Take time for yourself this winter break

 Take care of yourselfYou’ve no doubt been busy for the last couple of weeks with exams to study for and end of term projects. The break is just around the corner which will bring with it some much needed time for rest. The holidays can be a busy time for everyone, however; so make sure that you set some time aside to relax and practice some healthy self-care strategies that work for you.

Self-care and distraction techniques can help you relax and feel restored for the next term ahead. There are a variety of different ways you can you can practice self-care, including self-soothing, being creative, connecting with others, changing the scene, and getting some exercise. Let’s take a look at each of these categories and explore some examples.

  • Self-soothing. Self-soothing techniques are skills that help you relieve stress and calm your mind and body. There are a variety of self-soothing activities you can try, including:
    • Watching a relaxation or guided meditation video on YouTube
    • Listen to music you love
    • Eat a comfort food
    • Take a nap or a shower
    • Cuddle with a pet
    • Cook your favourite meal
    • Paint your nails or have a bubble bath
    • Read a comic book
    • Watch a good bad movie or a comedy
    • Open your window and breathe in the fresh air
    • Do something goofy
  • Engage your brain or create something. Doing things that engage your brain or encourage your creative side can help you turn your thoughts away from anything you are worried about. Some examples include:
    • Do a puzzle
    • Play solitaire with physical cards
    • Sing something
    • Draw
    • Watch a cooking show
    • Knit, crochet, or sew
    • Read a book by an author you love
    • Write in a journal
    • Plant a garden
    • Write a poem
    • Take photographs or make a video
    • Play a musical instrument
    • Scrapbook
  • Connect with others. Doing something with others can decrease any loneliness you might feel and can boost your spirits. Here are some ways to connect with others:
    • Talk to or text a friend
    • Meet up with a friend for coffee
    • Volunteer for a great cause
    • Do a random act of kindness
    • Buy a coffee for the person behind you
    • Bake muffins for someone
    • Talk with a family member in person or on the phone
  • Change the scene. This strategy can help if you are feeling restless in your current surroundings. Try one of these ways to change the scene:
    • Go for a drive
    • Take a bus ride
    • People watch at the mall
    • Go to a movie
    • Go to the library
    • Sit by a stream and listen to the water
    • Go to a place of worship
    • Go to a café
    • Watch the sunrise or sunset
  • Exercise. Physical activity is a great way to relieve stress and keep your body healthy. It doesn’t have to be complicated or mean a trip to the gym either. Here are some easy and free ways to get some exercise:
    • Go for a walk in nature
    • Dance
    • Ride your bike
    • Do yoga
    • Go for a jog or run
    • Play outside with a younger sibling or cousin
    • Hop on a swing
    • Stretch your muscles
    • Clean up your room.

There are so many easy ways to take some time to relax this winter break. Try to challenge yourself to do at least one of these each day!

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