How To Not Go Stir Crazy When You’re Home For The Holidays

Traveling home for the holidays promises plenty of quality time with loved ones, hearty meals and overdue sleep. But, with the good comes the bad, and it is inevitable that once the joy of doing nothing wears off, you’ll find yourself painfully bored. Rather than resort to picking political feuds with your family or pulling your hair out, we brainstormed a slew of activities to better serve your idle intervals. From at-home spa treatments to must-hear podcasts and more, the following ideas, whether enjoyed alone or with relatives, will equip you to deflect seasonal ennui effortlessly. Enjoy!

1. Catch Up On Cult Books

Chances are there is a book or two on your side table that you purchased this year, but have yet to crack open. Seize the holiday season to dust them off and devour during your travels. Bonus points if you start a family book club over the break.

Shop New Releases:

2. Indulge In DIY Spa Treatments

Dare to spend an entire day in your bathrobe for a little luxurious at-home pampering. Convert the kitchen table into a mani-pedi station (hint: try these festive shellacs), do a product swap with your sisters and soak off in a serene bubble bath. Don't forget the candles.

3. Get Moving

Don't hesitate to break out your old bike for a spin around town — or if harsh weather secludes you indoors, work off those extra holiday calories at the click of a button instead. Clear the furniture out of the living room and invite your family to join you in a group class situation, streaming your preferred workout, from yoga to Zumba and Kayla Itsines' must-have BBG, available via AppleTV or your smartphone.

Team Zoe-Approved Workouts:

Zova Fitness App (free) Zumba Dance App ($2) Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide ($120)

4. Create A Family Cookbook

Take advantage of time spent in the kitchen, and keep record of your favorite seasonal dishes. Combine old recipes with new, whether in digital or scrapbook form (tip: try Pinterest for inspiration), and you'll yield an official family cookbook to be passed down for generations to come. Once your masterpiece is complete, reward your efforts with a batch of holiday cookies and an old-fashioned slumber party.

Digital Cookbook Services:

Cookbook Cafe (free) Heritage Cookbook ($45 and up)

5. Stream New Podcasts

Podcasts are having a moment, in case you haven't noticed. Plug in to a few of our most recent favorite shows below and you'll stay entertained for hours while drowning out obnoxious family gossip.

Must-Hear Podcasts:

That's So Retrograde with Elizabeth Kott and Stephanie Simbari Monocycle with Leandra Medine Women of the Hour with Lena Dunham


6. Build A Terrarium

Take a cue from LA's resident succulent savant Amelia Rose Posada (of Birch and Bone) and build a beautiful terrarium over the break. They are less expected than a bouquet of flowers, and promise to last longer. Plus, they make for a fabulous seasonal gift.


Glass vase Pebbles Activated charcoal Potting soil Spagnhum moss Succulents Colorful sand Ornaments (think: stones, dried billy ball flowers, dried thistle)

Steps To Build A Terrarium:

  1. Add a thin layer of pebbles to the bottom of your vase. This will help absorb water.
  2. Add a thin layer of activated charcoal to help keep your plant fresh.
  3. Add a thin layer of spaghnum moss to prevent soil from sinking down.
  4. Add a thick layer of potting soil.
  5. Insert your plant of choice, such as succulents or cactus.
  6. Accent your succulent with creative finishing touches, like colorful sand, pyrite or dried flowers.
  7. Ta-da, you have your very own terrarium! Maintenance your masterpiece with one cup of water every two weeks.