Sometimes I Quarantine: with Rapunzel’s Routine & Quarantivity Tower

We probably all feel a little like Rapunzel these days, trapped in our homes, being told by Mother Gothel that the plague will get us if we leave, and going through all of our tasks and activities by 7:15… But we’ve taken Rapunzel’s spirit and come up with whole hosts of ways to stay active and entertained while on quarantine. One of the big ways we’re staying entertained is with our Quarantine with Princesses series where we watch a different movie each day, DisneyBound as a character from the show, coordinate an activity, and usually a food or cocktail to go along with it! I’ve also gathered plenty of more “quarantivity” ideas below!

Rapunzel’s Routine

Making a calendar and having a routine has helped us a lot during this quarantine. By Day 20 of this princess series, we had been in shelter-in-place mode (without the official order) for 27 days. So by then, we had it down pat. Once a week I draw up this little calendar (I just photo copy the outside of the one I made week 1) and get to drawing a coloring in what we’ve got planned. I mark what movie we’re watching, what my DisneyBound will be, what our workouts will be, and any other quarantivities we have planned, whether it’s dying Easter eggs, a big Zoom happy hour, a quaranTIKI, the release of Onward on DisneyPlus, whatever! The schedule making gives me something to do, and posting it up on the fridge helps us actually feel like the days are changing!

Of course, I start every day by changing out the Once Upon a Tee Shirt doodle magnet on the fridge calendar to match the day’s movie theme!

Rapunzel’s Quarantivity Tower

Honestly, I have’t really felt bored this entire quarantine–certainly no more than I would on an average Tuesday at noon when I work from home. Whenever I start to feel a little bored, I go to Rapunzel’s Quarantivity Tower!

I picked up this rolling caddy from Michael’s (exact) a few months ago to have some home office storage and also grabbed this shelving unit from Amazon at the start of all this so we’d have a place to organize our quarantivities!

So we created this sort of rule that if you’re bored you just have to get up and grab something from Rapunzel’s Quarantivity Tower– if you say you’re bored, you have to draw a card from the little jar on top and clean or organize whatever area of the house it tells you to (they’re small areas, like a specific cabinet or drawer). It’s definitely kept us from admitting boredom, and because we have to get up to get something, it’s actually making us do them!

Activity Books!

ACTIVITY BOOKS & JOURNALS~
• Hand Lettered Design Starter Kit (check it out for 5% off!)
• Learn to Draw books (Mickey & Friends | Disney Princesses | Classic Characters | Villains)
• “Variety” Word puzzles books + word searches, crossword puzzles, etc. ( Variety Puzzles | Harry Potter Word Search | Disney Crossword Puzzles | Friends Word Search)
• Journal Prompt Books (creative writinggratitude and mindfulness prompts, and if you need help remember how Not to Give a F*ck or to Let that Sh*t Go, all of these links here will take you to prompt journals to help you start writing it out!)
• Coloring books designed for meditation, for enjoyment, and for stress relief (mandala coloring book |Harry Potter Magical Artifacts Coloring Book | Thomas Kinkade Disney coloring book | Calm the F*ck Down: An Irreverent Adult Coloring Book | & my personal favorite: Fucking Adorable Animals)

Puzzles & Reading!

PUZZLES & READING~
• Pictured are just three of our 20+ puzzles, I rotate them out after we’ve finished and usually mail the old puzzles off to friends! (Snow White Puzzle | Vintage Hawaii Puzzle | Marauder’s Map Puzzle | Harry Potter 3D Puzzle | Friends Puzzle)
• Silly Books (DisneyBound Book | Harry Potter Companion Books)
• Wedding planning books– because we still have to plan for the future even if it’s post-poned (The Knot Book of Wedding Lists)
• Books (I have a lot from Book of the Month that I’m trying to get through still!)

TWO-PERSON GAMES, VIDEO GAMES, MORE PUZZLES & CRAFTS~
• Games that we can play just the two of us (Scrabble | Sushi Go | Disney Villainous | Harry Potter Labyrinth Game)
• Crafts (Disney Princess Crochet Kit | Mickey Mouse Crochet Kit | Cactus Crochet Kit | Harry Potter Oragami)
• Video Games (Portable SEGA Genesis | Nintendo Switch)

More Arts & Crafts

MORE ARTS & CRAFTS~
• Stickers galore
• Paint by Numbers (Up | Giraffe | Beachy Volkswagen)

More Electronic Entertainment!

ELECTRONIC ENTERTAINMENT~
• Bose Speaker
• Photography Equipment (Sony a6000 | Gimbal Camera Stabilizer | GoPro Hero 5| Octopus Tripod | Harry Potter Spell-Casting Toy Wand)

Coloring & Stationary

COLORING & STATIONARY~
it’s so easy to get lost in technology right now, I’ve been loving keeping up with my friends like old school pen pals & putting actual colored pencil to paper! Plus, how could I do a word search without crayons??

So that’s it! That’s Rapunzel’s Quarantivity Tower! Let us know if we missed any activities in the comments below!

Sometimes I Quarantine: with Pocahontas

Airing in 1995, Pocahontas was Disney’s seventh princess, first that didn’t get a happy ending (oops, spoilers?), and first adventure princess! Premiering at the height of the renaissance of Disney Animation, Pocahontas tackled issues about race and gender in a way that kids could understand. While it didn’t spawn any rides or attractions (how do we not have a “paint with all the colors of the wind” walk-through movie experience or something??), Pocahontas definitely gave us one of the BEST soundtracks and stunning animation (for the time).

Meeting Pocahontas was definitely a highlight of my July 2018 Disney trip with my family!

Sometimes I Quarantine: With Princesses! This series within a series really started as a way for me to keep my spirits lifted while completely socially distancing. Watching the movies gave us something to do during that afternoon slump, trying to think of an activity to match gave us another (we don’t always have a matching activity, but we’re trying!), taking the movie in to account while deciding what to eat that day helps us think of fun and new ideas for food options, and doing a daily DisneyBound encouraged me to wear more than just PJs while working from home! I highly encourage the last one, it’s been super fun- if you want to see any other DisneyBound outfits that I’ve done, you can find them here!

Day 8: Pocahontas (1995)

Pocahontas Quarantivity – Coloring

I don’t have any painting supplies that I wanted to use right now, & Paint by Numbers is a great idea, but I pulled out some coloring books and just colored while watching the movie, it was super relaxing!

Pocahontas Outfits

Pocahontas In-Park Look

I think every time I do one of these posts, I have a new favorite, but seriously, they are gorgeous & sparkly without being over the top. Swipe to see the details, Pocahontas’ arm band on one ear, necklace on the other, and the leaves blowing in the wind on the center turquoise bow… I love the attention to detail and multiple references as opposed to simple color blocking. 

GET THE LOOK

The Pocahontas Ears from All Ears Boutique Co. • “Can You Drink All the Colors of Wine” Pocahontas T-Shirt from The Midnight Comet 

Instagram post for Pocahontas Ears from All Ears Boutique Co.

Meeko DisneyBound / Workout Outfit

Whenever I am doing a DisneyBound of an animal or inanimate object (like Mrs. Potts) with a distant top, like the ears on an animal, I love wearing a boyband to simulate the ears, I wear these Bowbands a lot normally, bt they’re especially great for this purpose! I’ve recently joined with Chronicles of a Pixie to get y’all a 10% discount on her awesome products! The bows can slide form one side to the other, headbands area actually comfortable, and the bows can also slide off to wear just the cloth headband by itself, like I did for my Briar Rose DisneyBound. I also loved adding the sunnies with the Meeko Bound for the “mask” around a raccoon’s eyes.

MEEKO BOUND BREAKDOWN

Black Bowband from Chronicles of a Pixie (use code “KATY10” at checkout for 10% off) • Mickey Mouse Sunglasses from Shop Disney Parks (similar) • Meeko Plush from Shop Disney (you can also find him on Amazon) • Black Cardigan from StitchFix  (similar) • Black Sports Bra from Astoria Activewear (use code “VACAY15” to get 15% off) • High-waisted Gray Leggings from Fabletics (similar)

Flit Disneybound

FLIT BOUND BREAKDOWN

Hot Pink Earrings from boutique (similar) • “Front Row” hot pink Color Intense Lipstick from Beauty Counter (similar) • Green Shirt thrifted (similar look) • White Tank Top from Madewell  • Pink Clutch from Lauren Ralph Lauren (similar) • White Jeans from Ann Taylor  •  Kelly & Katie Markel Pump in Yellow  from DSW 

Day 13: Pocahontas 2: Journey to a New World (1998) – coming soon!

We can all agree that this is, hands down, the worst sequel that Disney has ever made. Not only does nobody care about the historical aspects of the movie, but it’s a huge bummer that Pocahontas and John Smith don’t end up together– AGAIN!

Pocahontas 2: Journey to a New World Quarantivity – quaranTIKI

Pocahontas 2: Journey to a New World – Outfit

Percy DisneyBound

PERCY BOUND BREAKDOWN

Pastel Statement Necklace from J. Crew (similar) • White Peplum Tank top thrifted (similar) • White Jeans from Ann Taylor • Madison 12-Hour Pump from Banana Republic (same style similar color)

Continue reading Sometimes I Quarantine: with Pocahontas

Sometimes I Quarantine: Quarantivities

These TikiTikiTiki tank & T-shirt from LakeBuenaVisitors were a fabulous way to support a small shop and bring a smile to our faces. They inspired us to have Quaran-TIKI. Fridays! *If you decide to buy from Maria & Chris, use code “SOMETIMESIVACAY” at checkout!

Over on Instagram, we made a whole list of things you can do while social distancing yourself or going into quarantine. Of course, I coined them “quarantivities” (if you have any fun things you’re doing these days, use the hashtag #quarantivity and I’ll share your post! *I can definitely say that I coined the term because my pic is the first one using that hashtag on insta :D! ) One of the other things I’ve been doing is having theme days, I’ve been watching a different Disney Princess movie each day and planning my outfit around that, and we also have a Quaran-TIKI every Friday night! Coming Soon! Sometimes I Quarantine: QuaranTIKI)

Lighten Up and Let Yourself be Lazy

•📺 binge watch shows (@disneyplus @hulu @netflix )
•💭 you’ve got to find ways to lighten the mood a bit, I’ve been trying to come up with fun outfits, or DisneyBounds, which are encouraging me to actually get up and get dressed, which helps me feel a bit more human! You can see all of my “Bounds” here! Coming Soon! Sometimes I Quarantine: Classic Princesses)
•🕹play video games! give yourself permission to play like 6 hours of Mario party!

Get Productive!

• set up that home office you’ve been dying for and use this as an opportunity to show your boss that you are capable of being just as productive from home!
• refresh your wardrobe. Go through your closet and either sell your clothes on PoshMark, set aside a pile to take them to Goodwill after you’ve finished quarantine, or consign them through ThreadUp. If you’re looking to update your look for spring, y’all know how much I love StitchFix and so many of my favorite pieces are from my fixes! (Note: if you’re going to get in to DisneyBounding, PoshMark and ThreadUp are great sources to find cheap pieces!)
•🧹DEEP clean your house! Dust the baseboards, launder the blankets & stuffed animals, sanitize every surface (especially things you touch like faucet handles, door knobs, remote controls, light switches)
•🔨tackle other house projects (like organizing the pantry)
• 💻 start that blog you’ve been putting off! {ColorMeCourtney has a great free series called #ColorMeClassroom that you can check out for starting your Instagram, YouTube Channel, or blog!}
•📚read through that stack of books on your nightstand!

I literally have barely read. I thought I would have done loads more of it, but I keep doing puzzles

Get Your Brain Going!

•🧩 puzzles puzzles puzzles!! {ColorMeCourtney has a great list of puzzles you can pick up on Amazon, but you’ll notice that a lot might be sold out on Amazon or Target, my secret source is Barnes & Noble!!}
• logic puzzles, crosswords, activity books, etc. are also great ways to keep your brain engaged! Take a night to turn off the TV, an duo a logic puzzle or crossword with your partner or with a friend on the phone!

Get Connected

•💌write snail mail letters to your friends! brighten someone else’s day with handmade cards & thoughtful notes
•📱FaceTime friends & family! {Coming Soon! Sometimes I Quarantine: Stay Connected While Socially Distancing Yourself}

Get Moving! Get Healthy!

Our trails are now closed, so I wrap 16 lbs around my waist now & we go for a 4 mile walk every morning.

• .. hike (if your hiking trails are open, otherwise, throw on some ankle weights or weigh down a backpack and go for a long walk around your neighborhood)! its a great way to get outside while staying 10′ away from others!
• 🧘🏼‍♀️ yoga! Find some good online videos and get your stretch on! 💪🏼 but any kind of workout! You can still go for a jog, use home weights, do body weight workouts, set up an obstacle course in your backyard, play with your pups & kids! {See Also Sometimes I Quarantine: 3 Ways to Stay Active}
*focus on your health and find healthy recipes online that still taste like you’re going out to eat!

Get Creative!

•📒 catch up on your crafting (like that scrapbook you started from a trip 2 years ago but never finished)
•🖍coloring books! pull out some old school books, or the giant page ones, or the adult coloring books!
•🍕 pizza! make your own pizza, do a quick grocery run & grab supplies to have your own pizza party!
**or perfect souffle, crack open that cookbook you got a few years ago and work your way through it!
• learn a new skill! A friend of my got a ukelele and I ordered a caligraphy book!

Get into Yourself!

•start meditating, getting introspective can be a great use of your time… although, we might all have too much time on our hands with our own thoughts in the coming weeks
•🛍 online shopping 🤑🤑🤑 (You can also shop on ThredUp (use this link to get $10 off your order!)
•🛁 home spa day! whip up a hair mas, give yourself a home mani/pedi, use up your stock pile of bath bombs & face masks! Maybe even get your partner to do a mask with you 😉

**please, if your immune system is compromised, stay home, if you’re symptomatic, stay home… but if you’re feeling well, just limit your exposure to lots of people, consider going for a socially-distanced walk, playing in your back yard, sitting on your patio with a good book**

9 Ways to Destress over the Holidays- at Home & on Vacay

It’s that time of year: your work is piling up and you’ve got strong deadlines, but you’ve also got vacation days coming up so you need to finish that report ASAP, but everyone who needs to provide you with data is already on leave… Your family has taken over your house and you’re stuck sleeping in the kids’ room… You were planning a tropical escape, but the weather has messed with your travel schedule… The dog is sick, because he ate all the Christmas candy and yarfed on the tree skirt… The airline lost your luggage & your family’s guilt tripping you for bailing on Christmas… whatever’s going on, it’s all a bit much.

All of the unhealthy food definitely does not help our stress levels!

Yes, all of those situations are pretty extreme, but may be common place in your household. You may be sticking around home, in the office, at a resort, on a cruise, or traveling to family. Whatever your situation is this winter break, I’ve gathered 9 Ways to Help you Destress Over the Holidays. A great thing about this list is that you can do all of these wherever your holidays take you!

Rituals such as pouring tea and preparing it in the same way you always do can be meditative and very relaxing on a subconscious level. It’s also a way of taking control of your situation and environment and can calm you quickly.

Honestly, whatever you decide to do to destress, turn your phone on airplane mode for a few hours. Don’t worry about social media likes or comments, don’t stress about your family’s frantic plan-making, take a few hours to ignore work e-mails. It’ll be okay, I promise. You need this destress’ing time! One of my favorite things to do when my brain is too full and my stomach is twisting in knots is to snuggle up tight with my kitty under a blanket. Sometimes I fall asleep, sometimes I just feel his body moving with his breath against my body and it calms me.

(1) Journaling

I need to write it out. Whether I’m writing my feelings down, or doing a creative writing exercise, or drafting a blog post. Putting physical pen to paper always calms me down.

Whether you’re in to creative writing, gratitude and mindfulness, need help remember how Not to Give a F*ck or to Let that Sh*t Go, all of these links here will take you to prompt journals to help you start writing it out!

(2) Belt it Out

It’s totally cliche, but frequently I need to throw on Let it Go and remind myself that I cannot control what others say, all I can do is control how I feel about what they say.

Dance it Out! If you’re a long-time Grey’s Anatomy fan, then you probably get that reference. But getting up and moving along to the beat of the music (or to the beat of your own music) can be super cathartic and can help you work through your stress. Personally, I love dancing it out with Just Dance on my Nintendo Switch!

Get your whole family involved! Up to four people can dance on the Switch (you just need 2 extra controllers)- it’s so much fun to do with a group. We don’t even look at the score, we just have a good time and usually end up busting out laughing!

We danced it out as a family over the summer, it was a great way to get our blood pumping & laugh as a family!

(3) Meditate.

I am so bad about meditating, my brain is always on hyperdrive, so turning the noise off is incredibly difficult, but all the more necessary. I’m trying to make it a part of my routine, or at minimum, part of my go-to moves for when I am overwhelmed.

I’ve been enjoying the Simple Habit App.

Check out the top meditation apps of 2019 here.

I’ve enjoyed incorporating meditation into my destress routine these past few stressful days, and definitely plan on making it one of my resolutions for 2020. I’m thinking I’d like to start small and work my way up into having it be a part of my regular routine. If you have any recommendations for guided meditations or a good book, let me know in the comments below!

(4) Yoga

Whether you like doing a simple routine in the comfort of your living room, or at the apartment gym, or in a studio, there’s definitely time to grab your mat & squeeze in a short routine. It will make all the difference. I’ve found that when I start my day- I’m talking get out of bed and do it- with 5 sun salutations, I have more energy and a significantly more positive outlook on my entire day!

Your puppy may even want to join in on the fun!

If you’ve got a doggo, he’s likely to want to join you on your yoga mat- don’t let it stress you out, enjoy his kisses and doing downward dog together!

Endorphins. Do what you need to do to get those endorphins. If you’re a runner, go for it! HIIT’s your jam, find a class, like a lower impact class like pilates, you can do that!

Exercise gives you endorphins, and endorphins make you happy.

Go for a Walk. If you’re on vacation and can’t figure out an easy way to get that endorphin surge, consider going for a walk, along the beach, through the woods, or down a city block. Just get moving, get some sun, and get some fresh air. It does a world of good!

Walking barefoot also helps to ground you, to give you a sense of being connected to more than yourself. Particularly putting your barefoot and toes on the ground outside in nature.

(5) Surround Yourself with Things You Love

Wearing happy Christmas clothes and drinking hot apple cider is my absolute favorite way to calm myself if I only have a few minutes.

Surround yourself in things that make you happy, for me, I throw on some Harry Potter movie bloopers, or have a cup of hot cider from my Stitch mug- every time I use it, it instantly brings me joy!

Jumping in the air with your girls is always a surefire way to boost your energy and take away your stress!

And with pets + people you love! Many of these de-stressing suggestions are individual activities, but if you’re an extrovert, chances are that hanging out by yourself is more likely to bum you out than lower stress levels. Snuggle your kitties, play with your pups, and make plans with good friends. Or go on date night! Whatever you decide to do,

(6) Adult Coloring Book.

Taking some me-time tonight to color this gorgeous Cinderella page!

A March 2018 article on PsychologyToday.com examined the causes and effects of adult coloring books in relation to anxiety. This examination included reviewing several studies that have been performed over the past decade on a adult coloring books. The studies referenced showed that there was a noticeable reduction in anxiety levels in adults who colored in a guided (outlined) mandala pattern after just 20 minutes. Other studies have found that state anxiety (i.e. “I’m feeling anxious right now” vs. personality trait anxiety i.e. “I’m an anxious person”) are significantly reduced after 30 minutes of coloring a mandala page, however, personality trait anxiety was also reduced, but only at half the level of state anxiety. The article is careful to acknowledge that while adult coloring books are therapeutic, they are not therapy. Either way, I will definitely be incorporating a coloring book this season (one of my closest friends already bought me the new Thomas Kinkade Disney coloring book that I couldn’t wait to start!). I may also be adding this mandala coloring book & some colored pencils to a few people’s Christmas lists this year ;).

*Gift Guide Tip: “Calm the F*ck Down: An Irreverent Adult Coloring Book” is a great idea for the stress cadet with a sense of humor in your life!

(7) Schedule Yourself.

One of the simplest–and possibly most obvious, but bear with me–things you can do to destress is to write down everything that you need to do, everything you’ve been invited to, and everything that you want to do. Prioritize what you actually need to do, what you feel obligated to do (these are different), what you actually want to do, and make sure to mark what you’ve been invited to, but you actually don’t want to do. Then make a schedule for the season, writing it all down will help to prevent yourself from getting over programed.

This year, we made our schedule through an Advent Calendar– I loved researching their history and creating our own. You can see the blog post all about Advent Calendars and how to make your own soon!!

We bought this advent calendar from Target, but instead of filing it with chocolates, we filled it with Christmas activities to do & movies to watch!

And schedule time for yourself. With all of these plans, make sure you’re not overprogramming yourself (something I’m prone to do). Throw in a “night off”, self-care, or movie watching night to make sure that you’ve got some down time. If you’re planning a date night, maybe keep two dates on the calendar so that if y’all aren’t up for it on the first night (or a work trip comes up) you already have a back-up date blocked off and you can still make sure to get some one-on-one time with each other.

(8) Craft.

Crafting can be good for your health– it can help with anxiety, depression, and stress management! Studies have found knitting to be amongst the top therapeutic forms of crafting. Personally, scrapbooking is my favorite! But my niece taught me some origami over the weekend. However, if you’re the type of person who is a hyper perfectionist (absolutely nothing wrong with that), then crafting may be more of a stressor than a distressing agent for you.

My niece taught me how to do some origami pieces using this Harry Potter Origami Book which was a Christmas gift from a girlfriend

(9) Get Some Sunshine!

My friends gave me a really hard time, and I mean a really hard time for doing this silly snowy photoshoot, but honestly, I had an insanely good time frolicking in the snow and soaking up the vitamin D that it was totally worth it!

Between sitting inside at work all day, overcast weather days, busy indoor family events, long travel days in airports and planes, it’s the least sunny time of year! Vitamin D insufficiency affects almost 50% of the population worldwide! While studies are inconclusive about what causes depression and whether sunshine medically helps produce brain chemicals to elevate our mood, one thing’s clear: it certainly doesn’t hurt!

please note…

Without making it an official item on the list, please keep in mind, that you always have the option of talking to someone- whether it’s a professional such as a therapist, psychologist, psychiatrist, social worker, counselor, or you tell someone about your anxieties, it’s always okay to talk it out! If you’re prone to anxieties while traveling, considering employing some strategies and a few key items to pack for your trip to keep your anxieties at bay–or to help manage them when they crop up.

If you are a creative person and have found coloring books and sketch prompts to be beneficial in the past, you might consider a session with an art therapist.

Let me know how you choose to destress over the holidays or while on vacay!

It’s the Most Productive Time of the Year

Good Morning y’all!! As you know, sometimes I travel for work, and Sometimes I Vacay. Sadly, it’s not always one or the other. I’m frequently just in Atlanta- business as usual. This time of the year, it’s so difficult to maintain an adequate level of productivity, but I do have some tips to help you on your way!

1. Holiday Shopping

Take advantage of online retailers to help get your holiday shopping done as quickly as possible. Check out my Gift Guide for the Globetrotting Gal! Whether she’s an Eco Adventurer or a Local Tourist, you’re bound to find a fantastic gift on that list.

Wrapping presents is my favorite holiday tradition!

2. Stay Active

I’m trying to run at least once a week until Christmas. It’s so hard to get in the habit.

Don’t wait until the New Year to try and loose all of that holiday weight, instead, stay active throughout December so you won’t need to run five miles a day in January. It’s so hard to squeeze in a workout between all of the madness of the holidays, but it’s also more important than ever. We’re drinking more, eating more, and sitting more. On top of the physical benefits, incorporating regular exercise in to your routine can help you manage stress by having a schedule; can keep your endorphins up when the holiday blues get you down; and is a great excuse to get out of the house when there gets to be just a bit too much family around ;). Try using ClassPass to find classes at a time and location convenient to you & your schedule. Check out a yoga class to destress, a pilates class to prevent injury while moving those heavy boxes, or a kickboxing class to work off all that cornbread stuffing!

3. Move!

Long Distance or Short, Atlanta Peach Movers are Right for You!

It’s a surprisingly good time to move! Whether extra family will be in town to help schlep boxes, or you’re taking advantage of using up the rest of your vacation days, Atlanta Peach Movers can help you on you move in to your next home- even if it’s long distance moving to or from Atlanta– for a bright, fresh, new year! If you’re in an apartment and looking for a new place, remember, the cheapest leases are ones that are likely to expire between Thanksgiving and New Years because so few people want to move during that time of year.

4. Wash Your Car!

If you’re living in one of the sunny states, use this as an opportunity to get outside and hand wash your car! It can be a fun activity to do with your kids, significant other, or an active day for yourself! Alternatively, treat yourself to a car wash at Mister Car Wash. Sit back and enjoy someone else doing the work. Bonus- a lot of car washes have specials on purchasing gift cards or multiple washes, make someone’s day and gift them a wash, or stock up on discounted washes for yourself to use in January!

5. Swap Out Your Wardrobe

Swap our your wardrobe, if you haven’t done so yet, using a vacation day to turnover your closet will feel incredibly productive! Get paid to clean out your closet! I’ve loved using ThredUp- I just put my gently used clothing in the pre-stamped bag that they send me, load it up, and USPS takes it away. Over the years, I’ve earned $193.51 for consigning my clothes through ThredUp. I realize I may have made more by selling them on eBay or Poshmark, but honestly, I don’t feel like I have the time to deal with all of that. ThredUp makes it simple and convenient to earn money for getting rid of my clothes that I don’t wear anymore. Plus, the payout is in a Visa gift card! To get $10 off your first purchase, or to sign up to get your first Clean Out bag, click here!

6. Decorate for the Holidays! (& clean in the process!)

This is the gorgeous tree at the Grand Hyatt Buckhead!

I know that sounds so obvious. BUT! Hear me out, use this as an opportunity to deep clean your house first. Dust the shelves before you put up your snow globes, vacuum the living room rug before you put our the tree, wash your throw blankets before storing them to replace them with winter themed blankies. It’ll feel great to go into the holidays with such a clean house!

7. Use Up Your Vacation Days!

Make sure you’ve used up all of your vacation days if they don’t roll over- or see if your company “buys back” unused vacation days. You’ve earned those! If you’re staying in town, use your vacation days to clean up your house, or take a day and explore your home city!

8. Year End Doc’s Visits

By the end of the year, there’s a good chance that you’ve met your deductible. take advantage and check in with your primary care physician before it resets on January 1!

9. Self-care can be productive!

Snuggled up under my blanket from FabFitFun reading a fantastic fantasy book

I know it doesn’t sound like it, but I swear it is! You will be able to focus on tasks better, will feel more confident, and will be more capable of tackling the mental & emotional challenges that come with the holidays if you’re properly rested and have a clear mind. Take time for a bubble bath, coloring book, watching your favorite movies, reading a good book with a cup of tea (for book suggestions, check out my GoodReads page), or journaling. Journaling can be free writing, fan fiction, mindfulness, gratitude journaling, diary entries, or anything that calms your mind. If you’re having trouble getting started like I did, consider a journal with prompts, like this one which is a bit sillier, or this one that takes a more serious outlook on positive journaling.

10. Set Your Goals for Next Year

This goes hand-in-hand with self-care, but take an hour or so to really sit down and think about your goals for next year. Do you want to add running as part of your weekly routine? Learn a new language? Travel to a new land? Increase your savings by 25%? Get nominated for a promotion? Whatever it may be, write out your goals and make a plan to achieve them! (More on goals and resolution setting to come!)