10 Things You Can Do To Take Care Of Yourself This Winter Break

10 Things You Can Do To Take Care Of Yourself This Winter Break

We all need some good relaxation and rejuvenation, so here are some simple things you can do to achieve that.

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I often view self-care or "treating" myself as something lazy, self-indulgent, or unnecessary. It takes a lot to convince myself to do something that is, well, just for myself. I've found a handful of things that make me feel refreshed and renewed, while also being productive and feeling like I've accomplished something.

1. Watch a TEDX Talk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hg3umXU_qWc

I know, I know, TEDX Talks are the thing your English teacher used to force you to watch or the videos you fell asleep to when you had a substitute teacher in literally any high school class. At one of my grasps for properly taking care of myself, I tried one of those stupid 30-day challenges, one centered on self-care. One of the days included watching TEDX Talks. I found one that seemed remotely interesting and watched it. Surprisingly it made me feel substantially better about everything and gave me things to think about. I started watching them a little more often and there are actually a lot of good things to be learned from them. If you find one on a topic you like, they can be interesting, informative, and inspiring.

2. Go for a walk

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When I was home for my Thanksgiving break, I took my dogs on a walk down my street at home. I usually view it as a chore and finish their walks as quickly as possible, but this time I walked further and stayed outside a little longer. It was surprisingly relaxing and, especially this time of year, it is so nice to be outside and so refreshing to be in the cold for a little bit. Go take a walk and enjoy the snow, the pretty trees, and the winter weather. I guarantee it will make you feel happier, more relaxed, and overall better.

3. Write a love letter to a friend

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I have a good friend that wrote me a post-it note telling me how much she appreciates me before I left for college and I read it whenever I have a bad day or need to feel better about myself. Giving positivity to people you love can make you feel better in so many ways and it'll make someone you care a lot about feeling good too.

4. Devote a day to Christmas gifts

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This year I committed myself to a full day of buying and making Christmas gifts. Planning something to make another person happy will make you feel better about yourself as well as the positive environment you are creating around you. Think hard to pick presents your loved ones will really appreciate and consider hand-making some of your gifts this year. Being creative when it comes to Christmas will improve your own mood and force you to take a break and enjoy the holiday season while 'till checking something off of your to-do list.

5. Listen to a podcast

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Podcasts are simple and easy because you can listen to them when you put away laundry, clean, or any number of mundane tasks. They can be inspiring, informative, and always make me feel better by taking my mind off of things. Find a topic you are interested in or a person you like and learn something new! I guarantee the productivity and passivity of it will help clear your head.

6. Bullet Journal 

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While filling in a planner has a similar effect, bullet journaling takes it to a whole new level. It doesn't have to be your new planning routine or a long term commitment, but even trying to commit to it for the few weeks of break will give your life organization. This is productive and an easy way to calm your mind. Bullet journaling allows you to be creative and take control of your life while keeping track of the semester ahead and your goals for the new year.

7. Buy a book

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Find a book that you actually want to read and buy it. Make sure it's a topic you are interested in and something you are excited about. Reading can help personal development in so many ways and it is a great way to both exercise your mind and help remove you from the world a little. Plus by learning about something new you are being productive and doing something that will make you proud later on.

8. Take a new workout class

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It's a known fact that exercising makes you feel better mentally and physically and is just generally good for you. However, keeping the exact same workout routine can feel stale and unexciting, eliminating some of the benefits of doing the workout. I know that I always get a better workout in when someone is instructing me, so a class is the most effective way to get exercise and reap the benefits.

9. Spend an hour with your Mom (or Dad)

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One of the things I look most forward to when going home is just lounging in my childhood family room and talking with my mom. Updating her on my life and hearing about her's has such a calming effect, not to mention the fact that she knows me so well and gives me the best advice. It grounds me to hear her opinion on things and just generally makes me happy to spend time with her. I know not everyone has that relationship with their mom necessarily, but find that adult in your life that can automatically improve your mental health and spend some time talking with them.

10. Make REAL New Year's Resolutions 

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I know it's cliche and that no one really feels as if they can achieve their goals for the new year, but evaluating your goals and your progress can be really beneficial for your body and mind. By taking some time to recognize how far you've come and where you want to be next year you are taking initiative in your development in every aspect of your life. However, make sure that your goals for the coming year are realistic and attainable. Create a plan to achieve each goal and a way to track it or measure your successes. By making goals that you can achieve you set yourself up for success and happiness, which is a great way to spend your time off.

We are all coming off of such a challenging time of year, with the end of the semester and all the family and friend drama that comes with the holidays. It's so incredibly important to find small ways to take care of yourself and better yourself in a variety of ways. Make sure you come off of break having a true break but also taking steps to make the coming semester and year easier on yourself.

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12 Gifts To Give Your Girlfriend On Valentine's Day

All of these gift ideas will for sure win over your girlfriend's heart this year!
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To all the last-minute gift givers of Valentine's Day:

Don't panic. While I know how stressful it can be to get the perfect gift for your significant other, there are so many gift ideas that people always forget as an option. The best part about Valentine's day is not the gifts you get, but rather the romantic time you get to spend with your loved one. So don't worry about how expensive the gift is, just worry about how much thought you put into it. If you are still stuck on a gift to buy for your girlfriend, here are 12 ideas to get the ball rolling for you:

1. Chocolate



Chocolate is every woman's best friend. It also can be your wallet's best friend for this Valentine's Day season. A box of chocolate can warm your girlfriend's heart for a low price.

Buy a box on Amazon.


2. Flowers



Flowers. Another common, but romantic gift for your girlfriend. Get creative with it. Throw rose pedals all over the bed, or hand her a giant bouquet all at once. Either way I am sure she will love it.

Buy them on Amazon.


3. Giant Teddy Bear



This is a gift that I always found so adorable. While it can be obnoxious to purchase and carry around, the look on your girlfriend's face when she sees it will make it all worth it. She can cuddle the bear when you're not around. ;)

Buy one on Amazon.


4. Wine



Again, another luxury that is a woman's best friend. You cannot go wrong with buying your girlfriend a bottle, or bottles, of wine. The only question you have to ask yourself when buying it is, red or white?

Buy a set of glasses to match on Amazon.


5. A Couple's Massage

Um, hello. Who wouldn't love this gift? Not only is it a gift for her, but it is one for you as well. This gift can also be surprisingly cheap. Many places offer amazing deals during the Valentine's Day season!


6. Dinner

There is absolutely nothing wrong with just taking your girlfriend to a romantic dinner on Valentine's Day. Dinner can be expensive enough as it is, the important thing to remember is to make memories that will last a lifetime during the meal.


7. A Movie



Again, nothing wrong with just going to a movie for the night. Sometimes a movie can set the level of romance you need for Valentine's Day.

Buy an AMC gift card on Amazon.


8. A Necklace



I know what you're thinking, too expensive! Don't throw away the necklace idea just yet. There are so many stores that sell such elegant necklaces, and they are decently priced as well. Check out stores like Alex and Ani, or Pandora for great deals, or just order from Amazon!


Buy one on Amazon.


9. A Ring



While this gift may only apply to a select few, imagine how memorable this day would be for your girlfriend. Do not think it is too cliche to propose to your girlfriend on Valentine's Day. Who cares how many other people do it, think about the joy it will bring her.

Buy a diamond ring on Amazon.


10. Clothes



Plan and buy your girlfriend's outfit for the night! It saves her time figuring out what to wear, and you just bought her clothes that she will absolutely adore!

Buy a sweater she will love on Amazon.


11. A One Night Stay at a Hotel



I don't think I have to say anything about this gift. You all know how romantic this is.

Buy a Hotels.com gift card on Amazon.


12. Personalized Picture Frame



A gift that is beyond thoughtful. Taking all of your pictures of memories from before and putting them together for your girlfriend is a gift that will for sure have her in tears.

Buy one on Amazon.


Please note that all items are in stock as of the time of publication. As an Amazon Associate, Odyssey may earn a portion of qualifying sales.

Cover Image Credit: Chip Party Ideas

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10 Reasons Why Having A Boyfriend Is Especially Awesome Around The Holidays

No better time of the year than Winter break to make all the memories with your honey freezing in the weather or sweating by the fireplace.

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A date for looking at Christmas lights is on the top of the list, for sure.

1. You have someone to do all of the activities with

He's like your built-in partner for everything. Wanna watch a movie? Take a nap? Need someone to help you clean your room? You've got your person.

2. You can steal his hoodies when its chilly outside

It doesn't even have to be cold for you to want to. Chances are its a size or two bigger than you need and his cologne is all over it.

3. Chances are he's more willing to drive in the snow than you are 

Guys typically have a little more of a heavy duty vehicle. If you've got a good man, he might even rescue you an hour away in a blizzard if you think you're tougher than the weather.

4. Christmas movie partner!!

Do I need to add more?

5. He can always keep you warm

Bear hugs. Cuddles. His trucks dual air 90 degree heat on your side. He'll find a way to keep you warm.

6. Your family holiday events partner

Multiple Thanksgivings and Christmas' are a breeze with your favorite person by your side. Plus, no one to ask you where your plus one is or why you're single.

7. Matching Christmas pajamas

I don't know about you, but my family has matching Christmas jammies every year. You can even get your favorite person in on them too for a cute insta picture.

8. Your errand running partner

He's your built-in Christmas shopping partner so you aren't bored standing in line forever or while you're still shopping and he can act as your place holder.

9. You aren't the only single one in your family on Christmas Eve anymore. 

It's awkward when all of your siblings are taking pictures with their others, but when you've found your person, you can do all the same things, including looking forward to your new year's kiss.

10. Making more memories

No better time of the year than Winter break to make all the memories with your honey freezing in the weather or sweating by the fireplace.

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