With fall upon us and Christmas right around the corner, it is almost time for Thanksgiving break, which is a time to exercise gratitude and unwind. During this long weekend, it is crucial to make time for yourself and spend time doing the things you enjoy. For those who need some ideas, here are six ways to relieve stress over Thanksgiving Break.

1. Spend Time with Friends and Family

Catching up with loved ones is an excellent way to destress and strengthen connections after being away at school for the past weeks. For anyone with various friends returning from college, gathering everyone for a Friendsgiving celebration to connect over some good food could be a great time as well. Regardless of whether you watch football with your family or have a game night, the familiar company is sure to relieve your school-related stresses.

2. Give Back or Volunteer

While many of us are so fortunate to return home, there are far more people who are not as lucky and need extra love and support during the holidays. This extra love may come from volunteering at a soup kitchen, helping out at a food pantry or shelter, or even participating in a local toy drive. Even though giving back to the community may seem like a small gesture, the little services we perform for others may end up making a change in someone’s life.

3. Cook Something Tasty

photo of pumpkin doughnuts and coffee by Rachel Hornig

The benefits of cooking or trying new recipes are abundant. Not only is there joy in the process itself, but also in the fact you get to eat it too! If you’re in need of new ideas, there are plenty of fall recipes to choose from and you may discover a new favorite.

4. Go on a Walk and Exercise

Moving your body is known to be one of- if not the most beneficial ways to clear your mind and relieve stress. Even a simple walk alone or with company in the autumn air will do wonders for your wellbeing. Go discover a new trail in our local area, as you never know what you may discover.

5. Watch Holiday Movies

Photo of popcorn and “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving”

Nothing quite beats the nostalgia of watching all of your favorite Thanksgiving and holiday movies to prepare for the season. Whether you’re a fan of the Thanksgiving Day Parade or know every word in “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving,” there is something for everyone to give yourself a break from the world. 

6. Start Holiday Decorating

Sprucing up your space while listening to festive holiday music is the perfect way to detach your mind from the stress of school and channel your energy into the new season. Be sure to enjoy Thanksgiving while it’s here because before you know it, Christmas decorations will be all over.

Don’t forget to take time for yourself amongst the hustle and bustle of the school year. With so much on our plates, both literally and metaphorically, Thanksgiving break gives us the perfect opportunity to unwind and be our best selves. We dedicate so much of our time to the semester, so it is equally important to dedicate some to ourselves. 

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