Winter break for many translates into spare time: extra time we have on our hands that’s usually consumed by homework, class, work…pretty much anything you can think of.
However, even with all of this extra time, it’s easy to fall into old habits like reaching for the remote or re-watching the entirety of Gilmore Girls (no shame, we’ve all done it at some point or another).
Here’s a thought though…what if we used this spare time to do something worthwhile instead of sit on our butts mindlessly?
Next time you get the urge to Netflix binge, here are 25 productive things to do instead.
1. Read a book
Think back…when was the last time you actually read a book for fun instead of for an assignment? Take an afternoon and explore a local book shop. Chances are you’ll find something you didn’t even know you were looking for in the first place. Need some ideas? Here are 8 books to read this summer.
2. Read a magazine
No, don’t just pick up this month’s issue of Cosmo. Trust me, the 101 sex positions haven’t gotten any less weird. Instead pick up something you wouldn’t normally read like a surf magazine or one all about gardening. It’ll expose you to new ideas, and who knows…maybe you’ll end up inspired!
3. YouTube how to do something
Whether it’s a new hairstyle you’ve wanted to try or a new function you just can’t figure out on Photoshop, chances are there’s a vlogger out there that’s got you covered.
4. Actually do what you just YouTubed
What’s the point of watching the video if you aren’t going to actually try it?
5. Clean your room
Ugh, cleaning… let’s be honest here, your room probably needs a little TLC. Just think of how accomplished you’ll feel once you’ve finished!
6. Do yoga
Nothing centers your body and mind quite like a good yoga sesh. It’ll leave you feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the rest of your day. (We love CrunchLive for their online yoga work outs.)
7.…or any exercise for that matter!
Go to the gym, go for a swim, bike, run…whatever suits your fancy. Just be active!
8. Call a friend
We all have that one friend that we used to be attached at the hip to who has since fallen off the radar. Shoot ‘em a text, get together for coffee, setup a Skype date…just reach out!
9. Call your parents
No, not just because you need something. Actually call to just say hi because you miss them! It’s totally find to admit that you miss them more than you let on…
10. Call your grandparents
They probably want to hear from you more than anyone else. When was the last time you actually sat down to have a conversation with them? (*gulp*…Christmas?). Call up the ‘ole G-rents and give them an update on your life. Oh, and don’t forget to see what they’ve been up to as well.
11. Pinterest a new recipe
No, I’m not talking about one of those cakes that could fail epically and leave you hanging outside while the fire alarm goes off in your apartment complex. Try out something healthy and nutritious instead of the latest cake pop design. (Seriously, what is the point of cake pops?! Just make the whole freaking cake already!)
12. Actually make the new recipe
Again with the whole what’s the point if you don’t try it thing…
13. Go for a walk
Just get outside. So much of our time is spent indoors, and for those of us who have to deal with snow on the ground for part of the year, now would definitely be the time take advantage of. (Midwest and Northeast girls, I’m talking to you!)
14. Research a current event
It’s one thing to hear about something on the news, but it’s something else to actually know a thing or two about what’s going on. Take and hour to really dig in to figure out the facts and you won’t just be a casual bystander anymore. You’ll be an active citizen that’s engaging in today’s world issues!
15. Explore new ideas with TED talks
Ok, ok…so maybe you do actually need a little screen time. Skip the seasons of South Park on Netflix and watch something worthwhile instead! Both TED talks and documentaries will keep you engaged and get you thinking.
16. Make a vision board
Time to dig out that gigantic pile of old magazines you have stashed in your closet. Cut out anything that inspires you and make a collage!
17. Write down your goals
I really didn’t understand the point of goals and goal planning until I bought my first Passion Planner. It helps you set realistic goals and also helps you take the necessary steps in order to reach those goals! I highly recommend it for anyone with any dream in mind. Ok basically I think everyone should have one. Check them out here!
18. Play with your pets
If there’s anything more neglected than your bedroom, it’s probably your pet. Throw Fido a bone for once! (Does anyone actually name their dog Fido?)
19. Plan a vacation
It doesn’t even have to be your dream vacation. Now thanks to sites like HomeAway you can actually afford a girls weekend in some prime locations! Check out a few ideas like the totally gorgeous and affordable rentals here.
20. Clean out your closet
Tight on cash? Clean out your closet and sell the stuff you don’t wear. Think you’ve got a decent wardrobe going? Give minimalism a try with the tips and tricks here.
21. Make a budget
Lord only knows most of us are practically hopeless at this, or don’t even have one to begin with. Take a look at your monthly income and bank statement to see where your money is actually going, then take the time to set a realistic budget. Free apps like Mint (available on the iTunes app store) can help keep you on track!
22. Make a new Pinterest board
Honey, you’ve planned your dream wedding about 20 times. You’re not getting any closer to getting married by having your face in a screen drooling over wedding dresses. Try your hand at something slightly more creative. Make an electronic version of your vision board, or make a collection of pictures unlike anything you have pinned yet. Hello inspiration!
23. Find your new favorite music artist
It’s easy to just hop on iTunes and grab a song from the top 100 chart. Now do a little more digging to find similar artists and who knows, maybe you’ll be the first member of a bandwagon on a new band’s way to stardom!
For fun, not for the 25 page research paper you turned in right before finals. Ew.
25. Read an article on the Lala
This site is seriously full to the brim of inspiring articles written by people just like you. Think you can get through all of them? I dare you!
Featured Image via Anna Schultz