This winter break is something we’ve all been waiting for. It’s a long overdue chance for a few days off of some major stressors in a time where just existing is stressful for everyone. The EAS team has a few ideas for you on how we like to unwind and reconnect with our best selves. Read on for our favourite activities, and leave a comment with your own!

“I like to recharge over the winter break by spending time each day outdoors with family. Dog walks, skating, cross country skiing, a winter run or an outdoor fire with a hot drink are some of the activities we like to do.” – Hayley Degaust

New recipes! We’ve been cracking open the cookbooks on our shelf and experimenting with new-to-us recipes, listening to good music while we cook and employing a no-phone-zone rule while we eat together.” – Katie Mahon

“Making the time to express gratitude daily, either with a text, email, phone call, personal reflection or currently, by mailing holiday cards.” – Adrian Xavier

“Through the years I have learned the importance of a solid recharge/reset. For me, this means spending a lot of time outdoors in the quiet beauty of nature. I am happy to share this space with my family as well as birds and other animals that happen by. It really helps to calm my busy mind. When I come inside after a fresh air adventure, I pop in a Loreena McKennitt CD (yes, I still own them), sip on tea, and knit poorly.” – Tracey Coutts

“Braving frigid rivers and going for a nice paddle, and joining the local orienteering club to practice my map & compass skills in a fun new way.” – Rebecca Marjoram

“Playing board games over zoom with pals (though it takes much creativity, it still works!)” – Jamie Anderson

“Turning up the tunes and dancing in the kitchen with my dog. It’s a great way to let loose, and also probably to convince your neighbours you’re crazy.” – Kayli McClelland

“Evening exploring! We’ve been waiting until it gets dark (we don’t have to wait long) to go for a walk around our neighbourhood. It’s fun to get a peek at people’s Christmas trees and festive decor through warmly lit windows.” – Katie Mahon

“Dedicated time for ‘Family Fun Fridays’, every week. Typically we order-in dinner from a local, independently-owned restaurant and either watch a movie, play a board game or do an outdoor activity.” – Adrian Xavier

All across our team, there seem to be some common themes:

  • Good food to fill the belly and the soul – you know what the candy bar commercial always says. You’re not you when you’re hungry. Try these four cozy mug meals when you’re short on time!
  • Spending time with loved ones – while that’s not always possible in-person these days, a virtual or drive-by meet up can have a lot of the same benefits.
  • Getting outside and getting active – okay, you had to know this was coming from the Ever Active Schools team. If you paid attention to the 2020 ParticipACTION Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth, you’re familiar with the role of family influence! While getting outside and active are great ways to recharge yourself, they’re also imperative for the well-being of your whole family. 
  • Carving out some alone time – while it’s important to give your time to others, it’s also important to give your time to you! Read a book, go for a run, take a nap… the possibilities are endless.
  • Prioritize your mental health – it has been NINE MONTHS since Alberta first saw shutdowns due to the pandemic. That is a lot of trauma. While it might not be high on your priority list, talking to a professional can lift some of that weight.
  • Find ways to give – money, time, resources, or just a smile to someone in need. Whether it’s a charity close to your heart or a stranger in the coffee lineup, doing good for others is a nice way to do good for you, too.

How are you planning to recharge over the winter break?

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