It’s just about the end of January which means you’re probably saying one of two things. Either “Phew, only one month of winter left!” or “HOW IS THERE STILL ONE MONTH OF WINTER LEFT.”

No matter your level of optimism or location in the country, winter is tough on all of us. If you’re on assignment in a colder state? Hello persistent snowfall, three-degree wind chills, and perpetual salt on your car! If you’re on assignment in a warmer state? You still have to deal with limited daytime and the looming threat of dreaded cold fronts. Not to mention that, regardless of state, seasonal affective disorder is an unwelcome foe.

But we’re here to tell you that no matter how dreary or forlorn the season may be, you can take control and shove a wagging finger in winter’s face, doing your best Dikembe Mutombo “No, no, no!” impression. How? By hunkering down and embracing the indoor lifestyle!

What fun things can you do indoors? Glad you asked! Here’s a few we would like to share.

Read books

For one, how about getting into reading? So many people have books on their shelves that they’re meaning to get into. There’s no better time to snuggle up with a good novel and a warm cup of coffee than during the wintertime. Consider including some friends, perhaps starting a virtual book club where you meet over Zoom to discuss what everyone’s reading.

Play board games

If books are too quiet and solitary, give board games a try. Did you know board games are having a bit of a renaissance right now? The medium has come a long way from Monopoly and Clue, and there’s a whole world waiting for you to discover it!

Try the popular Ticket to Ride, a game of collecting cards and cashing them in to build train routes across America. Or how about Carcassonne, where you’ll be laying tiles down like a jigsaw puzzle to build out a medieval French countryside? And don’t miss out on Codenames, a best-selling party game that challenges your word association prowess.

Modern board games can get a bad rap for seeming to be overly fiddly and complicated, but that’s simply not true. There’s plenty of easy, casual games that have burst onto the scene the past decade, and winter is a perfect time to give them a try.

Find comfy meal recipes

Last week we posted an article about the wonders of meal prepping, so let’s return to the kitchen for this next one. With the longer nights and biting cold, there’s perhaps no season where your body craves comfort food quite like winter. So, when you’re feeling those winter blues, cure them with some cozy recipes!

From winter white soup to spaghetti squash and sausage to spicy pot roast, there’s no shortage of comfy dishes to try for the first time.

Host wine tastings

Wine is a favorite drink of the winter months, particularly if it’s spiced and/or mulled. Unfortunately, winter isn’t exactly ideal for a stroll through a vineyard,

What’s an aspiring sommelier to do? Have your own wine tastings! Invite your friends (or host one virtually) to taste a batch of thoughtfully chosen wine.

An extremely helpful resource to spearhead this activity is Bright Cellars, a site where you can subscribe for monthly wine shipments. These shipments will be curated based on how you’ve rated previous wines they’ve sent, so you can make a monthly tradition of trying these wines with the people you love.

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