With finals over, we college students can finally exhale a sigh of relief knowing we won't have to enter another classroom until January. Some of us, however, walked off campus for the last time this semester and found ourselves wondering, "Well, now what?" If you're squirming a little without the weight of assignments bearing on your shoulders, and you're considering what you should do with yourself to keep from going stir crazy over the next month, here are a few simple ideas!
1. Absolutely Nothing
Take a break. You've worked hard, so let yourself have a day or two where you just sleep or hang out on the couch. Make a point to have some time with nothing on your to-do list.
2. Get Some Sleep You've Been Missing Out On
Over weeks or months of getting inadequate sleep, we accumulate "sleep debt." While studies have shown that we really can't catch up on sleep we've missed with one or two days of sleeping in, Scientific American explains that we can recoup this loss over time by going to sleep when we're tired and waking up on our own in the morning, without the help of an alarm clock. Try to do this over the break and see how much better you feel.
3. Binge Watch a TV Show
Catch up on shows you've missed because you've been studying, re-watch your favorite series for the fifth time, or finally get around to finishing the second season of Stranger Things. Let your mind rest.
4. Read a Book
How often do we take time to read for pleasure? Not very often. Take the opportunity to pull out that book you've been meaning to finish, or wander around a book store until something catches your eye, and actually read. You'll keep your brain stimulated, feel a sense of accomplishment when you finish, and hopefully encounter a great story.
5. Watch Christmas Movies
Christmas is the best time to watch "kid movies" and indulge your inner child. Find a few movies that excite your Christmas spirit. Whether it be A Christmas Story, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, It's a Wonderful Life, Home Alone, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Santa Clause, Elf, or a number of others, everyone has a Christmas movie they like. Grab some hot chocolate and relax in front of a happy holiday movie.
6. Complete a Project
We still need to feel productive over the break, so choose a project that interests you and see it through to the end. Make a scrapbook of 2017, paint a picture, build something, start a journal, or even make a comprehensive list of goals for the upcoming year. Find something you enjoy that is also productive for your life.
7. Make Holiday Treats
One of my favorite Christmas time activities is making Christmas cookies and chocolate-covered goodies with my mom and sisters. It's a great way to spend time with others and make some delicious treats to enjoy over the break. These also make great gifts!
8. Take a Day Trip
Take a mini-vacation to a nearby city and just enjoy being somewhere different. Visit a museum or aquarium, do some shopping, go see a movie or a play, or try a local place in the area you're visiting.
Choose a cause or organization with which you want to volunteer, and spend some time lending others a hand. The holiday season is a great time to give not only gifts but also time to others, and there are numerous ways you can get involved. If you're having trouble deciding where you want to invest your time, search online for volunteer opportunities in your area.
10. Spend Quality Time with Friends and Family
A break is the best time to visit with family and friends. You can catch up on events you may have missed talking about throughout the semester, and you can really enjoy the time you have with them, without a homework assignment due at midnight looming over your head. Take the time to go visit relatives, or call your friends you've not seen in awhile and go out for coffee.
Take some time this break to not only truly relax, but also to do something to occupy your mind and keep a level of productivity. That way, you'll feel refreshed before your next semester, and won't be blindsided by work after just lounging around for a month!