At last—the hands of the school year have struck break-o-clock, and it’s time to taste glorious freedom. Put down the lesson planner and step away from the smart board. This vacation, the curriculum is all about you. Here are ten ways you can maximize YOU time when school’s out.
1.) Relish in a good read.
There’s a noticeable difference in reading for pleasure, and well, “other” reading—the kind that takes a little more brain power or has more of an objective to it, like teaching it to a class. But here’s the opportunity to dive into a novel that can truly take you away, that can connect you to characters who are going through situations similar to the ones you’ve gone through. Peruse the The New York Times “Book” section for best sellers and reviews or get lost in the shelves of your favorite book shop to discover your next page turner.
Tip: Check the bio of the author you’re considering reading. Many authors write about where they’re from, and identifying with familiar towns, cities, and haunts can really boost the reader experience!
2.) Spend time in the kitchen.
Tie your apron and put on your toque! Kitchen time can get crunched with busy work schedules, so here’s your chance to get creative with your dishes. Cater to your sweet tooth—it’s okay to indulge!, you’re on break—or impress someone with a Michelin star-worthy plate. Don’t worry if you’re not a seasoned chef—the Internet is flooding with recipes to help you through the process.
3.) Sign up for a workout class.
Physical activity is yet another priority that can get kicked to the curb when our work lives get hectic. Exercise is not only important for our physical health but also for our mental health, so now’s the time to get back into the gym or the yoga studio or wherever you like to go to boost your body. Hop on a bike and spin the stress away or stretch out with poses that will leave your muscles and mind feeling relaxed. Class Pass is growing in popularity in major cities nationwide. It allows you to choose a variety of classes at different fitness studios as part of your subscription plan.
4.) Go on a mini adventure.
Adventure comes in all forms. Flying across continents has it’s time and place, but sometimes thrill is closer than you think. The open road awaits you, so grab the wheel and cruise to a new town or city and spend the day exploring. Shop, eat, take pictures. If you’re looking for more of an extended vacation, book a stay at a local inn.
5.) Treat yourself.
Everyone needs some R&R, so teachers, treat yourselves! Book that massage you’ve been dreaming about or that mani and pedi that’s long overdue. Been eyeing that same dress for weeks now? Maybe it’s time to let go of the guilt and make it yours. You deserve it.
6.) Try something new.
Routine can get, well, boring. Spice up the quotidian by dabbling in something different. Not a nature person? Go for a hike and take in the outdoors. Feeling like you’ve been missing out on your city’s culture? Sign up to listen to a lecture that appeals to you. Take a new route on your run. The possibilities are endless.
We all get a little hyper-connected sometimes, but many of us wish we didn’t. School break gives you the opportunity to loosen the reins on your digital duties. E-mails can wait.
8.) Be mindful.
Tacking on to #7, practice mindfulness. Be present. Participate. Observe and describe with your senses. Do everything as if it’s your first time doing it, and exercise each role of your day as best you could.
9.) Meet up with friends.
Been too swamped or just plain exhausted to see your friends? Well, time is on your side now so pencil in that coffee date you’ve been putting off. If you’re feeling extra ambitious, host a dinner party and catch up with the whole group.
10.) Get organized.
Okay, this one isn’t as fun, but just as necessary when you have down time. You will feel 100 times better if you finally tackle those projects that have been at the bottom of your laundry list. Toss the piles of magazines from 2007, change the bulbs that have been out for months, and face the mail that’s been slowly eating your desk space.
Hope this helps! Happy Break!