How I motivated myself over winter break

This winter break was unlike other breaks in the past. The coronavirus is still very much a prominent issue in the United States and that hindered some of my usual winter break activities. Winter break to me is having fun and enjoying the winter festivities. I like celebrating the holidays with extended family and friends, watching the ball drop on New Years Eve with loved ones and everything in between.

My Christmas this year was small and quiet, but it was all worth it in the end. Photo by Erica Zebrowski.

Over the break I enjoyed the holidays with my immediate family. It was very nice but because of the pandemic I wasn’t able to see my extended family. This made me upset. Usually on Christmas day I would visit my grandmothers house in the morning, have brunch and then go to my aunts for dinner and to see my entire family. This year it was just my mom, dad, two sisters and our dog. Not seeing my extended family really made me realize how important they are to me. I know that it was the safer option to not travel during the pandemic, but it still made me sad not to see my cousins.

One aspect of this winter break that I enjoyed was decluttering and organizing my room. Since the pandemic started, lots of people seem to have the urge to purge out their closets and start fresh. People are going through old things and getting rid of what they don’t need in their lives. “Americans have been so inspired to edit the junk out of their homes,” Jura Koncius, from The Washington Post, said.

I decided it would be best for me to start out in my closet and go from there. When I filled up two big garbage bags full of clothes, I got really motivated to continue to shed off the deadweight of things in my room I don’t use. I ended up cleaning out so many things I didn’t need.

My room feels a lot lighter and I get excited now to hang out in a space that makes me happy.

New Year’s Eve happens during winter break and this year I finally decided to crack down and get to a healthier and happier me.

Creating healthy eating habits was not easy, but all the dishes were amazing. Photo by Erica Zebrowski.

Over the break I was eating healthier meals. Since restaurants are closed or have limited seating, my family now cooks more home meals than ever. We have tried new dishes like grilled salmon with dill sauce and blackened scallops. These new meals were very delicious thanks to my mom and dad who are amazing cooks.

One other dish that I would recommend to anyone is Jalapeño Popper Chicken. My older sister introduced it to my family and it’s spicy but delicious. Overall, the meals have been really good and I’m excited to continue to find new healthy dishes to try.

I have to admit, this winter break was hard. It’s not easy when you are stuck in a house all day, whether it’s because of the pandemic or because of the snow. I learned over the break that the more you keep yourself busy, the better your mental health will be.

My sisters have been trying new things, crafting away making paintings and sewing clothes. I have been keeping busy with cleaning and organizing my room as well as exercising as much as I can. Being stuck in the house this winter break was a challenge, but I challenge you to stay occupied and stay motivated during the winter breaks.