It’s only been a month, but I think a lot of us are pretty over winter. First there was the polar vortex, and now it’s Polar Vortex 2: Revenge of the Polar Vortex. Let’s face it, once you get past the excitement of the holidays or the fresh promises of New Year’s resolutions, the whole ‘winter’ thing can be a bit of a slog. There’s January, where it’s like “wow, it’s a bit chilly,” and then there’s February, which is just “Why is there slush everywhere?” and then March where you think maybe there’s an end in sight but the reality is pretty much always another blizzard. It’s three months of heavy coats, not wearing cute shoes lest you ruin them, and crossing your fingers everytime you go to start your car. There’s a lot of lame stuff that can make winter feel like it’s going on forever. Whether you’d like to enjoy the winter weather for what it is or avoid it entirely, there are ways to make the whole thing more bearable, if not fun!
1. Just stay in.
You know those days where you want to do absolutely nothing at all? Winter is the perfect excuse to embrace that. Forget grocery shopping, forget the gym, forget going to that party you’re not that excited about – you’re just allowed to go, “It’s too cold, I’m staying in bed with Netflix,” and no one is going to question that. You don’t have a built-in excuse like that year ’round, so enjoy it while it lasts.
2. Watch the Olympics.
I was going to tell you that you could watch the Olympics and be glad you’re not in frigid Russia, but I just checked the weather in Sochi and it’s actually warmer there than it is outside my window right now, so forget that. Weather and controversy aside, starting February 6, you can still distract yourself from the winter with the Olympics. Whether you’re into the pageantry of figure skating, the athleticism of speed skating or the insanity of people in spandex throwing themselves down very steep things (skiing, luge, bobsled, etc.), the games make for an entertaining show, available only in winter.
3. Enjoy a warm beverage.
Is there anything more soothing than a warm mug of tea or cocoa on a cold winter’s day? I think not. These beverages are all too scalding to enjoy during the summer months, so let’s live it up during the winter. Also, for those of you who are 21+, the only thing better than warm beverages are spiked warm beverages. Throw some Kahlua in your coffee or amaretto in your cocoa.
4. Apres ski without skiing.
If you wanted to do the obvious thing, you could enjoy the winter by skiing or snowboarding. For the uncoordinated of us who enjoy having our bones unbroken, I’m going to suggest you do everything but ski. Absolutely go along when your friends suggest renting a house in the mountains somewhere, but save your money on lift tickets and equipment rentals, sit in your fancy house or in the lodge, read a good book, enjoy a warm beverage, relax. If you’re feeling generous, cook something for your friends, they’ll appreciate it when the return from their day of narrowly avoiding death. Enjoy post-skiing drinks and socializing with everyone else, knowing that you’ll get to sleep in the next morning while everyone else is getting up at the crack of dawn to make the most of the fresh powder (whatever that means).
5. Stock up on scarves and other cold weather accessories.
Need motivation to go out into the cold? Sometimes a really fun hat/coat/pair of boots is all it takes. You’d look silly wearing them inside, so have something you want to show off to get you out of the house.
6. Relive your childhood.
Have a snowball fight. Build a snowman. Go sledding. Have a bowl of soup afterward to thaw yourself out like that kid in the Campbell’s commercial.
7. Spring clean in advance.
I know the idea of spring cleaning is that a fresh new season motivates you to do it, but by the time spring rolls around, I’m mostly ready to get outside and enjoy the weather. Instead, why not use the winter weather as a perfect excuse to stay in and sort through your closet or finally organize your giant stack of mail or do whatever other project you’ve been putting off? Your home will be pristine, and you’ll be free to enjoy better weather when it arrives.
8. Sit in front of a fireplace.
Is there anything more rustic and comforting than a crackling fire? There is not, and again, this is something that can truly only be appreciated in winter. So find a friend with a fireplace. Make a friend with a fireplace. Find a restaurant with a fireplace. Rent a house with a fireplace. Do what you need to do.
9. Discover a new winter sport.
Obviously winter is a great time to go skating or skiing or snowboarding. But have you considered snowshoeing? What about snow kayaking? Find a bizarre winter activity and give it a shot.
10. If all else fails, head somewhere warm.
Whether it’s an actual trip to somewhere tropical, or just a visit to the rain forest room at your local botanical garden, find somewhere that reminds you that winter will, in fact, come to an end.
Image via Shutterstock