In the last two years, college students have faced challenges and stressors, uncertainties and disappointments that we could have never forecast. Many students find that prioritizing their mental wellness during the semester is difficult due to the pressures and responsibilities they manage. Breaks offer an important time in the academic calendar for them to “recharge” and focus their attention on their well-being.


Finding ways to incorporate wellness practices into daily habits is the goal — and students can use time over their breaks from school to bounce back if they have fallen off track. Here are some ways to encourage your student to prioritize their well-being during the upcoming break. 

Give your student permission to rest and relax.

  • Let them sleep in
  • Refrain from scheduling too much — give time to relax
  • Remind them about self-care, and the importance of putting health and wellness as a priority (see more below)

Encourage them to take time for self-care:

  • Read a book they’ll enjoy
  • Hang out with trusted friends
  • Eat good food and reset their healthy habits if they’ve gotten off course
  • Do a hobby they don’t have time for during the semester

Incorporate rejuvenation in holiday gift ideas

  • A meditation app
  • Massage or reiki session
  • Sleep masks or ear plugs (great residence hall sleep aids!)

Do a family activity

  • Take a nature hike 
  • Cook a healthy meal together
  • Give back to your community — volunteer for a local charity

Check in on how the semester went. Find quiet time for an open-ended conversation:

  • What went well?
  • Are you using any college resources?
  • What challenges are you facing on campus?
  • How can we support you?

Listen to this episode of Colgate’s 13 Podcast together and discuss what resonated with each of you.

Logo for Colgate's 13 Podcast

— LaFrance is assistant vice president of Colgate’s Counseling and Psychological Services.