Holiday Student Blog


December 20, 2022

After the chaos of exams and assignments, we finally have time to ourselves to do whatever we want. The never-ending whirlwind of questions and concerns for the next session may have already begun in our mind, but before getting too ahead of ourselves, here is a reminder to take care of yourself and take a break. To avoid burnout and be better prepared for whatever life throws at you next semester, here are some suggestions on how to de-stress over the holidays:

1. Do something creative that you love

Activities like painting, drawing, and cooking can be great stress relievers. Studies have shown that creativity induces positive health effects by decreasing cortisol (stress hormone) levels in the body. Doing something creative engages our minds and helps us imagine and focus, distracting us from stressful thoughts. To stay updated about activities being hosted by York International this holiday season, check out our calendar.

2. Get your heart pumping

With the holiday season upon us, “the more, the merrier” is true - not just for friends, but also for endorphins (a hormone responsible for making you feel better). Endorphins get released when you exercise and has the bonus of protecting your heart against diseases. So, get moving this holiday season, whether that is dancing in your room, going to the gym, or walking around outside!

3. Get enough sleep

High angle shot of a young woman sleeping in her bed at home during the night

This seems obvious but is often overlooked. Getting 7-8 hours of sleep every day is recommended to help maintain physical and mental health. How can we improve our quality of sleep?

  • By ensuring that your bedroom is at a comfortable temperature.
  • Avoiding stimulants like caffeine and nicotine at night.
  • Reducing fluid intake before bedtime.
  • Avoiding large meals before heading to bed.

4. Meet loved ones

Humans thrive in community. Be it a fun game night with family or ice skating with a friend, meeting them will help you unwind after a stressful exam season. Laughter has been linked to lower levels of stress hormones, so why not attend a comedy show or spend time with friends this holiday season!

Just remember, be patient with yourselves. Stress might not look the same for everyone, and what works for one person may not work for another. Trying different stress-relieving strategies may help to figure out what works best for you.

Please seek help if stress and anxiety are making your everyday functioning hard. Counselling, health, and well-being services are offered by York university to all its students and are completely free of charge. Please note that SCHW is closed over the holiday break but resources such as KeepmeSafe and Good2Talk are available 24/7.

Holiday Blogposts

Things to do in Toronto on Christmas and Boxing Day

Our team has put together a list of fun activities in this blog post – check it out!

Unwind and relax this holiday season!

Exam season was stressful! Lots of sleepless nights and far too much coffee…well, it’s time to unwind now, you deserve it! Take a look at some tips and tricks on ways to de-stress this holiday season.

Boxing Day - what is it?

December 26th is not just the day after Christmas! Here in Canada, we celebrate Boxing Day – check out this blog post to learn all about this holiday and what you can do to celebrate.