Today is my first day of winter break.
In a previous post, I mentioned that Christmas is hard on my family financially because I miss a paycheck for winter break. That’s not the only way Christmas is hard on me, though. The lack of routine and unstructured time is tough, too. Note, however, that this is a typical theme for me. Sometimes weekends are hard for me, and summers always are, for the same reason.
During the two-week break from school (I work in a school, but prior to that, I attended school) I have to make some semblance of a routine for myself. I like busying myself with things to do. It has been helpful for me before to make a list of ideas to keep myself entertained. The list is not necessarily a to-do list, or a chores list, although ideas such as “laundry” and “dishes” certainly may appear. The list also includes fun things.
Here are some things I add to lists when I know I will need reminders not to lay around and get bored/sad:
- Read [at least] 1 chapter
- Write for [at least] 10 mins
- Paint nails
- Dance to [at least] 3 cardio hip hop videos (My favorite is The Fitness Marshall on Youtube)
- Write a letter/card to a friend/family member
- Play guitar
- Color in coloring book
- Take a walk with my dog, Honey
- Watch an episode of a show I have on DVD (I’ve collected some seasons of a few of my favorite shows)
- Watch a favorite movie
Then there are these, which are fun to cross off and feel accomplished:
- Clean bathrooms
- Wash towels/sheets/clothes/delicates/blankets/whatever
- Dust knick-knacks
And there’s this too…
- Reach out to a loved one via phone, text, or chat
Something important is that I not just resort to sleeping or laying down, even if I’m cold, and especially not if I’m just bored. I always feel worse after. Always. I will try to save napping for when I’m actually so tired I can’t keep my eyes open, and then, set an alarm to get up in half an hour. That way, I wake up refreshed and feeling better, not worse.
What do you do to take care of yourself during unstructured times?