It's bleak and cold, and the days are short. There's a good chance that you're stuck inside right now, when you'd rather be outside gardening or just enjoying some fresh air and sunshine. Boredom and cabin fever can set in during the coldest months, but you don't need to resign yourself to watching television or playing games on the computer all day.
Winter can actually be a great time to take up a number of new hobbies, that you wouldn't have the time or patience to do during the warmer months of the year. You might even start to enjoy the fact that you have to stay indoors! Here are some of the best indoor cold weather activities that will help you keep the doldrums from setting in.
Start a Small Indoor Garden
You can buy a kit with everything you need, or you can purchase seeds and do a little research about the plants that you want to grow. Keep them in front of a sunny, well-insulated window. You can grow herbs and flowers to brighten up your home, as well as provide fresh ingredients for meals.
All the pictures you took during the summer? Arrange them into a beautiful scrapbook that you can keep on your coffee table, for your family and friends to enjoy when they visit. For inspiration, check out scrap-booking websites or books.
Make Some Delicious Hot Cocoa Mixes
You can mix different recipes of coffee creamer, powered sugar, cocoa powder and even instant coffee to create homemade hot chocolate and mocha/cappuccino mixes. Package them up and give them out to family and friends, and enjoy your custom hot drink mixes yourself.
Make Snow Globes
This is a great activity to do with grand kids, and an easy and inexpensive gift idea. You'll need an empty clear glass jar with a screw-on lid, glitter, distilled water, a couple drops of dish washing liquid (to help suspend the glitter in the water), epoxy glue (hot glue isn't strong enough), and a small plastic figurine to glue to the inside of the lid.
Get a Pen-Pal
Exchange letters, cards and small packages of gifts and goodies with a far away family member or friend. You can even go to a pen-pal website like postcrossing.com, penpalworld.com or penpalsnow.com and find one to pair up with.
Get kits for building model cars, trains or airplanes. You can also go to a hobby store and find the parts and everything you would need to build a model house, complete with tiny details.
Expand on Your Interests
Study something that interests you, whether it's history, how to make sushi or your own genealogy. Decide which of your interests or skills you would like to expand on, and find documentaries, websites and books on the subject.
Get in Shape
Do you particularly enjoy exercise and don't see it as a chore? Get a workout video or get some free weights to start building your muscles. Your biceps will look great come summer.
Start a Journal
Do you like writing? Start writing about your day, free writing your thoughts and ideas, or even come up with your own fictional stories or poems. Get inspiration from other journal websites or books, or buy a journal that will guide you on certain topics.
Flip Secondhand Finds
An old beat-up coffee table that you got for $5, a plain jacket you got from a garage sale last summer – almost anything can be made to look new again, or customized to your liking. Look into how you can DIY (Do It Yourself) something and jot down your ideas.