20 Ways to Stay Busy and Positive During the Winter

January is a rough month. The celebrations are over and suddenly I find that there isn’t anything exciting or fun to look forward to on my schedule. It’s cold, snowy, and dark for the majority of the day. It seems I’m moving less and less each week. I needed to figure out a way to help me get through this time of year. So, I started compiling a list of things to help me get out of the funk and stay positive even when it is only January. I hope you can find some inspiration from this list too and use it to reinvigorate your winter.

1. Try something new each week. Schedule it on your calendar and commit. Not sure what to do? Check out #2-20.

2. Try out a new fitness class/activity. What have you been really wanting to try for months now? A yoga class? Crossfit? Indoor rock climbing? Snowshoeing/snowboarding? Maybe even checking out the November Project on Facebook/Twitter and meeting up with a great group of people in the morning for a free workout!

3. Go to a museum and check out a new exhibit.

4. Laugh until your face hurts at a Comedy Club.

5. Attend a cooking class. Whole Foods offers classes as well as your local health food store.

6. Make a new recipe each week.

7. Plan a road trip over a long weekend to visit a friend or explore a city you love.

8. Entertain! Have a get together with friends or family for the heck of it.

9. Play a new game–this can be combined with #8. I’ve been dying to play Cards Against Humanity.

10. Read a new book each month or join a book club.

11. Learn something new. Check out free online courses at coursera.org and pursue a passion.

12. Finally take on that Pinterest project. What better way to pass the hours inside than taking on a new art project?

13. Try out a new restaurant you’ve been hearing rave reviews for or go to a new-to-you ethnic restaurant.

14. Explore podcasts on iTunes. I absolutely love podcasts and the selection out there is incredible. Whatever your hobby/interest, there will be a podcast for you. If you love listening to people tell their story, check out This American Life podcast.

15. Get inspired with new blogs! One of my favorite blogs right now is naturallyella.com. Her recipes have never let me down and her photography is stunning.

16. Feel stuck in a rut and want to meet new friends with the same interests? I’ve heard great things about meetup.com.

17. Go to the movies! It’s award season after all and there are plenty of options out there as well as some great new movies coming next month. Check out movieinsider.com for all the details. I’m looking forward to “The Monuments Men.”

18. Sign up for a spring race! 5k, 10k, half marathon, marathon, mud runs, spartan races-there is something for everyone, even if running isn’t your thing. Signing up with a group from work or with friends can be a lot of fun and help you stay motivated through the cold months.

19. Discover new music and make a new playlist. I love songza.com and spotify for checking out new artists and music. Sometimes the only thing getting me through a workout is my playlist.

20. Rearrange a room in the house and/or clean out the closets/pantries/cupboards, etc. This is no small task and will most likely keep you occupied for several hours, and depending how big the job is, days maybe. However, the pay off will be well worth it. There are some great deals on containers and organizers at Target, TJMaxx/Marshalls, and The Container Store. I don’t know about you, but organizing and arranging always helps me relax and creates a sense of accomplishment.

I hope this list inspires you to try something new during the winter months! Happy January!

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