5 Tips to Stay Sane this Winter Break

 

Winter break is right around the corner, which most likely means a change is about to occur in your life. Some people may be moving back in with their parents, and some may just be adjusting to life without classes. However, with the Covid-19 pandemic escalating, this winter break may be especially challenging. Being stuck at home with an abundance of free time can make you feel bored and stir-crazy, but here are five ways to keep yourself sane during this winter break: 

1. Start a new hobby. 

Is there something that you’ve always wanted to do, but never had the time to do it? Paint, play guitar, learn how to cook, knit, bullet journal... whatever it may be, now is the perfect time to start. Although it’s tempting to spend all of break watching Netflix, taking up a new hobby will make you feel more fulfilled and productive. (And you’ll still have enough time for Netflix). 

2. Make a daily schedule. 

If you find yourself aimlessly wasting your days and feeling unproductive, it can be helpful to write out a schedule for yourself. Before you go to sleep, think about how you want your day to look tomorrow, and write down a schedule based on that. It’s okay to include basic things like “make lunch” or “do laundry” - because even if you don’t have many things to do, having a schedule can make your day feel more structured. This is also a great way to incorporate your new hobby into your day – if you schedule in time to work on your hobby, it’s easier to get yourself to do it, and you won’t make as many excuses. Schedules are a great way to stay productive, but if you aren’t a fan of them, you can also try making a to-do list or simply writing out your goals for the day.  

3. Stay active. 

I know it’s annoying to hear, but exercise is super important for both your body and mind. You don’t have to kill yourself doing Chloe Ting workouts if that’s not something you enjoy, though. Find something you genuinely like doing – it could be walking your dog, dancing around your room, jump roping – anything that gets you up and moving. Like the iconic Elle Woods said, “exercise gives you endorphins … endorphins make you happy”.  

4. Talk to your friends. 

You may underestimate how helpful talking to your friends can be, but if you struggle prioritizing that, suggest to your friends having a set time every night where you all get on Zoom, FaceTime, or any video chatting platform. Having that set time will give you something to look forward to, and it will also probably put you in a good mood. If your friends aren’t available to talk, try having a game night or movie night with your family or whoever you live with. Talking to somebody, whoever it may be, is super important during these times, so make sure you prioritize that daily. 

5. Do things that make you happy. 

This may seem somewhat obvious, but spend your time doing things that you actually like. Don’t waste your time doing things that you feel like you should do; be honest with yourself about what you enjoy, and spend time doing those things. If you’re having trouble with this, try writing a list of activities that you enjoy or that you want to try, and then incorporate at least one of those activities into each day. Most of us will have free time during winter break, so why not use that time to delve into your passions and interests? 

This winter break might be challenging for you, and that’s okay. You may have days where all you do is watch Netflix, and that’s okay. You may not always feel productive or motivated, and that’s okay. Incorporating these tips into your life may be helpful, but realistically, you may not be able to do all five things every day. As important as these tips are, it’s also important to remember that these times are hard, and it’s normal to struggle. Take things day by day, do what you can, and you will make it through.