Winter: You either love it or you hate it. While the freezing temperatures, shorter days, and constant windshield-ice-scraping can be tiresome, winter can still be an exciting and cozy season. If you find yourself dreaming of warm beaches and flip-flop weather, finding ways to keep yourself busy during this season will distract you — then summer will be here before you know it!
1. Find a New Winter Sport
If you live in an area that snows, you’re lucky to have a wide variety of winter sports available to try. Are you an avid skier? Try something different this season, such as snowboarding, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, or ice skating. If you’re not into the highly dangerous sports, you can at least get outside by sledding, tubbing, or even by building a snowman. Bundling up and venturing into the outdoors is a great way to curb the winter blues, so you can feel your best all season-long.
2. Get Involved
Serving in your community should ideally happen year-round, rather than just during the holidays. Whether it’s donating your time or money to a nonprofit organization, it will be humbling to learn about the experiences of others and recognize the fortunes in your life. You can volunteer at your local animal shelter, church congregation, or soup kitchen. If you prefer to donate money instead, there are several organizations with amazing causes. Here are a few organizations on our minds:
Operation Underground Railroad: This organization’s mission is to eradicate human sex trafficking, with an emphasis on saving children from exploitation around the world.
Donate here at: https://ourrescue.org/
Ronald McDonald House Charities This organization provides private rooms near hospitals for families to stay in if they traveled a long distance to obtain medical care for their child.
Donate here at: https://www.rmhc.org/
Mentor’s International: This organization sends volunteers to underdeveloped communities in Asia, South/Latin America, and Africa to help locals start their own small businesses and break the cycle of poverty.
Donate here: https://mentorsinternational.org/
3. Deliver Treats to Neighbors
Making dozens of dessert plates for your neighbors is common around the holidays, but why not continue this kind gesture throughout the year? Set aside an evening or weekend to make a variety of treats to brighten your neighbors’ day. Get the kids involved, too, which will be a good bonding experience (plus you don’t have to do all the work!). While you can stick with plain-old chocolate chip cookies, (which are still delicious, of course), now is the perfect time to try the new recipes that you’ve pinned on Pinterest and have never tested. Say hello to s’more cupcakes and chocolate peanut butter bars! Remember to save a few for yourself—they're too irresistible to give up!
4. Find a New Indoor Hobby
Snowed in? Negative temperatures outside? There’s no better time to try out a new indoor hobby than the winter. Spending at least 15 minutes per day to learn something new will distract you from the irritation and sadness that often accompanies seasonal depression. Taking the time to relax or develop a new skill will be beneficial for your mental health and it will give you something to look forward to each day.
Some ideas include:
- Paint by Numbers
- Take an Online Class
- Do Puzzles
- Learn a New Language
- Read a Book
- Keep a Journal
- Learn an Instrument