5 Tips For Mental Rest Over The Winter Break

When you’re an online student at Northgate Academy, you’ve got lots of flexibility for your daily schedule, and that leads to opportunities when it comes to taking longer breaks around the holidays. During Christmas time, you might have a lot going on with family and friends, celebrations at church, and special activities through your youth group and community. All of those amazing life experiences and memories make for a perfect time to take a longer break from school. 

Because your classes are self-paced, you will first want make sure you’re on track or ahead of your planned schedule before you determine how long your break can be. Even though you’ve got 12 months to complete your classes, you might have set a goal to be done by a certain date. If you take one or two weeks off, will you still meet that goal? 

Once you’ve established how long your break will be, it’s time to have some fun! Whatever you’re planning, be sure to take a few minutes each day to refresh your body and brain. Here are some tips from NGA for doing exactly that. Pick your favorites and spend some time getting mental rest during your winter break.


We probably don’t have to ask you twice if you want to spend a little time napping over break! Most teens don’t get nearly enough sleep. Since you’re working on a self-paced, flexible academic program, you might have already created a schedule for yourself that respects your natural sleep rhythm. However, if your schedule mimics a traditional school day or you don’t usually take time for a quick little nap during your day, then winter break is the perfect time of year to give yourself permission for a bit of extra sleep. 

Allowing your body to slip into a more natural sleep pattern for a while is healthy both physically and mentally. Swapping back to your school day sleep schedule is going to be tough no matter what, but if you’re concerned about getting too far off your daily routine, keep your sleep changes to 1-2 hours off of your regular routine, and limit naps to about 20-30 minutes. That won’t be as much of a shift for your body and brain to adapt to once it’s time to get back to hitting the virtual books.

Keep A Realistic Schedule

Sure, you want to do ALL THE THINGS! But realistically, you also need to rest both your body and your brain, so overcommitting will end up wearing you out more than it actually helps. Taking a longer break around Christmas and New Years gives you the chance to catch up with friends and family and have some fun with activities you don’t always have time for. However, be realistic about your schedule. 

You might regret not taking a day to straighten up your personal space and to clean out that closet you know could explode any day now. (Seriously, clean out your closet!) You will most likely regret not spending a little extra time playing with a younger sibling or pet. And you will definitely regret not taking at least one day to lie on the couch scrolling through videos and posts while your favorite show streams nonstop in the background. As fun as a full calendar sounds, avoid overfilling it with activities that will completely drain you.

Read A Book

Okay, so would we even be a school if we didn’t add this suggestion to the list? But hear us out. Reading is actually a very relaxing activity. In fact, science has proven that reading can reduce your stress by up to 68%; that actually turns out to be a better activity for relaxation than listening to music, watching videos, or playing video games. Pick something you’d really like to read about and spend a minimum of 10 minutes a day reading it. This can be anything you’ve been meaning to read but haven’t taken the time to do it. Comic books, a novel, a devotional, poetry, a biography or historical account…it literally doesn’t matter at all what you read as long as it’s not something upsetting! Reading will relax you more effectively than most other activities.

Turn Off Electronics

Before you tune this one out, we’re not saying to turn off electronics for the entire break. But turning off your electronics for a bit can be a really freeing experience, especially if it’s while you’re playing games with your family or friends or when you’re playing with your pet. Giving yourself and the other people (or pets) in your life your absolute full attention will help you appreciate them more instead of splitting your attention between them and your devices. It’s also a great way to show them you care about them enough to pay attention to them and them alone. You won’t be around the people and pets you love forever, so marking out time to focus on those important, loving relationships is a good way to spend a break from school.

Spend Time Reflecting

Take some time to reflect – about your relationship with God, your family, or your friends; your purpose in life; or your plans for the future. We get awfully busy living day to day, and reflection is sometimes drowned out by too many other voices screaming for our attention: school work, a part time job, family, friends, our online presence, chores. A longer break is a good time to turn off your electronics and spend a little bit of time checking in with yourself to see if everything is on track or if you need to re-evaluate plans or your own personal progress. This suggestion can be pretty heavy, so maybe follow it up with your day on the couch scrolling and watching YouTube. However, you’ll probably be grateful that you gifted yourself with the time to think about who you are, what you’re doing, and how you’re doing mentally and physically.

Enjoy your time celebrating Christ’s birth with family and friends, and Merry Christmas from NGA!

About Northgate Academy

If you’re not already a student at Northgate Academy but are interested in using our faith-based online high school program as an accredited choice for your Christian student or as a resource for homeschool coursework, you can check out our programs online. Although we welcome and support our part-time students as well, every full time student at NGA is assigned an Academic Success Coach, can email their instructors with questions, can reach out to staff through online chat and text, and has access to one-on-one tutoring through Train The Brain.

Still have questions? Feel free to send us a text at 763-412-4701 or call us at 800-339-7132. Our academic support team will be happy to answer your questions or help guide you to the best program for you or your child.

Northgate Academy Welcomes Everyone

We have a unique community of online learners from all over the world. We have students that chose to attend high school online due to social problems, large classroom size, conflicting beliefs concerning the educational process, and bullying. Maybe you just don’t share the values taught at the public schools. We have athletes, performers, military and ex-pats students; as well as international students that have chosen to earn an American, accredited high school diploma online. Students love the ability to attend a Christian school online according to their schedule and pace.

If you are ready to get started, why not Enroll Now?