For some folks, the traditional holiday celebrations of food, family, and football are perfect. For others, some aspect of that trio just doesn’t fit. I can relate.

We have a couple of choices. We can feel anxious about not being “normal.” Or we honor our selves and reframe our rest into something that’s a better fit.

This dilemma became very real to me when I stopped watching television. Unexpectedly, I had lots of time on my hands, and I’d run out of “productive” things to do. It may sound silly, but it made me very anxious. I did not know what to do with all that time, especially when I rarely had the energy for anything substantial.

Eventually, I decided upon the goal of “active recovery,” and I broadened that definition to include anything that produced positive, motivational, educational, or interesting thoughts.

I decided that’s it okay to consume; I just have guidelines on what I “feed” myself.

In case you’re feeling anxious about the upcoming holiday, here are a few ideas.

1. Inspirational stories.

Whether reading a biography, discovering a new person on Twitter, or watching a video, I give myself permission to step into someone else’s shoes for a while. Good sources for me are inspiring Ted Talks, inspiring biographies, TIME’s best blogs, or Mashable’s list of interesting people on Twitter.

2. Learning something new.

Again, I apply a very broad definition here. Right now, I’m really enjoying things like Tropical Talk Radio, the Lifestyle Business Podcast, and the Live Your Truth daily podcast. Without a specific goal in mind, I’m exploring various forms of internet businesses and NLP. I’m also fascinated with Codecademy and AppSumo courses because they make learning how to program simple and fun.

When I have the energy, I also try to do something physically. I’m slowly learning how to cook more recipes, and my husband and I recently started cycling.

3. Connecting with someone.

More and more, I’m understanding the incredible value of strong relationships. Sometimes at the end of a long day, I call a good friend just to catch up. That’s very new for me, definitely not something I did before. Or, I’ll write a handwritten note or thoughtful email to let someone know how much I appreciate our friendship. I’m also becoming more active in online forums like the Impossible League and Dynamite Circle.

I also try to be more present with my family, truly focused on the time we have together. It takes practice, and I’m really enjoying the stronger relationships with my husband and daughter. Going forward, this is a continued focus area for me.

What about you? Do you have any non-traditional ways to relax?