It’s almost the holidays. A break is so close you can practically feel it. Right?

Sure, it’s considered a break, but let’s be real—the holidays are hectic! They’re stressful, sometimes complicated and wonderful … all at the same time. Which is why we decided to put together the ten best tips for surviving the holidays, with the help of NEA Member Benefits. Teachers need to get more out of their much-deserved time off. We hope these tips will get you started!

Make a Plan for a Healthy, Happy Home

  1. Hosting doesn’t have to bring on the stress. Opening your home to family and friends can bring on anxiety and headaches. Take precautions and avoid the chaos with easy planning and a positive attitude. Try these 10 steps to hassle-free holiday hosting.

  1. Plan your indoor workouts. You may have a lot of guests, but your fitness doesn’t have to suffer! If you’re an outdoor walker or jogger, it may be time for you to move your workout indoors.Try one of these fitness ideas from busy educators, requiring little space and no equipment (invite guests to join in on the fun).


  1. Don’t sabotage your health with mindless eating. Occasional indulging is fine (it’s the holidays!), but finding a healthy food balance is possible. Plan what meals you can and tackle your grocery shopping with consistent lists and early week meal prep. A smart shopping strategy can even help you cut your grocery store bill in half.

Beat the Winter Blues

  1. Spruce up your space. Welcome the joy into your home by changing little things in your decor as well as a dash of holiday and winter fun to lift your spirit. You don’t have to spend a lot to get creative and make cozy, simple style changes.
  1. Stay positive when it’s dark and gloomy. Consider a vacation too! Long, dark, dreary days can certainly put you into a funk (we know firsthand). Boost your mood with laughter—try watching a comedy or simply getting together with friends. A little escape is good for the soul too—and more affordable than you might think. Plan a hassle-free holiday vacation with these low-stress, low-cost tips.


Save Money Where You Can

  1. Timing is everything. Beat the rush with early savings. ‘Tis the season of giving, and there are deals galore to be had—if you can stay on top of the savings game. Get started on your gift list with must-have teacher bargains, from electronics to clothing.
  1. Save big. If you’re an NEA member, there are tons of savings and giveaways available just for you this holiday season—start your list of savings with this ultimate shopper’s guide.
  1. Get rewarded for holiday shopping. It’s the happiest time of the year, but the holidays are expensive! These 10 tips for finding rewards programs will help you wrap up your holiday shopping for less.

Say It With Me: Work-Life Balance

  1. Ditch the guilt. Listen closely: You don’t have to choose between being a good teacher and being a good parent. You can be both. Use your holiday break to look ahead at busy times of the school year, like when report cards are due, and make plans ahead of time. Line up babysitters to help relieve stress and do your best not to feel guilty about it. Also try any of these helpful tips to find balance.


  1. Pamper, pamper, pamper, and celebrate you! Use winter break for some “me time.” You’ve worked hard and need a break to recharge your batteries—it will benefit your family and your students. Dream (while you nap!) about all the ways you’ve mastered the holidays and all the smart ways you stretched your holiday budget. Joyful, indeed!


Here’s to a relaxed and stress-free holiday season, teachers. Take care of yourselves! You deserve it.