Passing the time while waiting for bar results is pretty damn miserable. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about MBE questions or the amount of time I put into the prep this summer (…and fall, and what felt like forever this bar season). Since my mind clearly needs to be occupied, I compiled a list that works to pass the time.

1. Binge-Watch A New(ish) Show

I resolved that I would not start any new shows while studying for the Bar exam. And then, quickly amended such resolution when my husband dragged me waist-deep into the first season of Yellowstone.

Aside from this one show — which we finished weeks before the Bar — I didn’t venture off on the search for new content. Rather, I took breaks by watching segments of movies or shows I’d seen many times over: Harry Potter, The Martian, Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century, Mission Impossible Saga, A Discovery of Witches, and so many other favorites. I took the time to relax my mind after 10-hour study days and I think my productivity during those long stretches of concept review was re-invigorated.

Now that the exam is behind us, I highly recommend taking in all the down time you can. There’s not much point in dwelling on the results, because that will just make you feel like you’re spiraling. We’ve got almost 2 months to go for those results here in Texas, friend. Don’t do that to yourself. Enjoy this time to re-group, re-center, and re-focus your energy into something that makes you happy.

Happiness, in October, for me means lots and lots of Halloween Movies. I’m a HUGE fan of fall movie lists and have compiled several of my favorites. Over the years, October became the start of all my favorite holiday traditions. From decorating to snuggling on the couch with tea and crumpets, this season is sure to be made all the better with shows and movies I’ve been so excited to see.

If you need some help choosing, I highly recommend these to start:

  • Enola Homes, Netflix
  • Blacklist, Netflix
  • Halloweentown Trilogy, DisneyPlus
  • Hocus Pocus, Netflix
  • Little Fires Everywhere, Hulu
  • The Bold Type, Hulu

2. Learn to Craft

I find it difficult to keep still for too long, unless I’m reading – in which case my mind entertains itself with building up worlds and characters so, I guess my first thought here stands true.

As I prefer to keep busy, over the years I picked up a variety of hobbies that I tend to cycle through when I find myself “bored” or unsure of how to spnd my time.

Some of these pursuits tend to be athletic – like training for a half marathon, or grabbing a volleyball and the hubs for a quick set. But for times like these, where my mind wants to keep falling back to essays and questions that I found particularly difficult, I think it best to focus my pursuits on arts and crafts. Personally, the focus and energy required to master an art (or even attempt to be decent at it) is cumbersome. That said, art tends to melt everything away. I can lose myself in painting, embroidering, lettering, or scrapbooking.

Any of these options are excellent for both occupying your time and utilizing your entire focus ability. Plus, you get something gorgeous as an end-result!

3. Find a Book Club

One thing I always wanted to do was take part in a book club. Staying mentally stimulated is, in my opinion, difficult to do if you don’t make the time to converse with others.

In late February, a small group of friends and I began a book club; meeting roughly every six weeks to discuss our chosen piece of literature. We’ve read a variety of genres and take turns choosing books. It’s been so much fun and, truly, a great way to catch up with friends.

Make the whole event extra fun and setup each club meeting as a themed experience — the drinks, food, decorations, or desserts. Enjoy the time with your excellent company!

4. Hone Your Culinary Skills

For those of you that want to practice your brulée skills, or maybe take the time to prep for Thanksgiving, there’s no better time than now!

All this waiting means my friends and family benefit from the stress-baked sweets and homemade tortillas. Throw in the fall weather and my need to bust out soup and stew recipes? Gosh! The stove over at our place has seen quite a bit of action lately.

5. Gear Up for A Virtual Race

Sure, I get it – you’ve been in yoga pants or gym shorts for the better part of this year while dealing with the changing exam dates and the stress of over-eating and fewer workouts – but right now is the PERFECT time to focus on your health. Why not set yourself up for a couch-to-5k?

Admittedly, I’ve had a difficult time getting back into the swing of my workouts. The start and stop of bar prep definitely did not help. But, here we are again — with just the perfect time to get back on the #WorkoutWagon. Why not get back into the saddle, or get started for the first time?

It’s really better to release this stress and tension rather than keep it all bottled up. So, figure out what works for you…rowing, running, walking, swimming — do whatever makes you happy and get moving!

6. Visit Local Landmarks

Living in your city does not mean — I’ve learned — enjoying all the beautiful and quirky aspects of that locale. In Dallas, there are so many not-so-hidden gems that I’d been yearning to visit. During my study breaks, I took the time to enjoy a few of them. I highly recommend you do the same. Visit a new park, savor new flavors by picking up a meal and supporting your local eateries, or drive through a new coffee shop and clear that head of any RAP or Civil Procedure deadline rules. It’s imperative you take the time to re-center yourself. The effort you put into studying (and parenting/working/budgeting/life) these last 5 months has been brutal. You need the break. Take it.

If you need some inspiration in Dallas, follow me over at @cerebellumchef on Instagram. There’s plenty of ideas for art exhibits, chocolate runs, bakery finds, and hidden gems in the city.

7. Visit Your Friends & Family

I’m a HUGE fan of brunch. I can eat breakfast for pretty much any meal and love hosting at our home. That said, after weeks of studying at my own kitchen table, I fancied seeing other family and friends…as well as being taken care of for a change. Too much efort goes into planning, so this is the time to relax as much as possible and relish your family and friends.

I’ve enjoyed Halloween cookouts and am looking forward to our yearly “Friendsgiving.” Some days I feel like I’ve crammed so much into each minute that I just might not have time to spare a second on those exam questions constantly buzzing in the background of my headspace.

8. Organize Your Space

I walked into my house after Day 2 of the Bar Exam and saw it clearly for the first time in ages. Sure, everything was “put away” and clean [save for a basket of gym clothes and sweats that needed to be washed], but there was so much disorder that I felt completely overwhelmed.

I took to Pinterest and discovered these excellent ideas to both save space and provide order to the chaos. I mean, batteries and medicines need their own space – right?

Now that everything is in order, I feel infinitely better! Maybe a little order to this chaos of emotions is just the ticket, eh?

9. Pack Your Bags & GO!

Right now may not feel like the *best* time to travel, but I think getting away for a weekend trip to the lake in a secluded cabin, or a quick trip to enjoy the mountains may be exactly what you need. Take a few friends, or go solo; the time away from your study space (especially if you spent the last 4 months studying at home) will do you wonders — trust me.

May the time pass quickly and results be in our favor!