While it might have been chilly for the last couple of weeks, today is officially the first day of winter. Even if cold weather isn't your thing (same), there's something so cozy and magical about this season that it could warm the heart of any winter Scrooge.
To celebrate the beginning of the season, we compiled a bucket list of ideas to do on the winter solstice and beyond. And for those who are cold-averse, you'll be happy to know that you don't even have to leave your home for a lot of these. Happy wintry season!
If you're lucky enough to have a fireplace, then you've got to bask in the warmth. There's nothing like lighting a fire, enjoying a warm drink, and taking it easy. And if you don't have a fireplace, light a candle instead.
2. Read a Book
Elizabeth Strout Olive, Again ($16)
If you're going to be hibernating inside, why not pick up a new book (or an old favorite you like to read over and over)?
This is the perfect time to get out that Instant Pot or Crock-Pot or casserole dish and make something warm and comforting. Homemade chicken noodle soup, anyone?
Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus ($120)
4. Start a New (Indoor) Hobby
Loopy Mango My First Scarf Knitting Kit ($84)
I don't know about you, but winter makes me antisocial. All I want to do is hang out at home. So I think it's the perfect time to pick up a new hobby. Even if you're still planning on being social over the winter season, it's still the opportune moment to try something new. What about knitting a chunky scarf for when you eventually do have to go outside? Or finally learning guitar?
While hibernation is so tempting, you've got to go outside once in a while. The weather can be cruel sometimes, but for the days when you can step outside without the fear of frostbite, it's nice to take a stroll and take in the crisp air. And if you live somewhere with snow, it's even more magical.
Ice skating, skiing, snowboarding, sledding—the winter activities are endless. And even if you live in a warmer climate, you can still take part—there are always indoor skating rinks.
7. Bring Out All Your Cozy Blankets
West Elm Faux Fur Ombre Throw ($199)
If you haven't already, make a linen swap. Bring out all your warm blankets, flannel sheets, and that thick robe you put away during the summer season.
A nice, warm bath after a chilly day is the most calming experience ever. Grab a glass of wine, a book, light a candle, and get ready for some serious self-care.
Herbivore Botanicals Calm Bath Salts ($18)
9. Indulge in Aromatherapy
UrPower Essential Oil Diffuser ($20)
Essential oils have so many benefits, like stress and anxiety relief, improved sleep, and an energy and mood lift. Put a few drops of your favorite blend in a diffuser when you're home and want to relax.
Ah, my favorite part of hibernation. A good afternoon nap feels so comforting, and it's made even cozier with chunky-knit or faux-fur blankets.
Whether it's a show you've seen over and over or a new series everyone is talking about, binge-watching is a great hibernation-season activity. Invite some friends over for a movie marathon or series viewing.
Don't feel like going out? Get your friends to come to you with the promise of snacks and drinks and fun. A board game night could be fun, or a movie marathon like above. A dinner party or potluck is another good option.
If you have the winter blues or feel bored, get your mind off things by planning your next trip or adventure. It'll give you something to look forward to.
Every season is a season to give back. Use this opportunity to donate old clothes, books, furniture, etc., to people in need.
This can also get your mind off the winter blues. Plus, winter is not all about hibernating at home and avoiding interaction with others. Look up some new volunteer opportunities and donate your time and talents.
Live your life like you're on The Great British Bake Off. If you find yourself spending more time at home, try a new recipe or bake your famous chocolate chip cookies.
17. Do a Childhood Activity
Johanna Basford Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book ($10)
Winter can stir up some fond, nostalgic memories. Relive some of your favorite childhood moments by doing something you loved to do as a kid. Get a coloring book, do an old-school craft, go sledding, make hot cocoa and cookies with your family—whatever makes you feel good.
Anthropologie Monogram Journal ($13)
A change in season might be the opportune time to collect your thoughts and write them down. Or it might be the perfect reason to start dreaming up big ideas if you're feeling inspired.
19. Organize Your Closet
AmazonBasics Velvet Suit Hangers ($23)
Now's the time to get those bulky sweaters and coats out and put those sundresses away. And isn't it just so therapeutic and calming to see a truly organized closet that Marie Kondo would be proud of?
20. Update Your Winter Skincare Routine
iS Clinical Pro-Heal Serum Advance Plus ($148)
The wintry season can really do a number on your skin. Treat yourself to some new products to combat any skin issues, or add an extra step to your routine.
If it's too cold to hit the gym or studio, squeeze in a workout at home. You can try an app, or just pull up a YouTube video for some inspiration.
This article originally appeared on The Thirty
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