10 Fun Activities To-Do Over Winter Break

We did it, we made it through our first full virtual semester, and I am sure you are happy to be done. No more waking up early, studying in between classes, all-nighters, and the best part no more Zoom lectures (at least for a while) and silence that GroupMe app.

Indoor businesses may be closed and gatherings discouraged, so what is there to do now? Here are 10 fun activities to-do over winter break that abide by COVID-19 rules and maintain physical distance.

  1. Host a Virtual Happy Hour with Family & Friends

Photo Credit: Screenshot of Echo Video Call from review.com

Ok, I am sure you are over Zoom calls, especially because you have been on them all semester long and some have been on zoom calls all day from when they wake up to when they go to sleep, but since social gatherings are highly discouraged due to the pandemic it is important for us to still have contact with our social circles. Make the zoom calls fun but sharing the latest life updates, how your semester went, what you hope to change next semester, etc. You can even play games virtually over zoom like among us and chat about in-person to find the imposter.

2. Christmas Light Viewings


Photo Credit: Screenshot from San Diego Family Magazine

San Diego has some of the best houses that have excellent decorations for Christmas lights. Drive around your local neighborhood and see some of the excellent lights that your neighbors put in the effort to decorate year after year. You can also visit other neighborhoods by driving by to see how others decorate their houses. Remember to keep that social distancing by remaining in your car. For a complete list of neighborhoods with Christmas lights go here.

3. Self-host a Movie Marathon



Photo Credit: Screenshot of dining hall from Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone Warner Bros Pictures

Die Hard, Elf, and The Polar Express, or a regular movie marathon of some of your favorite movies. Why not? You have the time since you do not have a paper to write or test to study for, enjoy it. Unwinding with your favorite movie is the perfect form of self-care.

4. Complete A Tasty Video



Photo Credit: Icons 8 Team from Unsplash

We’ve all wasted point at one time in our college career by watching those addicting Tasty Videos on YouTube or Instagram so why not put that time waster to good use? Go outside your comfort zone and create something new and not to worry you will not be alone, you will have the video right there in your kitchen with you and who knows, you may like what you whipped up and can make it your own for your family once gatherings are allowed again.

5. Decorate your Room/Home


Photo Credit: DESIGNECOLOGIST on unsplash

Whether you celebrate the holidays or not this is the perfect time to make some changes around your room/home. It is the end of the year, so why not start the new year with a few changes, sure 2020 was full of changes but that does not mean all change is bad. Some suggestions for decorating: Purchase a new piece of artwork from Etsy or e-bay (support small businesses). Change around your Work from Home or virtual school desk set-up. These small changes can be meaningful in your life and affect your mood in a positive way.

6. Catch up on your favorite shows


Photo Credit: Adrian Swancar from Unsplash

Now more than ever is the perfect time to binge-watch your favorite show or start a new show guilt-free since you’ve been busy in school. You may get the message “Are you still watching?” and now you can press yes without any remorse. If you are in need of some new shows to watch visit one of my recent posts where I shared “Quarantine TV Picks” and includes current shows along with throwbacks on multiple streaming services.

7. Make a Gingerbread House


Photo Credit: Gingerbread House from Wilton.com

Every year during Winter Break I take the time to create a gingerbread house. There is something that is therapeutic about creating a gingerbread house. You can purchase a premade gingerbread house where all you have to do is decorate it or purchase one where you have to make it from scratch. How creative are you feeling? The brand I use year after year is Wilton as they make it so easy to build. You can purchase one of these from party city here (subject to availability).

8. Do a TikTok Dance


Photo Credit: Andrew Weiss from unsplash.com

If you’re obsessed with TikTok like me or haven’t even used the app before this will be a fun activity. There are many dances out there to chose from on TikTok like “What You Know Bout Love” by Pop Smoke, “Savage Love” by Jawsh 685 and Jason Derulo, or “Tap In” by Saweetie to name a few. It is a great form of exercise practicing these dances, learning something new, and getting out of your comfort zone. The best part, you have the time to perfect while on break. Download the app and start searching TikTok dances.

9. Start Journaling


Photo Credit: Andrew Weiss from unsplash.com

Journaling is an excellent activity for self-care that you can do for fun when you’re upset about something, or when you’re just bored around the house. You make journaling work for you. It can be paragraphs of thoughts, a mixture of paragraphs and photos to describe how you’re feeling, rearranging song lyrics, or making a list of things you want to do after quarantine. This is your creative space. You do not need to have a fancy journal for this activity. Pen and paper around the house will do just fine or the notes app on your phone, but if you are feeling fancy. I recommend the Day One app. Available both on Andriod and iPhone. I use it and it’s awesome. You can incorporate photos, videos, and text all in on entry. I love it because it’s simple to use, secure, and private. Information regarding pricing for Day One is here and you can download the app from the App and Google Play store.

10. Try a New Fitness Class


Photo Credit: Screenshot of Chris Hemsworth in Gym from The Associated Press

All indoor fitness centers are closed, however, there are many that have moved operations outdoors. Try something new over the break like a fitness class. This is the perfect opportunity to meet new people while socially distancing and getting in a good workout at the same time. Don’t feel like leaving the house just yet? That’s ok too. There are endless amounts of at-home workouts available on YouTube like Orangetheory Fitness at Home. You can complete this workout with everyday items around your house already and no sign-up is required and they’re free.

Now that have you some ideas for your winter break what do you plan on doing? Hit me up on socials and let me know. @MikeStarkCA on Twitter and Instagram. I will definitely be creating a gingerbread house and then eating the creation and watching classic tv shows on the couch with some hot cocoa, an SDSU hoodie, holiday socks, and my favorite blanket. 

Written By: Mike Stark | @MikeStarkCA

Feature Image: Screenshot of holiday tree from hopkinsmedicne.org

Feeling Stuck? 5 Ways to get Yourself Up Again

2020 has been insane. Between coronavirus, quarantine, the election, virtual school, and the regular everyday stressors, we may get stuck. It’s ok, though; we’re in the middle of a pandemic. The important thing is getting yourself back up when you’re feeling stuck. Here are 5 activities to lift your spirits

1.  Journaling: I know what you’re thinking; what’s the point? In the abbreviated words of my rocker listening/motorcycling therapist, journaling is a mindfulness activity that is good for you. It gets everything out of your head and on paper, causing your mind to slow down, something that happens when you are anxious or stressed. You do not need a fancy journal or an expensive app to do this activity. You can use the notes app on your phone and then lock the note or go old school with some pen and paper around the house and then shred or keep your entry in a binder.


Photo Credit: Screenshot of Individual journaling from NAMI.

2. Sweat-It-Out: I cannot describe how good I feel after taking an outdoor Orange Theory Class. When you are stressed out, the last thing you want to do is go for a run or take an at-home fitness class but trust me when I say afterward; you will feel much better you did because those endorphins will lift your spirits.

3. Blast your Favorite Playlist: Create a playlist of your favorite songs, and when you are feeling down, blast that playlist in your house and feel free to dance around shaking off those blues.

4. Socialize: Socialize, but not on social media. Connect with a friend or family member via facetime or zoom. By nature, we are social creatures, so when we connect with people, we love this improves our mood. Even if you are struggling, reach out to a friend and let them know what’s up but don’t overwhelm them. Let them know why you are struggling and see if talking it out helps. If not, you can always seek help from a campus therapist (619-594-5220) who can guide you in the right direction of getting you the help you need.


Photo Credit: Screenshot of Zoom Meeting from Zoom.Us Blog

5. Get your dose of Vitamin D: Getting out to get some Vitamin D has proved to improve mood, be sure to keep your physical distance and wear a mask, but head to the beach, bay, or your favorite park and lay down soaking up the sun. Don’t forget your sunscreen.

What tips will you be trying, or songs have you added to your self-care playlist? Let me know by hitting me up on socials @MikeStarkCA on Twitter and Instagram.

Written By: Mike Stark

Vegan Collagen Facial Serum is a game-changer for a more desirable, younger-looking skin

I’ve recently discovered on Tik Tok, a vegan serum that seems to be known for achieving a better-looking skin. Usually, serums can be quite expensive, and we might not know what type of ingredients it could have. However, Truly Beauty has this anti-aging Vegan Collagen Facial Serum that works wonders! I bought mine at Ulta for $35 or you can also purchase it on their website at Trulybeauty.com

After only 2 weeks, I’ve seen an improvement of a tighter, glowy, and clear skin. I was worried, at first, about using a serum and how it would react to my skin. My skin is a combination of oily and dryness. Nevertheless, with their fragrance-free, cruelty-free, and Vitamin C boost ingredients, there were no harmful reactions. 

How to Apply

After washing your face, before applying moisturizer, with only 2-3 drops you can apply it to your face. I usually place the drops on both my cheeks and my forehead. I then start massaging my skin in an upward motion, and down my neck. After spreading it, I pat down with my fingers to really get it on my whole face. Lastly, I put on my moisturizer to finish off. 

Should You Buy It?

If you want to have younger-looking skin, then yes! It’s never too late to start on a skincare routine that works best for you. Although this serum might not work best for everyone, there are always others that can help based on your skin type. You also don’t have to be a girl to care about your skin, anyone can care about feeling good about themselves. I recommend this serum and would definitely buy it again once I finish it. I may not be Skin Care by Hyram, but take my word for it! 

Written By: Ariadna Rodriguez

Photo By: Ariadna Rodriguez



Time to Read

“You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, who had ever been alive.” This quote by author and activist James Baldwin has altered the way that I view reading. What was once an activity that I lost passion for after being overwhelmed by reading for school, became essential to the path of developing greater compassion for others and myself.

Slow Down and Read

For many people, especially students, reading can feel like extra work that’s adding to our already busy schedules. We are used to moving fast in a world that’s filled with instant gratification, so taking part in the slow process of reading can be difficult. When I finally forced myself to read during my free time, I learned about how rewarding the experience can be. I have connected with characters who have very different lives from my own, which allowed me to figure out that one does not have to have the same life as me in order for us to understand each other. Through reading, I have gained more compassion for people living with mental illness, incarcerated people, the lonely, the afraid, and those who are confused about their place on this Earth. These circumstances and feelings are often not talked about, which can cause us to forget about people who experience them or if we are the person experiencing them then we feel like we’re alone in our struggles. Reading helps us recognize others while feeling known.

People of Color have Stories too

As a person of color, I often felt frustrated by reading stories about people of color but told through a white lens. Although people of color have our own individual experiences, we have more personal insight on issues that people outside of our communities do not have. I recently began to read books by Maya Angelou and Toni Morrison. Their books didn’t simply tell me that “racism is bad,” something that I already knew, but they put words to the pains of being a Black woman, they guided me to feel my resilience that was sent down to me from past generations, and they helped me to know that I exist beyond oppression. Angelou and Morrison are two important figures who made room for other writers of color to tell our stories, but our stories are often still placed in the shadows. In order to prevent this from continuing to happen, we must uplift writers of color, which is what Noname’s Book Club is doing

Noname’s Book Club

Noname is a rapper from Chicago who started the book club to elevate the voices of people of color. Each month, two books by writers of color are selected and participants in the book club are strongly encouraged to access the books through libraries and local bookstores, rather than supporting large and exploitive corporations. The book club has an online community, but the goal is to have in-person discussions and to build chapters in various communities, including prisons. I have been the owner of Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis book, but I never took the time to read it until I saw that it was selected by the book club. Before reading Persepolis, Iran seemed like a distant place that I would never know anything about. After reading Persepolis, I began to care deeply about Iran and the people who call the country home. This shows another reason, and possibly one of the most important reasons, for the necessity of reading: in a world pervaded by apathy, reading forces us to care. 

Written By: Maya Dixon
Photo by: Catapult