How to study at Christmas (or other holidays)

It is possible to fit in your languages at Christmas, just follow my 6 top tips.
It's always hard to fit everything in over the holidays. Family, parties and your languages. Just follow my top tips to make holiday study happen easily!

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For most of us, Christmas means a lot of different things. Family, food, relaxation and, most important of all, some much needed time off! I love my job, I can’t lie, but it is always nice to take a break, recharge the batteries and think of some new creative ideas for the future. However, it does leave me with a dilemma… what about my languages?

When I have a break, I want to spend time with family and friends. Eat good food and do fun stuff like going to the cinema (if I can convince the wife!). Which sometimes means that my languages get put on the back burner. In the pile of “productive” activities that can wait for the new year. But, is there a way to enjoy the relaxation of the holiday and still do some study?

My opinion is… yes!

So, here are my tips for studying on a holiday or break that won’t disrupt your zen and allow you to keep moving forward with your languages…

It is possible to study your languages at Christmas, just follow my 6 top tips.

1. Not an “All or nothing approach”

Just because you are on a break, doesn’t mean you have to stop everything. Take my honeymoon for example. You might be surprised to hear that I actually did study Italian everyday during the trip. Not including all the speaking I was doing while we were wondering around. Ok, I didn’t spend hours doing grammar drills (mainly because I wanted to be married at the end of it) but I did something. 5 minutes here and there, to keep on top of it and help me prepare for the next outing. The horde of applications on my phone came in really handy here to fill those gaps.

2. Find your free moments

A key part of any goal; being realistic. When you are busy with work or with holiday plans, the problem is still the same; time! It can be difficult to carve out a large chunk of time for your language. For some reason, my family doesn’t really appreciate the idea of me studying on Christmas day. What is that all about? So, my approach is to find the little gaps. A couple of minutes when you are checking the turkey or at the end of the night when everyone is full and sleepy. Every little helps!

3. Have some fun

When I have time to relax, I like to wind down completely. Switch off my brain and just do something fun. This time works perfectly for me to reignite my passion for languages. Sometimes it can be easy to get carried away with the day to day study and forget why you are doing it. That’s when I take a step back and have some fun with the language. Watching some TV, reading some comics and playing video games all work for me.

Remind yourself why you love the language and what you can do with it. It’s a great way of boosting your motivation and making sure you are ready to hit the ground running again when you are back to your normal routine.

4. Try something new

I love a good experiment and holidays are the perfect time for them. Testing out a new technique, trying a new app or start writing a journal. The pressure is off, so everything is worth a try. You never know, you might find something amazing that you will include in your normal study routine.

5. Do those things you never have time to do

We all have these kinds of activities. Things that you always tell yourself “I would love to do that, but I don’t have time” or “Doesn’t that look fun!”. So, just do it! Watch that film you marked on Netflix or read that book that is collecting dust on your shelf. I always get such a sense of achievement when I do something I have wanted to do for ages. 

6. Use that time to prepare for study next year

Last but by no means least, prepare. Part of learning is about finding new content to learn and a holiday is the perfect time to do that. Make a new Pinterest board, start a list on YouTube of videos or channels you want to binge or even add some books to your Amazon basket. All that time spent finding things now will save you plenty of time when you are back at work and your free time has vanished. Especially as most of us set New Year’s resolutions, this prep time will mean you are ready to smash it come 1st January.

There you have it. My 6 top tips for being productive, relaxed and enjoying your holiday! So, what are your thoughts about holiday study? Let me know in the comments.

Until next time!

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