Things to do when you’re stuck in a small town over the holidays

As I write this, I’m trapped in the Newark Liberty International Airport, waiting for my flight to South Bend, Indiana, which is currently delayed 2.5 hours. This would be fine-adjacent, except that it was originally scheduled to depart at 9:45 p.m. and land at 12:02 a.m. So yikes.

I’m headed to South Bend because my parents made the interesting decision to move there 13 years ago. The fun thing about flying to South Bend over the holidays is that your choices are basically: a) stay for 48 hours, b) stay for six days, or c) pay $600+ to stay for an amount of time that seems appropriate to spend the holidays with your parents. I picked option b, and as a result I’ve been racking my brain for things to do while my dad mainlines NCIS and Bud Heavy. Here’s what I came up with:

1. Catch up on your 2018 New Year’s Resolutions.

I still need to finish my novel, read 15 books by people of color, and make a fascinator. Good thing I’m headed somewhere with nothing to do in December and a Michael’s the size of MetLife Stadium!

2. Check out some new workout studios.

Ever been to Pure Barre? Neither have I. South Bend doesn’t have any ClassPass-affiliated studios, but it does have a bunch of places I’ve never been before, which means I qualify for all sorts of newcomer benefits.

3. Do a girls’ night with one of your besties and both of your moms.

My friend Amanda happens to be from South Bend, so we’re finally getting together for drinks with our moms after years of wanting them to meet.

4. Double down on your meditation practice.

All those occasional activities you’ve been trying to solidify into daily habits? Now’s the time to make it happen. Set a reminder on your phone for the same time each day to meditate, floss, drink a glass of water, whatever. I mean, what else are you going to do?

5. Sleep.

This year was a lot. The holidays are a good time to slow down and get some rest before jumping into a new year.

6. Plan your goals for the New Year.

Finding yourself with free time at the end of the year is a gift, if you’re one of those people who is very into growth and productivity and/or who appreciates the clean-break feeling of a new year. This is the perfect time to reflect on what did and didn’t work in 2018 and think about what you want to look different in the year ahead. It’s also a great time to identify your big goals for 2019 and break them down into manageable tasks with deadlines.

Need some motivation? Here are a few things I’ve written that might help:

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