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The long awaited winter break is finally here and students across the country are enjoying time off from classes, tests, projects and assignments.The holiday hiatus from school likely feels especially rewarding this year after the stress and tumult caused by the pandemic, presidential election, and other current events. For that reason, many students may be wondering how to make the most of their time off before heading back to school.

Here are five tips for making the winter break feel extra special and rejuvenating this year.

  1. Minimize screen time. While watching movies, browsing social media and playing video games are great ways to relax and unwind, they can also use up a lot of free time. It is easy to get lost on the internet for hours and not know where the time went. By minimizing screen time over the winter break,the time will pass slower and you will feel like you have more of it.
  2. Pick one productive thing to do each day. No one wants to work while on vacation, but postponing responsibilities until the end of a holiday break can add stress.Instead of piling up chores during the final week of break, pick one productive thing to do each day and then give yourself the rest of the day off.
  3. Spend time with family. The holidays are an opportunity to spend time with those we love. By spending time with family, especially younger siblings,over winter break, students will feel more connected and like they have made the most of their time off.
  4. Sleep. The holiday break is a great time to catch up on zzzs. Americans are chronically under-rested and this can affect both mental and physical health.When you don’t have to wake up for an early class, try turning off your alarm and letting your body naturally wake up in the morning.
  5. Make a list. If you’re worried about getting to the end of winter break without accomplishing all you wanted to, make a list of everything you want to do and label each item according to urgency and priority.