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Taking Care of Ourselves & Each Other

Health & Well-Being

How is Life Tree(ting) You?: Winter Wellness: Making Time for Yourself Over Break

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Picture this: you’re back in your childhood bedroom, it’s the second week of winter break, and you don’t know how to occupy yourself.  You’ve suddenly run out of people to see from high school, emails to check on Outlook, and problem set checks to schedule. You are completely beside yourself! What now?

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How to Practice Self-Care This Break

Think back to the last time you’ve been able to sit for five minutes without thinking of a stressor in your life. Let me guess. You’re drawing a blank. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. 

Luckily though, this hypothetical moment of winter break boredom ennui must feel like the first time you’ve been able to exist in months. For once, you don’t feel bogged down by assignments or commitments. And instead of forcing yourself to be “productive” or applying to internships, you should take the time to do activities that will rejuvenate you. You deserve to feel refreshed, energized, and relaxed before heading back into the next bustling quarter on campus. So, if you need to lay on the couch and binge-watch hours of iCarly reruns with your sister, build Legos with your father, or stare at the sky by yourself, then do so! Winter break is the perfect excuse to focus on yourself and your mental well-being while you have time to. 

During the quarter, it is quite easy to come up with excuses for not practicing self-care: busy schedules, long days, and never-ending to-do lists. But during the upcoming break, I guarantee that you will have at least an hour to do something for yourself. You should make use of that time! Whether you go for a walk through the neighborhood, reread your favorite Children’s book, or follow a new recipe that you’ve wanted to try, I promise you that it will make you feel more grounded in yourself. 

This winter break, I plan to walk to my favorite cafe to indulge in an iced latte (despite the below-freezing temperature) and reflect in my journal about my past quarter on campus. Even for half an hour,  this journaling session will allow me to focus on my emotions and mental well-being. I also plan to play countless Scrabble games with my family, watch Jeopardy!, read a new book, and do some short breathing exercises. While these activities may seem insignificant to others, they are my way of feeling relaxed, refreshed, and revitalized. That is what matters! Hopefully, you can use this break to find your activities – Scrabble or not – that help you feel rejuvenated as well.

Written by: Chase Klavon, Class of 2025

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Stanford Resources

  • Take Care of Yourself and Each Other: Find ways to practice self-care this break. From quick reads, and self-care videos, to podcasts and apps, discover the self-care strategies that work for you!
  • Dive Deeper Into Self-Care: Learn more about the importance of practicing self-care, how it can help you recover from stressful or challenging situations, and how it plays a role in the bigger picture of your flourishing. 
  • Well-Being Tips at Stanford: Explore candid advice from the Well-Being at Stanford team and learn quick tips for supporting your well-being based on the time you have available. 
  • Mindful Minutes: A series of very brief mindful practices you can do anytime.
  • A Winter Break Reading List: Looking for something to read this break? The Stanford Graduate School of Education faculty propose some of their favorite reads, from socially reflective fantasy and illuminating children’s books to far-reaching explorations of biodiversity.

Additional Resources