7 Ways to Keep Yourself Occupied During the Winter Months

Winter is coming soon and, in fact, many states have already gotten snow. While the first snowfall is always a bit of a novelty, everyone in the cold winter areas knows this is going to get real old, real fast. So what do we do with ourselves now that the days of lingering at the beach long after sunset are in the rearview mirror? We have some ideas and are willing to share. Read on for seven ways to keep yourself occupied during the cold months.

1. Board Games

Is there anything better than a good old-fashioned game night? They’re low maintenance, too, as you don’t need to decorate or even cook (if you don’t want to!). Order a pizza, have your friends’ favorite games on hand, and get to it. From Pictionary and Trivial Pursuit to Cards Against Humanity and Settlers of Catan, there is something for every gamer these days. Get those competitive juices flowing by keeping track and offering prizes. Capture the perfect photo of the fun and share it on Instagram.

2. Enjoy Live Music

Sure, open-air shows during the summer are amazing but there’s something to be said for an intimate indoor venue, too. Find out if you’ve got any worth visiting by you. Make sure to follow your favorite bands on social media so you know when they are headed to your town. Whether you grab a like-minded posse or fly solo, live music is just good for the soul.

3. Get Crafty

Yes, you! Even if you’re the absolute antithesis of Martha Stewart, there are plenty of easy projects that you can do and even do well. One tried and true project is creating personalized mugs with a Sharpie. Use the marker to craft a doodle, an image, a name, or even a favorite quote. As this PopSugar article notes, “Bake the mug in the oven for 30 minutes at 350°F.

Remember to place the mug in the oven before it heats up and leave it in until the oven cools completely so there won't be any cracks. You can choose to bake the mugs twice to really set in the Sharpie drawings.” Although they are technically dishwasher safe, you probably want to hand wash them just to be sure. They make great stocking stuffers!

4. Take Up Music

You’ve always envied the person who sits down at the piano during holiday parties and heads up a singalong. Why not take these cold months to learn an instrument … or at least a new instrument? It’ll be warm again soon enough, so it’s a wonderful idea to take advantage now. If you’re not up for that kind of time commitment, you can create an audio visualizer. Performing real time video manipulation and allowing 3D shapes to “dance” in rhythm to musical beats, this is a super big hit at parties.

5. Volunteer

We tend to be a bit more selfish with our time in the summer, and there’s no reason to feel guilty about that. With companies that often offer summer hours and many people who have kids with summers off, it’s the time to do that. However, take the winter months to pursue that passion for animals at your local animal shelter. Volunteer at a local hospice. Put together care packages for the military. Whatever you choose, you’ll sleep well knowing you’ve made a difference.

6. Try Out Your Chef Skills

If you’re one of those people that watches cooking shows or at least has them running in the background 24/7, winter is your friend. During the summer, you’re more likely to eat light or throw something on the barbecue. Winter is time to get gritty in the kitchen. Try out some more complicated soups, hearty stews, comfort food casseroles, and perfect your Italian creations. Crack open that bottle of red, put on some jazz, and get cooking. Baking is another great idea, too, especially during the holidays.

7. Binge Read or Watch

The last thing you want to do if you live in an area that gets cold during the winter is waste your summer months in front of the TV. But now that the temperatures have dropped, it’s time to binge a show you’ve been dying to catch up on, or read that book that’s been sitting on your bedside table for months. Better yet, start a book club!

Winter gets a bad rap but it can actually be a wonderful time to hunker down, have some fun, and get closer to the ones you love.

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