I deliberately did not title this: Ways to Pass the Time in Winter, because I do not see that as the goal.
Time is not something we should wish to speed up, it goes by just fine on it's own.
I do however recognize that winter can be a difficult time for some people, especially those with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Although winter can at times be something that we wish for to pass, I find it to be a wonderful time of year for reflection, goal setting, tackling projects that seem to have gotten away from you previously, and all around growth. It is a time where whether we like it or not, tend to have to spend most of our time indoors. That is not healthy long term, but I find that with the right mindset, winter can be a great time of rejuvenation and quite enjoyable. Here are some ideas for things to do over winter:
Give Back - Look for ways to get involved in your community. Whether that is volunteering for a soup kitchen, or keeping an eye out for someone who you may be able to help out on a one on one level, after a season packed with materialism, it is refreshing to get back to what truly matters.
Engage Your Mind - There are so many ways to do this, but reading is certainly tops. Choose a genre that you generally gravitate to, or branch out and something new. Regardless, reading is a great way to captivate your mind that does not rely on a screen. Or, although technically requiring a screen (but only for a brief time), Podcasts are a great way to engage your mind and learn new things. Listen while driving, doing chores around the house, or going through your morning regime.
Get Active - Just because it is cold and dark by the time you get home from work does not rule out exercise. My favorite exercises actually require very little equipment. Just YouTube, a yoga matt, and 2 kettle bells. Exercise is not only great for your physical health, but mental health as well.
Try Something New - Is there a restaurant you have never been to but always wanted to try? Now is a great time to check it out. Although it will be dark out, having an outing can always brighten things up. Not wanting to go out? Now is a great time to try out one of those many recipes on your Pinterest board that you always wanted to try.
Plan an Adventure - Travel is one of my favorite things in this world. Come up with some plans to go on an adventure. It may be as simple as a day trip, a weekend getaway, or a week or more trip to a farther destination. Having something to look forward to is always a mood booster and helps create anticipation.
Refresh - This could be your diet, your lifestyle, your hair, clothes, or décor. But doing a refresh can make things feel new again, and that is always a good feeling.
Get Your Hands Dirty - Engage your creative side and get your hands dirty. It can be anything from trying to learn to knit, or paint, taking a class, or going to a DIY studio. But being creative will help engage your mind in different ways than you normally do, and no matter what your creation turns out like, it feels good to try.
Find Reasons to Celebrate - Is there something that you can celebrate? It could be something like a raise at work, or even speaking up for yourself, breaking a bad habit. If you can find a reason to celebrate, do so! It doesn’t have to cost any money. It could simply mean making hot chocolate and watching your favorite movie. But doing something outside of the ordinary and trying it to a success for accomplishment is a sure way to brighten your day.
Enjoy the Simple Things - Do you really enjoy a freshly ground cup of coffee? Why not make that something that you do each evening? Look for ways that you can easily incorporate things that bring you joy into your daily life. For me that means dark chocolate every single night.