So – you’ve made it through Christmas – the turkey’s been eaten and the Family has been visited, by now we’re all ready for a proper holiday. Sometimes, the week between Christmas and New Year can come and go and you don’t feel any better off, or rested, even if you had time off work or away from the pressures of hosting, travelling or visiting others. Here are some tips for making the most of your well-deserved downtime during the holidays.

Get Some (Good) Sleep
One of the small luxuries of the winter break is being able to sleep in without an alarm. If your schedule allows, take advantage of those extra hours of rest. Snoozing until you naturally wake up helps your body unwind and reduces stress levels. However, if those extra hours are restless, or uncomfortable you might be doing yourself more harm than good. Make sure that your extra Z’s are high quality.

A few tips for better sleep include sticking to a regular bedtime routine, limiting blue light from screens before bed , and making sure your bedroom is cool, dark and quiet. You might also want to consider using a weighted blanket. If you can’t manage the extra time in the mornings, consider taking a nap (but do it smart – here’s a great blog from sleep experts at Simba on ‘The Art of Napping‘.)

A few mornings of leisurely waking up will you feel refreshed and ready to enjoy everything the season has to offer.

Unplug from Technology
It’s easy to get caught up in our devices, especially this time of year when we’re using technology to communicate schedules, shop online, and share photos. But total screen time from phones, laptops, tablets, and TV can negatively impact both mental and physical health if not monitored. During your break, leave your phone in another room for a few hours each day. Read a book instead of mindlessly scrolling social media. Limit TV bingeing and make time for low-tech activities like board games or puzzles as a family. Unplugging helps you relax and be present with loved ones.

Eat Healthy Holiday Treats
The holidays are all about comfort – from homemade sweaters to decorative blankets. So focus on nourishing your body too! Bake oatmeal cookies instead of high-fat alternatives. Roast vegetables alongside the turkey or ham. Enjoy peppermint tea or hot cider instead of sugary coffee drinks.

Allow yourself to savor flavors while keeping meals balanced with lean proteins and whole grains. Baking treats or prepping meals with family creates special memories during this season. Don’t deprive yourself, just aim for moderation and balance.

Move Your Body in Nature
While it may be tempting to hibernate on the couch with holiday movies during time off, getting your heart rate up regularly actually reduces stress and lifts your mood. Even on cold, snowy days there are ways to be active outdoors. Grab gloves and hats for a family walk or hike through snow dusted trees. Shovel snow for exercise. Bundle up for a game of backyard football or build a snowman with the kids. Fresh air and daylight are energizing and the activity will balance out indulgent treats.

So, if you are wanting to take a pause between the Holidays, just remember to sleep, refuel with healthy food, and get some fresh air – you’ll be able to best enjoy any time off.