• Maggie Hills

5 Tips to Rest Effectively during the Holidays

Christmas is coming. The energy in the house has been building since Thanksgiving ended. Joshua has been obsessively counting down the days via Christmas Calendar and now it’s the last week of school.

Then his dad remembers. Last year had a similar feel. December was full of feverish anticipation. And when January came, Joshua ended up about as miserable as he had been excited. That transition back to school was terrible — like neither Joshua nor his parents had gotten the “break” they had been looking forward to. Could anything be done?

Most of us look forward to breaks. Your teens certainly do. But sometimes breaks don’t serve their intended function and you and your kids go back to life in January more exhausted than you were in December.

Sometimes we have been working so hard that we have forgotten how to rest properly. And rest is critical if we want ourselves and the kids to operate at optimal capacity.

Here are 5 ways you can rest this season

1. Sleep

Sleep is a very underrated method of relaxation. Most of us do not get enough sleep, to severe health detriments.

Lack of sleep is the cause of many health problems. Our immune system weakens, leaving us vulnerable to disease as well as slower recovery times. Hormone levels, which naturally react with us to our circumstances and environment throughout the day, become unbalanced without sleep to recalibrate them back to normal baselines.

Additionally, and this impacts children in school most, most of what is learned during the day is forgotten if someone gets insufficient sleep that night. Even if sleep is cut short several nights later, there are negative effects.

Conversely, getting sleep is linked to numerous health benefits. Memory improves dramatically and mood stabilizes when we have gotten a good night’s rest. It’s easier to handle challenges and make good decisions — all things parents want for their children. Getting a full eight hours at night consistently could make a huge difference. It’s worth a try!

2. Disconnect

Internet sites and social media are engineered to catch and hold our attention. No one will ever get to the bottom of the interesting things that are on the internet. It’s very hard to be pulled away from screens once they are on.

So, try turning them off.

Before anyone panics, it’s doesn’t have to be forever. Maybe just for an hour a day or so. In that hour everyone in the family has to find something to do that doesn’t involve a screen. Relearn how to entertain yourselves separate from technology.

Books, active games, board games, impromptu theater or a fashion show, the options are endless. Igniting interest in something new is energizing! Let your creativity and that of your child run wild!

Here’s a recommendation: don’t set an alarm. Just glance at the clock and work out the time, or have your child do so. Maybe by the time someone remembers to look at the clock again, those alternative activities will have engaged you all and that hour will have stretched longer than anyone thought.

3. Realign

Every action that we take should have a reason behind it. Many times, we forget that small actions matter, either is getting us where we want to go or blocking us from getting there. We are in a battle of priorities and having to choose what is most important at a given moment is part of why life is difficult.

However, we know that when small actions are aligned with meaningful purpose, energy actually increases. When we know why we do what we do, the small daily actions don’t leave us drained at the end of a day, but satisfied.

Remember why you are taking these actions, see if there are better actions to take, and see which actions are inhibiting you. Remember too that it is actually very small actions that make the biggest difference. Large changes are romantic but rarely sustainable. Small changes that align us with what we want are what will allow us to rest with clear minds at the end of a day.

4. Sunlight

Few would dispute that going outside in the sun is healthy and should be done at least once a day. Very frequently though, we don’t. We have responsibilities, assignments, appointments, Zoom calls, and so on.

Sunlight does many things for us. It gives us vitamins to keep us healthy, it wakes us up, and gives us energy. Best of all, it’s right outside! Even just ten minutes a day can make a difference. And it makes us stand up and move — something we also don’t do often enough.

Stepping away from work and into the sunlight helps us to get away from the stresses and reminds us to breathe deeply. Such moments of rest, in for just a few minutes, can revitalize our mindsets. When we return to life and its problems, we can reexamine it all from a refreshed point of view. When minds are calmed, problems are solved. And when problems are solved, minds can then rest.

5. Adventure

Schedules are very important for providing stability, and as such are very predictable. As useful as this is, sometimes doing the same thing every day can be exhausting. So, breaks can be a time to shake things up a bit!

What is an adventure? Trying something new! Ask for opinions and see if there is an event or idea that sparks interest. What adventure you take depends on you and your family. Sometimes it can be a simple as a new place to eat. Some are attracted to road trips, others prefer concerts, and still others will try activities like booth karaoke or pickle ball.

New things enliven us, allowing us to expand ourselves, maybe learning something new or see things in a new way. When a day is full of direction like that, then retiring at the end of such a day generates feelings of contentment and peace.


It’s difficult to live life well when we aren’t rested. Spark Tutors is particularly invested in the well-being of students and their families, and we have been honored to work with you all this year. Over break, remember to rejuvenate and restore so next year can be everything we dream it can be. __________________________________________________________________________________

We hope this article has allowed readers to recall the importance of rest as well as offered interesting ways to accomplish it. We look forward to January and to seeing everyone well-rested and ready for the new year. We’ll see you at the tutoring table!

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