Enjoy Your Holiday Break in Amherst, MA

Each year, the holiday break is a welcomed change of pace for many people. It slows down the bustle of daily life and relieves the pressure of looming deadlines for work or class, giving us the opportunity to take time to refuel. Refueling is an essential part of reducing your stress levels and improving your mental and physical health, and it can take a number of different forms, like relaxing, doing something simply for the fun of it, and—as crazy as it sounds—checking something off your to-do list that you simply wouldn’t have time for otherwise. If you’re finding yourself at a loss of what to do during your holiday break, we’ve shared some of our own ideas below.

1. Set aside time to spend with your family and friends.

Whether you’re concerned about studying for the next exam and getting to classes on time or you have to juggle work deadlines with ferrying your kids to and from school, it’s easy to become consumed with your to-do list and miss out on sitting down to spend time with your friends or family. The holidays are the perfect time for you to catch up with the people you care about. You might want to host a party, invite a friend to lunch, or simply catch up at home in sweatpants with a bowl of chips between you; either way, taking the time to swap funny stories and rants can be incredibly relaxing. If you’re traveling to spend the holidays with family, it can also be a rare opportunity to see friends you’ve stayed in contact with online but haven’t seen in ages.

If you’re married, it’s important to make time to spend with your spouse, too, especially in a romantic context. Take advantage of the time that both you and your spouse have off of work during the holidays. Find someone you trust to babysit your kids at their house for the night and arrange to pick them up in the morning, then go on a date. Even though you love your kids, you’d be surprised what a single child-free night will do for you. This is something you can do even if you’re out of town visiting relatives.

2. Take time to relax.

When you have a never-ending to-do list, it can be hard to find time to simply relax. Your hobbies often fall by the wayside; even finding 15 minutes out of the week for a hobby is sometimes difficult. This holiday season, dedicate some of your free time to sitting and doing something that helps you to relax. Read a good book, binge a TV show or have a movie marathon, unpack your watercolors and paint—whatever brings you joy and helps you to relax. Even just an hour of doing this will help you feel noticeably calmer.

3. Make dental appointments for the whole family.

No matter what stage of life you’re in, busy schedules at work or school can make it easy for you to push your regular preventive cleanings further down the road. A dental appointment isn’t the most exciting holiday break activity, but the holidays provide a great opportunity for you to go to an appointment without having to worry about deadlines or where you need to be in an hour.

The holidays are also a great time to take your kids to see Dr. Khodadoust. It may seem like oral hygiene isn’t as important when your children are young, but it’s just as important for your little ones! Baby teeth play an integral role in the development of your child’s permanent teeth by holding spots for them in the jaw; if a baby tooth is lost too soon, it can cause issues with their permanent teeth, such as overcrowding and crooked teeth. Additionally, forming good habits surrounding oral hygiene and having a positive association with the dentist from a young age can help your children maintain great habits throughout their entire lives. To make the appointment easier for you, you can schedule an appointment for yourself and your kids around the same time, so you only have to make one trip to our office.

4. Enjoy the snow.

If there’s snow outside, take some time to enjoy it! Get some friends together and go skiing or have a snowball fight. If you have kids, they’ll absolutely love spending an afternoon or two in the snow. There are endless activities you can do with your kids, like sledding and starting snowball fights. If there’s enough snow, you can make snowmen or build a snow fort together. With so many possibilities, your little ones are unlikely to get bored anytime soon—and it’ll tire them out, giving you some peace and quiet for an hour or two while they nap.

5. Spend some time volunteering.

Christmas is a time to give to other people, and one great way you can take this a step further is to volunteer a little of your time and, perhaps, labor to a good cause. There are plenty of volunteer opportunities, like giving aid to the homeless, volunteering at your local hospital, or visiting seniors in nursing homes who don’t have anyone to spend Christmas with. If you have kids, finding a volunteer opportunity you can bring them along to is a great way to teach them that Christmas is not just about getting or giving presents but giving hope and love to other people.

It’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of life and its never-ending tasks, but the holiday break provides a perfect time to slow down, relax, reconnect with the people we love, and give a little hope and love back to our community. It’s the perfect opportunity to recharge and refocus, so you can face the upcoming year with your best foot forward.