I always dread the start of the new year. Whenever Christmas is over and January arrives, I have a really tough time to think of things to do. It’s too cold to spend the whole day outdoors, university classes are starting again, and there is never much to look forward to in the next few months. This year*, I decided to embrace the winter season and do something fun every day. I don’t know if you experience the same seasonal dip, but I’ve found a few ways that work for me. Here are my 8 best ideas to enjoy the winter season (post-Christmas)!
1. Get into the Artsy-Fartsy Spirit and Visit those Museums
Winter is hands down the best season to visit a museum, especially on cold and rainy days. On sunny summer days, I often don’t want to spend too much time indoors. I always feel a little bit fomo about not enjoying the amazing weather. You don’t have to worry about that in winter! By visiting museums, you can still get out of the house and do an activity in a comfortable temperature.
2. Go to the Beach and Let Your Worries Fly Away
When it’s absolutely freezing outside, going to the beach might be a bit too much of an ambitious outdoorsy plan. However, when the sun is out and temperatures aren’t dipping too low, I strongly recommend a visit to the beach! When you’ve got something on your mind that’s bothering you, there is no better medicine than a visit to the windy shoreline. The refreshing sight of the open sea (or ocean) will make you feel ten times better. Don’t bother bringing your swimming trunks or bikini, but do consider wearing your boots.
3. Invite your Friends for Hot Drinks (and Apple Pie)
When it’s summer time, I often invite my friends to go into town for an ice cream or cold smoothie. It’s a great way to catch up and enjoy exploring new places in town. Why not do the same thing in winter, but slightly differently? Meet up with your friends to go have one of those amazing-looking lattes or a good old cup of hot chocolate milk. To complete the ultimate winter experience, you might also want to consider adding a sweet piece of apple pie.
4. Go on a Forest Walk to Sniff a Whiff of Fresh Air
Winter time is when I spend most of my time indoors. It’s understandable, but it can also be really detrimental to your mood and health in general. It might be cold, but going on a forest walk in winter can be really stimulating. Go by yourself or ask a friend to join you. You will appreciate being outdoors and enjoying nature. Trust me, it helps you feel more rejuvenated.
5. Get that Gram: Take Photos of the Snowy and Frosty Landscape
If you are lucky enough to live in an area where you have a realistic chance of snow, it can be really exciting to see temperatures drop below zero. Snowy or frosty weather conditions can completely transform the landscape in an enchanting winter wonderland. Whenever that happens, bundle up and get your camera ready. If you’re a nature-enthusiast like me, there is nothing more exciting about the winter season than capturing those sparkly white views. You will have a blast and forget the cold while you’re at it.
6. ‘Tis the (Real) Season for Shopping and Snacking: Visit an Indoor Market or Food Hall
Many people seem think that December is the time to go shopping. I disagree. The real deals happen afterwards, when people are less likely to hit the shops (since they just spent a smack on money on Christmas presents). Are you in dire need for some snazzy sweaters or…I don’t know…a random kitchen appliance? This is the right time to head out. Shopping malls are cool, but indoor markets are better places to find unique pieces. Are you a dedicated minimalist or frustrated anti-materialist? Then you should invite your friends to a food hall. Who doesn’t love trying new treats and tasting foreign dishes?
7. Get Seriously Sporty and Go (Indoor) Ice Skating, Skiing, or Snowboarding
We all know that the new resolution game is always strongest at the start of the year, often including plans like: “I’m going to be an Instagram fit girl,” “I’m going to lose two of my muffin top rolls,” or “I don’t want to die at age 45 and get more exercise.” Well, who says you can’t have fun while desperately trying to discipline yourself into a better version of yourself? Grab onto that unrealistic motivation and use it to enjoy yourself at a skating rink or indoor snow slope.
8. Plan Your Summer Vacation and Stop Fantasizing about Sunny Beaches
Now if you really, really hate the cold and absolutely don’t want to go outside, there is one thing left to do: plan your summer vacation! See which dates you want to go away on holiday, check your budget, and pick your destination for next summer. You will thank yourself later in the year, since you will be 100% prepared and don’t have to worry about expensive tickets or finding a room in fully-booked hotel. Plus, you’ll have something real to look forward to. Maybe then you will stop fantasizing about sunny beaches with palm trees.
*This article was updated on January 8, 2018.