Winter can be the most challenging season. It’s got holidays. It’s got snow. It’s got ice. It’s got impromptu get-togethers with friends. It’s got post-holiday shopping deals. It’s got unpredictable temperatures and reduced sunlight… But you can get through it all easily if you just prepare yourself for all that is to come.
To give you a boost, we’ve pulled together a long list of must-do winter activities you should be working into your schedule — from the fun and frivolous to the resourceful and relaxing. Bonus points if you accomplish all of them! But if you just tackle one in each category, you’ll be doing yourself a big favor throughout the season.
Take a look at our 7 must-do winter activities that will help you enjoy the chilliest time of year.
1. Have Fun
First and foremost, enjoy the season! Enjoy the winter chill by taking a hike to view winter birds, ice skate at an outdoor rink, build a snowman, gather pine boughs to deck your halls — yes, even after the holidays, you can still enjoy the fresh pine scent throughout your home. Make the season magical by letting the spirit of it’s glimmering subdued tones inspire your decorating and activities to create memories that will warm the heart all year long.
Kids of all ages can enjoy winter with a few simple planned excursions and activities. Check out: 7 Things for Kids to Do on Snow Days
And, while you’re at it, hit some of the post-holiday sales. Stock up on decor or gifts for next year. Just keep an eye on your budget. Tax season will be coming right around the corner.
2. Stay Safe & Healthy
‘Tis the season to avoid colds and flu. It probably goes without saying, but you need to keep your inside just as warm as your outside… and there’s no better way to do that than with a delicious, steaming cup of soup, tea, chai, or even your favorite coffee beverage.
Try out the hearty soup below that will fill you up with energy for the day and keep you toasty. Or try some other soul-warming recipes, such as these from Taste of Home or this 18th Century Noodle & Turnip Soup.
Another way to take care of yourself is with a little pampering. Fingers and toes frozen to the core? Sounds like a great opportunity (or is that excuse?) to luxuriate and a steaming hot bubble bath.
Not only will it warm up your digits, a little aromatherapy from the scent of your bubble bath or soap will refresh your mind… taking your winter’s day blah to wonderland ahh. Not into baths? A hot shower will do. Just don’t rush through it. Savor the steam.
If you do get sick, for goodness sake, stay in bed where you’ll be warm and toasty and able to snooze away your aches, pains, and cold-induced grumpiness. Medicate sensibly as needed, while you’re at it. (Check out the natural remedies in your kitchen.) But to avoid illness in the first place… stay alert to all of the door knobs and handles you touch, the shopping carts you’re pushing around the grocery store, and fellow customers sneezing and coughing in your direction. Use antibac on your hands whenever possible after touching such objects. Wipe down carts with the antibac wipes provided by the stores. And walk as far away as possible from the sneezers.
3. Be Active
If you find the cold weather non-motivational, just think how you’ll feel at the end of the season after you’ve spent weeks sitting on the sofa twiddling your thumbs all day. Instead of entering the oncoming spring season without a spring in your step, make a plan to schedule some kind of workout at home — even if it’s just 30 minutes a day.
Need a way to fend off the boredom of staying inside all day? While it might not be very entertaining, it can ultimately be very uplifting to dedicate some time to cleaning a closet, rearranging a room, clearing out your pantry, and making plans for other home-dec fix-ups throughout the year.
But if you really want some indoor fun, you and your kids can try your hand at all of those DIY craft projects you’ve been pinning. Or binge watch your favorite movies or TV shows, play games with the kids, or take an online sewing, cooking, or other class via your favorite YouTube channel.
4. Keep Cozy
Warmth is a good thing. This is the whole reason you wanted a house with that fireplace you’ve got over there, so use it. Pile up the blankets, pillows, and flickering candles while you’re at it to set a snugly mood. Winter is your time to relax and restore, when the dimmer skies are quiet and peaceful. Enjoy these 11 Tips for Relaxation.
And, by all means, do wrap yourself up from head to toe to guard yourself from the bitter chill or winter rains when you’re outdoors. Always wear the right clothes — including the proper shoes so you don’t slip on ice and injure yourself… or splash into a deep frigid puddle. Stay sensible and you’ll stay safe.
Need some ideas that will keep you warm while staying trendy? Check out these tips from Pure Living for Life.
5. Prep Your Home
Keeping the cold out of your home is an easy way to stay warm and safe. Are your windows and doors sealed properly to keep out the cold winter wind? Does your roof leak? Has your heating system been checked out recently? Are there any tree limbs near your home that may cause damage if a heavy snowfall breaks them off? Get ahead of winter home issues like these by calling in the professionals to do your bigger home repair tasks, or visit your local home store to pick up a few maintenance parts. This list of home-care tips from Kiplinger can get you started.
“Feed the birds, tuppence a bag.” Your home may not be the only one that needs some prep work. That’s your cue to hang a bird feeder from a tree branch, or simply set out a dish of bird seed after a snowfall so that your feathered friends have an easier time finding food. You could also leave scraps of yarn hanging in a feeder cage, so they have something warm to weave into their nests. Keep track of neighborhood cats that may not have a home. Preparing a warm, cozy space for them to sleep will help them stay safe when the temps drop.
And don’t forget your yard. Taking care of your garden now can mean the difference between what you reap or harvest in spring, summer and fall. Get our 7 winter gardening tips.
6. Prep Your Car
Be careful when you’re out and about. Keeping your automobile in good shape isn’t just about avoiding accidents while you’re on the road. And, just because you stay on top of your car maintenance doesn’t mean all the members of your community have taken the same smart steps. If you do end up in a collision, or simply stranded somewhere for a while, you will want to be ready. That may mean prepping your car with an oil change and tire rotation, keep gas tank full so that it will start easier in the morning, and keeping tools for scraping and shoveling nearby (at home and in the car). Get 5 DIY Essential Car Care Fix-Ups.
And here’s an easy, quick recipe for de-icing your car windows in a jiffy made with ingredients you probably already have on hand, courtesy of Mom4Real.
7. Show Off Your Winter Glow
Feel like your beauty is looking a tad diminished in the frosty weather? Skin a bit dry? Hair a bit out of sorts? Instead of pulling a blanket over your head and staying there till spring, revive your beauty with a few DIY treatments that will keep you aglow. See easy hair care tips.
Cosmpolitan has some tips for managing your hair in winter. They’ll help you keep your locks’ natural luster. Or try these tips:
Now let’s talk about your skin. Winter is no time to avoid the subject. In fact, if there was anytime of year to indulge, this is it! An easy fix? Enjoy our recipe for this gingerbread face mask regularly throughout the season. Everyone will wonder why you’re glowing. It’s up to you if you want to tell them. We like to think you will.