Hows your Winter Break going?

If you’re anything like me, it’s starting to wear on you. Let’s be honest: Christmas and New Years are over. Your high-school friends are fewer and lamer then you remember, and, of course, you’re done resting. You pulled two all-nighters over finals, but that excuse is starting to wear thin after almost two weeks of waking up at noon.

So: how do you stay sane?

1. Stay Moving

If you stop swimming, you’re going to drown under you own lack of momentum. Your bed is cozy and you have Netflix. It’s cold outside. I know. Trust me, I know. But if you don’t go outside today you’re slowly going to go nuts. It’s house arrest and its with your parents. No amount of cozy is worth this.

Go. Move. Head to the gym or go for a walk. I know it’s cold, but anything beats your Dad’s repeated career-advice that, hey, you know what else is sort of like writing? Writing ad-copy! Doesn’t that sound fun?

Head into the city. If you’re not near enough the city, make that effort to go. Find your friend with a car to be your designated driver and go looking for trouble. Whatever it is, it beats watching repeats, counting off the days like a prisoner.

2. Set Structure

Wake up with an alarm.

Look, I know. It’s terrible. But in this sort of break you have two options: you can be broken by break or you can break it yourself. Set an alarm for 11:30 A.M. every morning. Make a list of things to do; even fun things, like going drunk-sledding or building and then hot-boxing an igloo. On top of those fun things, do something productive every day. Go to the gym. Eat healthy that day. Cook. Write an article online while you’re going insane over break so others can save themselves. Whatever it is, it isn’t re-runs on Netflix, and that’s a victory in itself.

3. Clear The Air

Passive-agression is used in life because actual agression often won’t cut it in scenarios. But over time, the politer attacks are the ones that grate on you until you’re yelling at someone because you didn’t like the implication that you’re “fussy” about milk (I don’t drink milk that’s expired: no apologies.)

Just putting up with it is the strategy to go with on weekends or short visits. But on a break you have to get along with your parents. You have to deal with them and the weird disconnect of being in your child-hood home and, ideally, not being a child. Try telling that to your parents though. That isn’t sarcasm; try telling them that. Just be clear and polite about what bothers you. It might work and you can’t allow the pressure to build up over a whole break or you’ll burst.

4. Use The Internet

Even if you aren’t nearby action and activity, the internet is a great way to stay in touch with people, kill time, do research, play games, kill time, get ideas for local things to do, and, of course, kill your time. If you’ve exhausted all your local options, head to cyber-space for more options there as well as more local options to pursue. Read through Hack College, for example. It’ll give you an edge for your return. See? Good ideas already!

5. Leave

Leave home and don’t return. If visiting someone doesn’t work-out, head back to college early. Even if not many friends are back, something about being back there might return some of your sanity back to you. And if not, whatever: at least you have a place to drink in peace.