There’s a lot to love about the holidays: sweater weather, amazing food, friends and family. But the end of the year is also notoriously hectic, between wrapping up projects at work, coordinating who’s going where for the holidays, and trying to get everyone’s gifts on time.
Honestly, it’s time to put the “I” back in “holiday.”
This year, instead of solely focusing on your holiday to-do list, treat yourself by chipping away at this holiday bucket list. It’s filled with solo seasonal activities you can do during festive nights in spent enjoying your own company.
1. Create a photo album or scrapbook.
Do you have meaningful photos you’ve been meaning to organize? Put together an album or scrapbook over the course of a few evenings. Brooklyn-based mental health counselor Anya Dangorasays engaging in a creative project that gives you a break from screen time can be a great way to spend your evening.
2. Color in a holiday-themed workbook.
Tap into your artistic side. Coloring is a meditative activity that’s known to reduce stress and promote relaxation, according to the Mayo Clinic, so order a seasonal adult coloring book and start shading in.
3. Build a mini-snowman.
Even on a night in, it’s nice to quickly pop out for some crisp air. If there’s snow where you live, breathe in that freshness while rolling and stacking a mini snow buddy.
4. Stir up DIY hot cocoa.
It doesn’t get much better than settling in with a warm cup of cocoa. Get fancy and make yourself that hot chocolate — or even go for hot chocolate bombs or spiked hot cocoa. Don’t forget the whipped cream!
5. Make a phone date with a friend or family member.
Sometimes, you can’t see everyone you want during the holidays. Get all the benefits of catching up with your favorite person without needing to dress up for a party — win-win!
6. Build a themed gingerbread house.
Making a gingerbread house is an essential part of the holidays. Skip the fuss of baking cookie pieces yourself and build this hassle-free, iconic Barbie dreamhouse. If you’re feeling extra inspired, spring for the Barbie camper van, too!
7. Write in a gratitude journal.
Expressing gratitude can provide mental and physical benefits, according to Mayo Clinic. In fact, feeling thankful can improve sleep, mood, and even immunity, per the health system. Here’s a prompt to get you started: What is one quality about yourself that you appreciate the most?
8. Crochet a DIY blanket.
Making your own chunky knit blanket is an extremely rewarding way to spend evenings with yourself. What’s great about this beginner-friendly tutorial is that you can make it without any tools, and it requires no knitting experience. Plus, you can start and stop it whenever you wish — this is a project you can return to throughout the holiday season.
9. Spread some seasonal scents.
Research has long shown the potential benefits of essential oils, like improved sleep. Dangora says using scents to create calm could improve your mood, as well. So add your favorite essential oils to your diffuser, or light your favorite holiday-scented candle for some additional merry-making.
10. Go all-in on holiday movie night.
Who doesn’t appreciate a holiday movie? Now think bigger. Give yourself the gift of a holiday movie marathon, or marathon your favorite TV show’s holiday episodes.
Wanting more to add to the holiday bucket list? Find more ideas at the kitchn.