I’m bored: The making of a better Holiday break

I’m bored: The making of a better Holiday break Perhaps it hits a week before New Year’s Eve. You’ve caught up on sleep and the mornings blend into evenings thanks to Netflix marathons and leftover binges. Days remain of your Holiday break and you’re …bored. Now what? Ta-da! Look no further than the “I’m-bored-on-break” list. The list includes...
I’m bored: The making of a better Holiday break

I’m bored: The making of a better Holiday break

Perhaps it hits a week before New Year’s Eve. You’ve caught up on sleep and the mornings blend into evenings thanks to Netflix marathons and leftover binges. Days remain of your Holiday break and you’re …bored. Now what?

Ta-da! Look no further than the “I’m-bored-on-break” list. The list includes activities related to sports/fitness, creativity, volunteerism, philosophy/self-reflection, organization and learning. The list aims to transform holiday-break-boredom into an opportunity to create for creating’s sake or to learn for learning’s sake. Banish thoughts about padding applications or resumes. Focus on exploration, experimentation, and enrichment. You just might develop a hobby, experience art, share your gifts, enhance your self-awareness, learn a new language…As you peruse the list, what calls to you?

The sports/fitness enthusiast

  • Try your hand at an indoor sport. Martial arts, racquetball, or floorball, anyone? Scan this photo essay for ideas!
  • Ever thought about curling? Now’s the time—the Winter Olympics begin on February 9! See if there’s a curling rink or club near you.
  • Take a winter fitness challenge! Here’s one from Fitness Republic.
  • Participate in geocache! If it’s safe enough, take a GPS and internet access (aka your cell phone) and join the world’s “largest treasure hunt.” Remember these winter fitness safety tips.


The creative

  • Chef life: Get in the kitchen. Reserve one day to learn how to prepare veggies, another for pastas and so forth. Don’t forget to apply (and later enjoy) your learning. Make a recipe book and consider including recipes special to your family or culture. Tune into the Food Network. Listen to one of the many fabulously entertaining food/cooking podcasts. You just might end your winter break with a new (and practical) skillset.
  • Musicianship: Take voice lessons or try a new instrument. Here’s what some consider the “easiest” instruments to learn.
  • Crafting: Get onto Etsy for inspiration. Knit, crochet, bead, paint, scrapbook, ceramicize… or learn how via YouTube Craft Tutorials! Turn your work into service.  For instance, knit booties for infants or mittens for those affected by homelessness.
  • Paint: By number (we’re serious) or purchase an adult coloring book.
  • Writing and more: Endeavor to awaken your right brain by creating vision boards or writing a manifesto, flash fiction piece or Silverstein-style poem.
  • Photog: Design your own Holiday break photo challenge. Alternatively, Google search “7 day photo challenge” or “30 day photo challenge” and get started. Don’t forget free photo apps!
  • Scan podcast episodes from The Accidental Creative, Adventures in Design, Strangers, Craftypod, Meet the Composer or The Art of Photography.
  • Take a course on creativelive.com. Choose from photo and video; art and design; music and audio; craft and maker; money and life.


The volunteer

  • Fund a micro through Kiva.
  • Become an online volunteer for the United Nations.
  • Volunteer locally to clean up a beach, lake, waterway or trail; visit residents of a nursing home; assist at an animal shelter or home-build with Habitat for Humanity. Deliver meals to those in need or make cards for children facing illness. Organize a canned food or gently used toy or clothing drive. Collect books for your local library or create a gift package for deployed troops, veterans or soldiers via Operation Gratitude. You can even build awareness about an issue close to your heart by creating a campaign on dosomething.org.


The thinker/philosopher

  • Learn about the power and purpose of reflective writing.
  • Reflect on the past year in terms of academics, health and wellness, extracurricular and other domains. What can you change for the New Year? Get started with New Years writing prompts or use structured personal reflection prompts.
  • Think or write with this in the background.
  • Consider reading books such as The Prophet (Gibran), The Happiness of Pursuit, Man’s Search For Meaning, Ask Me How I Got Here, Do You Know Who You Are, or The Happiness Project.
  • Listen to podcasts episodes from On Being, Hidden Brain, Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations, or Mindset Zone.
  • Take up chess. You might be surprised how this game can change your thinking.
  • Meditate: Try apps such as Headspace, Calm, or Stop, Breathe and Think.


The organizer

  • Home/bedroom: “Tidying up means confronting yourself,” says Marie Kondo, author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.  Is it time to purge what you no longer use? Do you need inspiration? Read Kondo’s book or check this out. Don’t forget to donate gently used items. For organization hacks, persue Pinterest or visit Brit + Co, Coupons.com or Makespace!
  • Academic reset: Invest in a planner. There’s plenty of options including the Passion Planner, Erin Condren’s stuff, and all the goodies from OfficeMax. Consider organizational apps like Trello, Asana, Any.do or Paper by Fifty Three. Organize and label folders, binders, etc. And don’t forget to use printables! With a planner in hand, examine your forthcoming schedule. Is it workable? Lastly, organize your computer. Is the desktop a mess? Are your Dropbox files mysteriously labeled?
  • Label-making: Label makers are game changers. We’ve had our Brother since 2001 (thank you Maureen Holland!).


The learner

  • Language: Want to learn a new one? You’ve got to start somewhere. Duolingo is at the top of the list for language leaning apps. Here are some others. If you’re looking for private lessons and a more immersive experience, try Rype.
  • Cinema/Documentary: Docus inform and inspire. Watch free documentaries on YouTube or check Netflix or Amazon Prime. Some good ones? 13th, Into the Inferno, City of Ghosts, Girl Rising, Cries from Syria, and LA 92.
  • Disciplines: Archaeology, architecture, art & art history, astronomy. Demography, design, film, food, history, journalism, music, philosophy, law …get the point? There are endless opportunities for online learning. Begin your search for the best (free) online courses at openculture.com, edx.org, or coursera.org. No assignments, no tests. Just learning for learning’s sake!
  • Business and investing: Check out Investopedia or Bigger Pockets to learn about finance, trading stocks, market analysis and real estate investing. You can even participate in a free trading simulation.
  • Tech and coding: Do you want to learn about basic HTML, coding apps or building websites? Try Codecademy or OneMonth. If a nanodegree is intriguing, visit Udacity. LinkedIn.com’s Lynda is also worth a look!
  • Miscellaneous: Browse Skillshare to find tutorials about MailChimp, ink drawing, character animation and thousands of other topics.

To close this post, it must be said that free time isn’t necessarily a bad thing. After all, it’s during our free time that we exist in a space where it’s quiet enough to actually hear ourselves.

The good news is you can have the best of both worlds. You can sit in the nothingness of boredom for a bit and perhaps later decide how to spend your free time in a way that moves, soothes, or energizes you. This is a decidedly moderate approach.

No matter how you choose to spend holiday break, we wish for you to prioritize health and wellness for the New Year and beyond.

Happy, healthy holidays!

#parents #families #teens #college #wellness #holidays

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