Even when it’s not snowing outside, the cold winter weather may be keeping you indoors more than usual. It can be tough to break out of the boredom and avoid going stir-crazy, but think of this cozy time of year as a great opportunity to try a new hobby or activity. Winter is ripe for bringing on the blues, but keeping your mind and/or body active can help keep you out of the doldrums. Here are a few ideas to try this weekend:
- Reading – What better way to spend a cozy winter afternoon than bundled up near a fireplace (or fake fireplace thanks to Netflix) with a mug of tea and a good book? Borrow a recommended read from a friend or check out the shelves of the local library for new picks. Many libraries also loan e-books if you have an e-reader – then you really never have to leave the couch! You can also encourage a friend or two to read the same book and chat about it later.
- Art – There are many ways to create beautiful art from the comfort of your own home. Drawing, painting and calligraphy are all great options that don’t require a ton of materials, but you can also check out classes at your local community center or college if you’d like to try your hand at pottery or glasswork, among other things.
- Cooking – Winter is the perfect time to experiment with warming, comforting foods that make your house smell amazing. Plan to try a new-to-you recipe each week to get out of your comfort zone and expand your palate. It’s also a great excuse to have friends or family come over to enjoy the meal with you.
- Yoga or fitness – From apps to Netflix and more, there are tons of free or inexpensive workout videos available that you can do from your living room. Even if it’s tough to get to the gym or trail, you can easily set aside a half-hour to get sweaty and help both your mind and body stay active.
- Learn something new – Set the foundation now for future fun. Have a vacation abroad on the horizon? Spend these slow months learning a new language. Interested in knitting? Take a few classes now and you’ll be whipping up tons of blankets and scarves by next winter. Check out YouTube classes to learn your first song on guitar. Many top colleges, even Harvard, also offer free online courses to learn about topics that interest you! The options are endless.
- Venture outside – For those feeling brave, check out a cold-weather-only outdoor activity, like snow-shoeing, ice skating or even sledding!
Tackling a new activity this winter can help prevent the doldrums of winter from getting you down. Have fun, and stay warm!
How Health Advocate can help
If you’re a Health Advocate member with access to EAP+Work/Life or Wellness, your Licensed Professional Counselor or Wellness Coach can help you come up with additional ways to prevent the winter blues and stay active this winter.