15 Inexpensive Ways Teachers Can Relax Over Winter Break


Who wants to relax over winter break?! 🙋🏽‍♀️🙋🏼

Well, I don’t have to tell you, but this has been an exhausting 8 months of teaching. Our expectations by families and administrators have been through the roof as we have balanced home, school, our own kids, and everything else thrown our way. I am TIRED!

Never have I juggled so much with so little time left to just sit back and relax. From remote, hybrid, and in-person teaching, and the rapid switches between them, I am ready for winter break. How about you?

The only problems are that so much remains closed and everything else is too expensive! We at Education to the Core have gathered ideas and put together a list of Inexpensive Ways Teachers Can Relax over Winter Break. If one doesn’t suit you, no worries! This list has something for everyone. 😉

Way to Relax #1 — Binge Watch a Favorite Show

Grab some snacks and a blanket and curl up on the couch to watch several episodes of your favorite show. If nothing inspires you, try spending the day watching Holiday movies or comedies.

#2 — Have a Binge Day of Snacking

Buy small portions of all of your favorite snacks and give yourself that cheat day. Have you been wanting to try some new snacks? Today is that day! You deserve it!

#3 — Start a Journal

Grab a cup of coffee or tea and give yourself 15 minutes a day to jot down everything you are grateful for or list out all of the things you wish to do someday and haven’t had a chance to do yet. 

Way to Relax #4 — Read a Book

Tired of reading only professional development books to hone your craft? Now is the perfect time to grab a book completely unrelated to teaching and find some alone time to read. Already thinking that’s not possible with your kids and all of the other things that you are responsible for daily? Put it in the schedule as a D.E.A.R. time; everyone drops everything and reads!

#5 — Stage a Pajama Day!

The whole family can stay in pajamas all day and play board games and watch movies together. Make some cocoa and just spend some time completely enjoying being a family. Party of one? No problem! Set yourself up for several pajama days over this break!

# 6 — Baking

What? More time in the kitchen? Yes! This is not my strength but I am looking forward to spending some time with my recipe books in the kitchen baking up some quick-grab items that will last me a while! A little time at the start of break in the kitchen will save me even more time throughout the break. Some people even find that baking is their relaxation!

Way to Relax #7 — Explore Your Creativity

If you like to draw, paint, mold, etc. but haven’t had the time, dedicate some of your break to your craft! If you aren’t independently creative and need some inspiration, watch some DIY shows and give it a go! I personally love adult coloring books and am thrilled using perfectly sharp colored pencils for something other than schoolwork.

#8 — Take a Tech Break

A tech break maybe should be number one on the list of ways to relax this break! We have spent so many hours on platforms such as Zoom, texting and emailing co-workers and families, and living in this digital world. Try spending several hours a day with everything turned off–no phones, laptops, tablets, televisions. Just enjoy the quiet. Sounds incredible, doesn’t it?

#9 — Get Outside

Whether it be playing in the snow with your kiddos, walking the dog, or exploring some nearby trails on your own, a little bit of outside time daily that doesn’t involve outdoor recess can be refreshing and relaxing. If you took advantage of the favorite snack day idea, walking a little each day can erase away any guilt! Grab your best girlfriend and go!

Way to Relax #10 — Take a Drive

If walking isn’t for your family and you, hop into the car and go for a scenic drive. Winter break is the perfect time to visit neighborhoods and look for holiday lights or check out some neighboring towns. Look for monuments or look for cows; either way, it is a very inexpensive way to spend some relaxing time with the family or completely alone.

#11 — Dancing

Take a dance break daily! You’ve seen how effective GoNoodle has been with your class, now find your favorite playlist of dance music and boogie away. This is an activity that you can enjoy alone or pull your kids into. Show those kiddos your moves from back in the day!

#12 — Desk Yoga

Desk yoga has been my go-to activity lately in my classroom–keeping everyone socially distanced while still allowing movement. Once I am at home for break, I will love being able to grab my yoga mat and pull up some YouTube yoga activities; working the kinks out of my neck and joints while feeling the stress and tension melt away.

Way to Relax #13 — Puzzle Time

Now is the time to put in an order for a new jigsaw puzzle off of Amazon. Start simple or go for one that’s going to take some work. Once it arrives, set it up in a place that it can sit for days. Every time you get a few moments, you can try to put some pieces in. What a great sense of accomplishment when you see your finished work!

#14 — Spread Joy to Others

We, as teachers, grow very accustomed to getting our joy from helping others. It is in our DNA. Over this break, make some cards with your own kids and send them off to a nearby nursing home or as a family, dedicate a few hours to helping in your local food pantry. My personal favorite will be scheduling some time with my local animal shelter to go in and love on some of the animals that are still looking for homes. Doing activities that help others outside of our work environment can relax our minds and shift our focus.

Way to Relax #15 — Take a Bubble Bath

Now, this last one is the ideal for many: schedule yourself a bubble bath. Grab some candles, some soft music, and a glass of wine as you prepare to sit in a warm, relaxing tub of bubbles. The door shut, lights turned down, and no disruptions. Never going to happen? Take a simulated tub time by grabbing a wine, turning on some music, and lounging on the couch while the kids are busy playing or napping. This is a fantastic time for exploring those aesthetically pleasing hand and body lotions you received as presents!

So this list isn’t all-inclusive but can hopefully get you thinking about how you will unwind and relax over this winter break without busting the bank. You’ve worked hard for a very long time and you deserve this time. Now, go put in an order for dinner delivery and get busy making your list of Inexpensive Ways Teachers Can Relax over Winter Break!

Written by: Suzanne Kelley

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Welcome! I’m Emily, Founder of Education to the Core. We are all about helping K-2 teachers by providing unlimited access to affordable printables for every subject area.