How To Enjoy Winter – 20 Ideas For Fun With No Sun

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With cold temperatures, freezing rain, ice, snow, high winds, and the lack of sunlight, winters can be very dull. Many are forced to stay indoors, isolate, bundle up, and wait till the winter season is over. For some, this won’t matter. For others, however, this can cause lethargy and a feeling of being down – or otherwise known as winter blues. 

Winter means snow, ice, and cold temperatures. It’s time to bundle up in a winter coat or sweater and enjoy the winter weather. Here are some great ideas on how to enjoy winter.

Do You Have The Winter Blues? Learn How To Enjoy Winter Season

If the colder and darker days of winter make you feel unusually unhappy, fatigued, unable to focus, and have trouble sleeping, then you may be having the winter blues. But don’t worry, you’re not alone. This mood change during the cold season is common.

Many people feel sadness during this time, and there’s nothing wrong with that. There’s just something about winter that’s gloomy and depressing. The reason behind this is the lack of sunlight.

During the winter months, you’ll usually leave home while it’s dark. You will then spend the whole day in the office, with no or closed windows, and come home – again, in the dark. If you’re working or staying at home, going outdoors may not be an option since it tends to get dark earlier. All these can affect your disposition and push you towards having winter blues. 

The good news is, you can take action and beat winter blues before it starts to get serious and turn into Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). This is a severe type of depression, which can affect all aspects of your life, including your work and personal relationships. So while you can’t change the weather or force the sun to come out, you must take the necessary steps to make yourself feel better. To do that, here are 20 ideas on how to enjoy winter and beat your winter blues. 

20 Ideas For Fun With No Sun

1. Cook Up

If you love cooking, have the talent to create delicious dishes, or have always wanted to try it but never did, then here’s your chance. Take advantage of the cold weather and extra time in your hands to learn some new recipes. You can perfect your chili recipe and impress your guests at your next party. You can also try some new soups and stews that can keep you warm throughout the season. 

When thinking of your next dish, remember to keep a balanced diet. Those who experience winter blues crave carbohydrates and sugary foods. While you can indulge in chocolates, bread, and pasta now and then, don’t forget to include vegetables and plenty of fresh fruit. 

Try to incorporate foods that are high in vitamin D as well. This can include fish oil and fatty fish. Also, consume vitamin D-fortified foods such as yogurt, cereals, orange juice, and milk. All these can help balance your mood and reduce the risk of depression. See, according to a study, people who are at risk of depression may also be at risk for vitamin D deficiency. 

2. Hit the Stores

Enjoy shopping and want to get out of the cold? Try going to the nearest mall and hit your favorite local stores. Usually, the holiday season brings the biggest sales on everything, from kitchen appliances to toys and clothing. This is perfect to get your holiday shopping done, and it’s great for getting you out of the house. 

3. Keep Active

A study from the American Psychological Association (APA) suggests that exercise and physical outdoor activities can boost your mood, reduce stress, and decrease the symptoms of depression. That said, being active is another way to have fun and get over your seasonal slump. It can also help target the specific effects of a lack of sunlight. 

So if you’ve had a hard and stressful day, consider going outdoors and run even for a few minutes. This can change the mood-regulating chemical serotonin in your brain, making you feel better immediately afterward. You’ll also have a pleasant change of scenery and maybe even meet new people along the way. Just don’t forget to wear your winter running essentials. This includes your base layer, headband or beanie, running jacket, socks, and pants or tights. You should also get a good pair of thin gloves, like the Smartwool Merino Sports Training Gloves.

Don’t enjoy running? You can try aerobics, yoga, strength training, and other fitness activities. Or if you want, you can also just take a walk.

4. Start a Gratitude Journal

Being wrapped up in stress, sadness, and fear can cause you to lose sight of all the good things in your life. So to remind yourself and to pull yourself from feeling down and blue, start a journal where you can list everything you are grateful for. You can begin by listing five things every day, then 10, and then maybe even more.

Can’t think of things to write in your gratitude journal? Well, start small. Did you just enjoy a delicious cup of hot cocoa? Write that. Is your plant still alive? or maybe you just received a heart whelming text from a friend you haven’t seen in a long time? Remember, there’s always something to be thankful for.

To make it more enjoyable, you can decorate and personalize your journal – like a scrapbook. Yes, scrapbooking is still a thing, and it’s fun. You can add photos, a few stickers, and maybe even glitter if you’re feeling a little extra. 

5. Go Hiking

Hiking during winter is a different experience. The beautiful white snow covers trails, paths, trees, and everything around you, giving you a picturesque view that will surely take your breath away. Trails are also usually quieter, more peaceful, and serene during this time. So you’ll have the perfect environment to think and reflect on what you’re going through.  

Hiking is also a form of exercise. It can help boost your immune system, alleviate the symptoms of SAD, and reduce that feeling of anxiety that comes with winter. You can also use this chance to spend time with your friends or family and reap all the benefits of breathing fresh air. 

Winter hiking is proof that snow can be fun – that is if you have the right clothes. So make sure you get the right clothes before heading for the trails. This includes your hat, gloves, a winter hiking jacket, and your technical layers. For your base layer, consider merino wool as this is better at keeping you warm without overheating. Don’t have one yet?

Try the Icebreaker Merino Oasis Long Sleeve for men or the Smartwool Base Layer Top for women.

6. Build a Fire

Whether it’s outdoors or indoors, there’s nothing quite like cozying up by the fire with friends, family, and loved ones during winter. If you like, you can also do it on your own. Building a fire is perfect for escaping freezing temperatures. To make it more fun, you can make s’mores, read a book, socialize, or drink wine. 

7. Start Baking

According to a study published in the Smithsonian Magazine, doing small and creative projects like baking can help you feel happier and more enthusiastic about your tasks the next day. It can also give you an accomplished feeling and make you feel good about yourself.

So why not take this time to start baking again? Not only will it fill your home with a beautiful and delicious aroma, but you can also enjoy some sweet treats after.

8. Play Some Board Games

Board games are always fun during bad weather and when you can’t go outside. It gives you a chance to bond and share laughter between friends, family, or loved ones. So this winter, consider scheduling a game night and if you’re feeling competitive, have a tournament. 

Tired of your old board games? Try Ravensburger Disney Villainous. It features the Disney villains you love, and it’s perfect for families. If you’re all adults, check out the Adult Loaded Questions and prepare to laugh out loud. 

9. Feel Better with a Face Mask

Self-care is always a good idea, no matter the season. But if you hit that winter slump, it’s easy to forget. So this time, try to enjoy some much-needed self-care by burning your favorite scented candle and applying some face masks. This will not only make you feel better but will also hydrate your face and replenish your winter-ravaged skin. 

Don’t know which face masks to try? We suggest the Mary Kay TimeWise Repair Lifting Bio-Cellulose MaskBurt’s Bees Hydrating Sheet Mask, or Kiehl’s Rare Earth Deep Port Cleansing Masque

10. Plan Your Next Get-Together

Planning a party can be a fun experience when you can’t go out. It can make you feel like you’re in control and on top of things. Plus, you get to talk to your friends or those who you want to invite. 

11. Hit the Slopes

Snowboarding and skiing are among the best ways on how to enjoy the outdoors in winter. Just avoid bad clothing to prevent accidents and injuries while doing these winter sports. Along with your long underwear, top, wool socks, jacket, and pants, you should also have reliable winter gloves or mittens.

In case you don’t have one yet or looking to replace an old one, we recommend the Hestra Army Leather Heli Ski Classic 3-Finger Gloves for both men and women. For more dexterity, you can go with the Hestra Army Leather Heli Classic 5-Finger Snow Gloves instead. 

12. Go Sledding 

Can’t hit the slopes? No problem. You can go sledding or tubing instead. 

Sledding or tubing is one of the most fun and easiest ways to enjoy cold winter days. Just find the best hill in your area and sled away. This will make you feel like a kid again and hopefully make you feel better. 

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13. Go Winter Camping

Aside from getting fresh air and being able to go outdoors, winter camping gives you that unique tranquil moment and setting. Just imagine being surrounded by beautiful snow-covered landscapes, starry nights, and winter silence. You can enjoy a warm fire, share stories, and have the campground or park all to yourself. Even your coffee or hot cocoa will taste better when camping in cold weather. 

14. Go Stargazing

Stargazing is one of our favorite things to do during winter nights. This is because the sky is clearer during this time. Thus, making stars seem brighter. So if you can muster up the courage to face the cold, and if you have the right gears, we suggest going out and just gaze up at the black sky full of stars. You might see Orion, Sirius, Cassiopeia, Taurus, and maybe a meteor shower. If you’re really lucky, you may even get a glimpse of the northern lights, a.k.a the aurora borealis.

When you go stargazing, you can relieve your stress, spark your creative side, and reconnect with nature. You can also use this opportunity to go outdoors and spend some quality time with your family. 

15. Childhood Throwback

For snowy winters, and if you’re feeling up to it, consider building a snowman. This will take you back to your childhood, make you go outdoors, and just enjoy the season. You can also build a snowman with your family to make the moment more memorable and fun.

While you’re at it, why not make some snow angels? Better yet, try to throw some snowballs too, and engage in an all-out snowball war. See, you’re never too old to enjoy playing with snow during winter. 

16. Visit Museums

Winter is the perfect time to visit museums. It’s a great way to get out of the house, escape the cold temperature outdoors, and see something new. It might also get you into the artsy-fartsy spirit and inspire you to work on your art and hobby. 

17. Try Ice Fishing

Keep yourself preoccupied this winter by trying something new – like ice fishing. This popular cold-weather sport is relaxing and gives you that quiet time you need. If you’re good at it, ice fishing can also give you your dinner. 

18. Unplug

If the news, current events, and social media add to your winter blues and anxiety, then take the time to unplug. Turn off the television, phone, radio, and everything that stresses you out. Instead, you can try a crossword puzzle, Sudoko, or reading a book. You can also try coloring books for adults. Not only will these activities give you peace of mind and help give you that positive wintertime mindset, but they can also be a lot of fun. 

19. Go Ice Skating

Get your skates ready, lace up, and put your ice skating skills to the test. This is a fun activity that you can do outdoors or indoors and with friends or family. Again, make sure you get your winter wardrobe right to avoid freezing. 

20. Plan Your Summer Vacation

If you really don’t want to go outside and hate the cold, then there’s only one thing left for you to do: start planning your summer vacation. Just forget everything about winter and focus on what you want to do after it. See which dates you’ll be available, choose a destination, and check your budget. 

Planning your summer vacation as early as now is a huge advantage since you’ll be fully prepared later on. It also saves you from worrying about finding a room and booking expensive tickets. More importantly, it gives you something to look forward to. 

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