As winter break approaches, we can help our students prevent the break in healthy behaviors that often coincides with time away from school. Here are some tips to promote healthy time away from school:
- Encourage consistent sleep habits: Over school breaks when the school bell doesn’t necessitate a specific waking time, sleep hygiene can fall by the wayside. Encourage your students to fall asleep and wake up at the same time as much as possible while school is not in session. When school starts up again, this consistent routine will help them readjust much more easily.
- Support mindful eating: For many students, winter break coincides with family holidays which are oftentimes accompanied by celebratory meals and an abundance of sweet treats. Support your students to pay attention to the food they are putting in their mouths, chew slowly and savor the flavor and texture of the food they are eating, and consider how the food they are eating makes their body feel.
- Minimize screen time: Without seven or more hours of school each day, it can be easy for students to fall into a screen-focused routine. Help your students brainstorm ahead of time which of their other favorite activites they can enjoy during break so they don’t fall into a screen-heavy routine.
- Plan ahead: If you have students with chronic conditions, start working with them early to consider how to maintain their medical regimens while not at school. Help set a plan, identify potential barries, and work with families and students to maintain these routines when school is out of session.