It’s depressing, I know: scrolling through all those Instagram pics of friends on vacation somewhere, imagining what it’s like there, with the sand and the sun and the faint smell of fruity drinks hanging in the air.
But this is no time for FOMO — this is spring break! There’s plenty of things to do with that blessed week-and-a-half of nothingness, even at home. Here are five tips for making the most out of a break spent at home.
1. Explore your city
No one actually knows their hometown and its surrounding areas as well as they think they do. I am 100 percent guilty of this: I grew up in the suburbs of St. Louis my whole life, but I never really explored the city until I started college — and nearly four years later, I’m positive I still haven’t scratched the surface.
Grab a friend who’s free and check out those places and events you’ve always wanted to go to, but never got around going to. Whether it’s spending a lazy afternoon at a park or going to see live music at a favorite bar for the first time, just being in a new place can help shake off the boredom of being stuck at home.
2. Binge-watch a show
If proverbial spring showers or far less proverbial (but apparently still possible) spring Nor’easters make exploring a no-go, there are still options for staying in. Spring break can be the perfect time to metaphorically dust off your Netflix list and do some binging.
Sure, you could binge some high-concept, critically well-received, mind-fuck of a show, but let’s be real: everyone’s brain needs a break after midterms, so spring break is the perfect time to watch something beautifully, satisfyingly mindless.
Reality TV and trashy dramas are always a good bet for when it’s just time to turn off your brain for a while — so queue something up that will be genuinely fun to watch, grab some junk food and get to binging.
3. Get a hobby
Breaks are a great time to pick up a hobby or get better at one. It doesn’t have to be something basic like yoga or knitting (not to talk shit about knitting — contrary to popular opinion, knitters are certifiably badass): do something you’ve always wanted to learn, whether it’s Photoshop, parkour, salsa dancing or something entirely different.
Nowadays, there are countless options for learning something new, so take a class! Look up some online tutorials or learn from a friend. Keep it fun and don’t get too caught up if it’s not something that can be picked up immediately; it should be a stress reliever, not another source of stress.
4. Take time for yourself
Need to get organized? Need to catch up on schoolwork or get ahead? Or really, really need to paint your nails and do a spa day — or five spa days? Spring break has graciously given the gift of more time and it would be a crime not to take advantage and practice a little self-care.
Self-care can take a lot of different forms: sometimes it looks like planning ahead and spacing out writing that paper, instead of writing it all the night before it’s due, and sometimes it looks like shelling out some cash for a pedicure.
So clean that room, start writing that paper early or do those five spa days — whatever is necessary to feel human again after midterms, go ahead and do it.
5. Get some damn sleep for once in your life
Listen. As great as all the other ideas sound, I’m going to be real honest: I spent most of my break asleep. I spent a good 48 hours of my spring break shivering feverishly in my apartment, absolutely positive that I had the flu.
Several phone calls to my mom, a few ibuprofens and 14 straight hours of sleep later, it became clear that I did not, in fact, have the flu: it turns out that what really happened was that my body was so exhausted from midterms that it was telling me to slow down for once and get some damn sleep.
Once I did, I felt way better. As it turns out, humans need sleep to function. Who knew?
There’s no shame in sleeping your break away — especially after the hell on earth that is midterms. It’s okay to be exhausted and it’s okay to take time to sleep. Travel is fun and all, but sometimes it’s just as nice to finally, finally, have a chance to take a nap.