Ten Nice Ways To Fill Your Holiday Time

As Christmas approaches quickly and some people are lucky enough to get some well-deserved time off from work, I thought I would share some ideas of what to do with this free time. My own holiday to France has just been cancelled due to the French government closing the door to British travellers, so now I am determined to enjoy my holiday in a different way.

Here are my ten suggestions for using the Christmas holidays effectively and enjoying some down time, alone or with others.

1) Workout regularly

Even if it is just a 15 minute workout twice a week, make sure you don’t become too sedentary over the holidays, especially if you are eating more than usual (as I definitely shall be). A fast walk or a Youtube cardio session can be enough to give you a boost and keep your heart healthy.

2) Read a book or short stories

It is no shock that I recommend more reading at Christmas time. My other posts suggest lots of books and stories worth checking out such as these. I have changed my book choices so that I am just reading festive books until the New Year and I am absolutely loving it. In January I will return to my other novels.

3) Do some craft work

My friend has become obsessed with making cards and is actually very good at it. It is interesting to see a new hobby become a part of someone’s life. For me, writing has become my main passtime but I am also challenging myself in other ways, such as with exploring baking.

4) Have a deeper clean

We frequently hear people asking about spring cleaning but for me, the Christmas break provides a good opportunity to give the bathroom a good spray and wipe as well as dust in the places you normally don’t get round to.

5) Do something musical

A few years ago I bought myself a cheap electric keyboard and had a few lessons with a local piano teacher. His father became ill and he flew back to Australia but I wasn’t confident enough to teach myself. I have recently started spending some time reminding myself of those skills so that I can pick up lessons again where I left off in January. Learning an instrument is great for dexterity and can be incredibly therapeutic.

6) Watch ‘West Side Story’

I just cannot stop gushing about this. I was lucky enough to see this Spielberg masterpiece last weekend and am returning to watch it again in a few days. The soundtrack is constantly playing in my car and I genuinely think this is one of the best movie musicals I have seen in years.

7) Go for a walk with a friend

A walk in the country is always fulfilling.

In the holidays, rather than just meeting up with friends for dinner, I prefer to go for a walk with people who I wish to catch up with. Sometimes this is followed up with a coffee and snack but the walking is my priority, mixing exercise with socialising. I love this kind of catch-up.

8) Listen to a Podcast

I am hooked on Davina McCall’s ‘Making the Cut’ podcast as well as Jane Horrocks’ ‘Queen Bees’ one. Over the next two weeks I will be having more baths, which are my excuse to listen to these podcast episodes in a relaxed way.

9) Have a massage

In the past, I have had some wonderful getaways to health spas and when that is not possible I pop to a local spa for massages during my vacations. Nothing beats a hot stone massage and prices can be very reasonable if you look around.

10) Cook something new

This is a fun one. I bought some baking trays and bits and bobs two years ago and had a few failed attempts at baking sponges but I am determined to step back into the kitchen this Christmas. Why not have a go at trying a new recipe or baking a simple cake this Christmas?

These were just a few suggestions for how to use your holidays well. I hope that you enjoyed this post and may consider following my blog for similar future articles. Have a lovely Christmas and keep reading and supporting the blogging community.

A Healthy Body – At Home

(Disclaimer – This post contains affiliate links. If you use them to buy a product I get a small amount, at no cost to the consumer.)

Over summer I have been keeping as fit as I can whilst also juggling blogging, writing, home improvement and a holiday. Just as I have for the last year, I tend to do most of my fitness sessions at home.

Before lockdowns I was a regular spinner, usually joining a spin cycle class twice a week and often going for a jog too. During the pandemic I worked from home a bit and was reluctant to jog due to my discomfort about being out and about at a time when we knew very little about this new virus.

My solution- online classes

So I started to do online fitness sessions, initially on YouTube and then using a website which was free during lockdowns. My main focus was cardio and so I initially did a few dance and aerobic routines, which I enjoyed. I also practised using my 4kg and 8kg kettle bells. My mum bought me these a few years ago and they had mostly sat in the corner. However, once I started to swing the bells and use them for arm strength I really noticed how much they made my muscles ache and helped me to keep my belly fat down.

Here are a few things you can do with a kettle bell. I am not a qualified fitness trainer, so for detailed directions consult a professional or watch a YouTube video by a qualified trainer.

– The famous kettle bell swings (with the emphasis on moving your hips, clenching your buttocks as you swing)

– Upright rows (holding the kettle with both hands and lifting up so your elbows stick out at right angles, level with your shoulders)

– Squats (either with your legs together, shoulder width apart or in sumo squat position)

– Presses – lifting the kettle bell up and down above your chest while reclining on your back.

Kettle bells have become my favourite fitness tools and are very easy to incorporate into movements and routines. Some trainers offer free videos on their Instagrams and then have more available courses for a fee. You can learn a few simple movements and really enjoy using this equipment safely at home, so long as you keep it out of the reach of children and pets.

My two favourite kettle bells.

As a writer/ blogger I need to keep active and don’t want to have to spend ages travelling to and from gyms. Therefore home fitness has become my workout of choice. I totally recommend buying an affordable kettle bell such as the one mentioned in the link above. If you feel ready to use a slightly heavier one then the following link is for an 8kg bell. I tend to use that for double arm lifting and the smaller one for single arm work.

Thank you for reading this post which is different to my usual articles, but I believe it is useful to share and promote the ways we keep our bodies and minds healthy. Perhaps consider following my blog for more such content in future.