorating your room/any room in your house? This process makes you put an image in your mind and you work towards that image as best as you can.
If you plan on redoing the entire room, then you can give yourself a project for a good part of your winter break. By doing this, you can keep a schedule that can mimic a school schedule, thus not surprising your body when you suddenly need to use that schedule once the semester starts back up.
Keeping an image, a goal, in your mind also flexes that part of your brain so you can keep your mind sharp and focused on a single goal. This goal will translate easier into oncoming projects you learn about during the first few weeks of your spring semester.
Redecorating also gives you a sense of calm as you find a new way to enjoy your comfort zone and make it even better for the future resting and relaxing.
This list has already had a few ways to exercise during your Winter Break, but this activity focuses on actively engaging in exercise. Meaning you are aware you are exercising and it’s not just a side bonus that makes you ache the next day.
Some people enjoy working out, others dread it. Even couch potatoes can agree that, while they don’t do it themselves, there are some benefits to the mind and body on working out.
Even if you have to work during your Winter Break, you can still find ways to work out while at home. If you have stress, you can invest in a punching bag. This allows you to work out your frustrations, stress, and anger without accidentally hurting someone. But be careful that you don’t accidentally hurt yourself in the process.
You can also invest in dumbells and build up the strength to carry all those books you will need next semester.
The one thing you never had enough of during the semester but can revel in now that Winter Break is here: sleep. While the other activities on this list are great, every college student can agree that sleep is the best.
You can escape into your own dream world where stress doesn’t exist and neither do exams or grades. While ‘catching up on sleep’ isn’t actually a thing, you can definitely help your mind and body relax those tense muscles by allowing them to rest for an extended amount of time.
Sleeping lets your brain repair the tears and stretches that happen every day, and if you extend the number of hours slept, you might just be able to feel restful for the first time in months. Too much sleep is a bad thing for the body though. So make sure that you find that perfect balance between rest for the mind and body and exercising them both.