Olivia Sunderlik ’21: In an attempt to slow the rising number of coronavirus cases, Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued an emergency order targeting many indoor activities and gatherings. Various facilities closed down beginning on Wednesday, November 18th and now extending until Sunday, December 20th. 

Among these closures, Governor Whitmer’s order includes the pause of in school-learning for high schools and the temporary suspension of sports team activities. For most high schoolers, the main events they attend consist of school and extracurricular activities. With this pause, students hold a lot of extra time. While these closures supply some disappointment, plenty of COVID-friendly activities provide students with various opportunities to still have fun at home over this pause.

As the holidays roll around, many fun activities arise. One of these ventures includes decorating your room or house for the upcoming festivities. Through online craft sites, like Pinterest, find different DIY decorations to make the house more cheerful. Using supplies from around the house, create personalized trees, reefs, and other fun pieces to decorate the home. This idea allows for a new way to prepare for the holiday season and make memories with family while using creativity. 

“My favorite thing to do over break is decorate my room festively. I usually get help from my mom and sister and we go on a target run and buy a bunch of decorations. I decorate my room with Christmas lights, snow globes, stockings, candles, and my own Christmas tree in my room,” Ava Fawcett ‘21 said. 

For some people, crafting comes with some difficulties; however, the holiday season comes with many other ways to stay safe while creating fun experiences at home. Baking provides people with an easy hobby and some delicious treats. Over the pause, find holiday cookie recipes online and get siblings or parents to help make them. While listening to fun holiday music, prepare and decorate these treats. In an article from NBC Today, scientists proved that preparing for the holidays early improves overall happiness, so try out one of these activities to get into the Christmas spirit.

Other than holiday-related activities, the break holds many other opportunities for enjoyable activities. Over the pause, maintain good mental health by staying connected with friends. Host Google Meets, play online games, FaceTime, or simply send out texts to anyone you miss. Remember to place a great importance on maintaining relationships with others.

“My friends and I always try to FaceTime at lunch on school days,” Angelle Gilbert ‘21 said. 

In addition, find new ways to take care of yourself over the pause. Some self-care activities include hosting a spa night for yourself, trying a new hobby, exercising, watching favorite movies, reading, journaling, or engaging in other nice activities. These unusual times produce a lot of stress and discomfort for students. In order to help this strain, try to take part in activities that induce feelings of relaxation and comfort. 

“I think that exercising and watching my favorite shows really helps me stay calm and happy,” Sophia Sunderlik ‘24 said. 

While the break from in-person school and activities generates dissatisfaction, it also provides students with opportunities to enjoy activities they love, try out new activities, and prepare for the upcoming holidays. Even though this year remains very different from previous years, everyone still possesses the opportunity to make it fun. Over the hiatus, attempt some of the activities above to remain cheerful.

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