There is a very curious time of the year between Christmas and New Year’s Day when the days blur together into one seamless stretch of time. If you are lucky enough to enjoy this period of vacation, which the Germans refer to as zwischen den Jahren (“between the years”), then you know the feeling of not knowing (or caring) what day it is. I am currently (at the time of this writing) experiencing this feeling on a much larger scale as a graduate student on winter break.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, my university’s winter break was extended by another week and spring break was eliminated altogether. As someone who likes to keep busy, I am not exactly jumping for joy at one extra week of vacation at the expense of a much-needed mid-semester break. Having too much time on one’s hands can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it could great to have the time (and presumably energy) to start new projects and other fun activities. On the other hand, it can very easily lead to boredom if you can’t find anything to do (or if you just resort to social media).
During the colder, darker, and pandemic laden months, pursuing activities that bring meaning and joy into your life is of the utmost essential to stave off stress and distress during these difficult times. With a month off from school, instead of approaching this big chunk of temporal space as “time to kill,” I approached it like “fleeting moments to enjoy.”
Enjoying oneself can still be done even in the depths of winter. For me, this time was filled with outdoor activities, including hikes (more here), personal projects, and trying loads of new things like barre class (more here), baking fun dishes (more here), and, naturally, blogging.
We can still enjoy ourselves despite the pandemic. So, this is my reminder to you, dear Reader, to continue to connect with others and continue to make the most of life despite absolutely everything!
Ideas for (pandemic-friendly) things to do:
- Take a walk
- Take a walk and call a friend/ family member
- Give said friend/ family member a virtual tour of your area
- Jog a mile
- Then jog two miles
- Then go home and have a nice snack — you deserve it!
- Drink some wine/ eat some cheese
- Also drink water (or Gatorade) — replenish yo’self
- Go “virtual” apartment hunting in a swanky luxury building
- I’ve done this… here’s an example 🙂
- Bake the fanciest thing you can with only the ingredients you already have
- Eat the thing very s l o w l y — savor it
- Binge watch something you’re only 60% interested in
- I did this (awhile ago) with the outlandish series “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” … it grew on me
- Start a blog, change your life (…I’ll show you how)
- Draw a picture of a friendly tree
- Make yourself an opulent breakfast
There are always things to do and there is always fun to be had. When you look for happiness you are more likely to find it.
Wishing you always happy, healthy days!