What to do during the holidays

This is the most wonderful time of the year – the holidays, that is to say. Whether you celebrate one of the holidays in December or not, it’s finally that time of year when we have the chance to breathe and relax. You might be home after your fall semester at college, during winter school break, or just taking a break from work. Whatever the circumstances, you finally have a moment to unwind and appreciate what you have around you.

I personally know that I have been looking forward to this break for a long time. College isn’t the easiest thing, and this semester was certainly no exception. On top of everything that is going on in the world, there are a lot of personal obstacles that everyone has faced and sometimes we wonder when we are finally going to take a break. Fortunately, this season returns every year, so we’re finally getting that long-awaited break from some of our stressors. Although not everyone gets a full month off, including myself and other students, we still have some time to enjoy the winter season.

Meanwhile, I have a few suggestions on what to do to keep you entertained but not overworked. Of course, my first suggestion is to catch up on the sleep you’ve lost and enjoy those “lazy days” where you can sit on the couch and watch Netflix. Another important thing you should do is take a moment for yourself to reflect and maybe focus on what you hope to do in the New Year. It might be the easiest thing to go to bed earlier or change your daily routine a bit. Maybe look for jobs or internships that interest you, but don’t stress yourself out about it. Try to reunite with old friends or family you haven’t seen. If you do this, maybe share what happened in your life or remember some of your favorite memories with each other.

Theaters have also had some great movies recently. So far I’ve seen House of Gucci and Spider-Man: No Way Home and can’t wait to see West Side Story. Especially since we had the time when the cinemas weren’t open – now may be your chance to step out and transport yourself to another world for a few hours. Or maybe your thing is baking or baking – make the most of the time you finally have and whip up that dish you’ve been waiting to accomplish.

There are endless activities you can do in your spare time, but I strongly encourage you to focus on yourself. We don’t always have time for a little soul-searching, but I think it’s a necessary thing that we should all be doing. The holidays aren’t everyone’s favorite time of year, but it still gives you time to re-evaluate what may and may not be going so well. One thing that I have found myself doing is thinking about how I have acted over the past year and how I want to change. By taking this step forward, I also assess how I have acted in the past and how I have changed for the better and how I can continue to improve. One great thing that I started to focus on was standing up for myself. It can be intimidating, but once it’s over you can have a giant weight lifted off your shoulders. You can defend yourself in several ways: emailing a teacher about a grade, contacting a professional if you feel you need help with something, setting boundaries, removing yourself from a situation that was depressing you – anything that is affecting you or has been on your mind can be tackled in some way or another and it can be a huge relief.

Maybe you are in the mood to give but aren’t sure how to help. Look for volunteer positions in your area. One of my favorite things to do is help others find Christmas gifts for The Salvation Army. Food drives are also constantly looking for help. If you love animals, there might be a shelter nearby that seeks help. There may also be community events and activities that require an extra set of hands. Not only does it help others, it also makes you step back and appreciate the things that you have (another form of soul searching).

There is always something to do this time of year and you have the choice to do whatever you want. Even in these unprecedented times, the holiday spirit seems to uplift everyone. Hope everyone is enjoying the holidays and don’t forget to take a moment to focus on yourself to prepare for next year.


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