I’m all about cold weather during the holiday season: everything seems so much more festive when it’s chilly out! But now that the holidays are over and all our decorations are packed away (I like to get everything put away before New Year’s Day, personally), the cold’s not as fun. And of course, January and February are when it starts to get really cold, windy, and plain ol’ miserable here in North Texas.
So before it starts to feel like winter is interminable, and before we find ourselves stuck at home because of the weather, I figured I should make a little “cabin fever cure” list!
Here are some ideas for keeping the winter blues at bay when the weather keeps you inside:
Plant an Indoor Garden
There’s something hopeful and gratifying about watching plants sprout and flourish inside while the world is frozen and dreary outside. Herbs and lettuces are easy to grow indoors; grow fairly quickly; and add a healthy, fresh, and flavorful boost to your winter meals.
Isn’t this a clever idea? Use a length of gutter to create an indoor lettuce bed along a windowsill! (If you have cats—like we do—plant some wheatgrass to help distract them from chewing on your plants. You’ll be happier, and so will they!)
Write a Letter…by Hand
For many of us, the only times we pick up a pen is when we’re signing checks, credit card receipts, or parent permission slips for school. If winter weather is keeping you inside, take the time to connect with family and friends the old-fashioned way: through a handwritten letter. If you’re worried that your hand might cramp up prematurely, you can always ease into it by writing thank-you notes for the gifts you received over the holidays.
Go one step further and write a note to one of our many deployed servicemen and –women. Here’s a great site that offers suggestions for care packages that you can put together as well. I can guarantee you that for those serving far away from home, there’s nothing like a handwritten message and a little care package to lift their spirits!
Learn to Knit or Crochet
I’ve spent many a cozy afternoon in front of the fireplace with a crochet needle and ball of yarn in hand, and those afternoons count among my favorite winter memories. Scarves are a terrific beginner project for new knitters and crocheters. If you’re already a pro, why not churn out some warm scarves to donate to local shelters and charities? What a great way to help folks in need stay warm this winter.
If you’re not ready to commit to learning traditional knitting or crochet, you can still make cozy, chunky scarves by arm knitting! Now, I haven’t actually tried this myself, but I’ve watched a couple of tutorials and it looks pretty straightforward. Just watch the tutorial, put on a movie, and you’ll have a finished scarf by the time the credits roll. All you need is a few skeins of bulky yarn. My local Tuesday Morning always has a good selection of quality yarns at bargain prices—be sure to check out your local store!
Learn a New Language
Exercise your brain while you’re cooped up on cold, dreary days by taking up a new language. (Now is the perfect time to start if you’ve got a trip abroad planned for the summer!) It’s easier than ever to immerse yourself in another language, thanks to the Internet (for foreign language news sources and websites), satellite TV (for foreign language channels and subtitled movies), and other digital media (think language-learning mobile apps and podcasts).
Here’s a tip: search online for homeschooling resources to find low-cost and free language learning websites and tools. There are so many parents who are homeschooling their children these days, and the homeschooling community is great about sharing resources online. You may be able to find the perfect introductory course to get you started with a new language!
Create a Cocoon…
OK, it’s already hard enough to get out of bed in the mornings, without turning my bed into a blissful, warm cocoon…but I like to cozy up my bedding in the wintertime anyway, for winter weekend lounging. There’s no need to rush out to buy all new, perfectly matched bedding for the winter. Just like the sweet charm of a table set with mismatched vintage china, there’s something to be said for the appeal of mismatched layers of bedding. Add a few extra throw blankets of different textures (chunky knit, wool plaid, fleece) and oversized throw pillows and settle in for a long winter’s nap. (Check out this post I wrote this fall for some of my bedding favorites. Here’s a hint: I love anything and everything Peacock Alley!)
Even if your bedroom is carpeted, a plush faux sheepskin rug adds instant warmth and texture to your room.
Tuesday Morning had a similar rug not too long ago!
…And Hibernate for the Day
Sometimes there’s really no good way to shake off the winter blahs. On those days, stay in your favorite comfy pajamas, curl up in your bed or on your sofa, queue up a movie marathon or grab a book you’ve been wanting to read, and just hibernate for the day. That’s what winter’s all about, right?
What are your favorite things to do when it’s too cold to go out? Comment below and share your winter cabin fever cures! And don’t forget to visit our Pinterest board for more indoor activities for kids, home décor ideas, winter crafts and recipes, and more!