Top Ten Things I Do To Combat the Winter Blues

Photo courtesy of Unsplash.

If you’re anything like me, you have a strong distaste for winter — specifically being stuck inside for months on end. Don’t get me wrong, the first few snow falls are fun, but after that it’s just cold, dark and depressing. Every winter I try to find something new to do inside to kill some time and bring me some serotonin during the long winter months New York has to offer. Here are my top ten ways I kill time indoors during the winter.

10) Reading

I am one of the biggest book worms of all time. I go through periods (especially in the winter) where I read two to three books a week to help escape the reality of being trapped in my house. I find that the best books to read in the winter are those that take place somewhere completely different from my location, like a nice warm beach somewhere, so I can imagine myself soaking up the sun with the other characters. I have a few dozen books I purchased throughout the year that I saved for the upcoming winter nights that I am so excited to finally read. Even though I’ve heard some of them will make me want to rip my heart out of my chest, I still can’t wait to read them.

9) Christmas Shopping for your Friends

Christmas is hands down the best holiday and Christmas season is one of the only parts of winter I actually enjoy. Between all the festive store displays and holiday movies, Christmas never fails to make me smile. One of my favorite parts about Christmas is searching for the perfect gift for my loved ones. I pride myself on being a good gift giver. I spend hours at a time searching the web for the perfect gift for everyone around me. However, my toxic trait is that I spend so much time looking for the perfect gift only to find it and get so excited about it I tell the person what it is. I recently found a perfect gift for my boyfriend, got too excited about it and immediately told him what it was. He loved it (obviously) but now he’s upset because I told him I was switching it because I wanted it to be a surprise. We’ll see how that goes.

8) Making Completely Unrealistic yet Aesthetically Pleasing Christmas Slideshows

Another one of my toxic traits I discovered when I was bored in my high school marketing class is making unrealistic Christmas slideshows for the fun of it. Slideshows you may wonder? Yes, absolutely. I make a 20 slide minimum slideshow that includes a title screen, table of contents, hyperlinks, pictures and more that I present to my family every year before Black Friday. I make everyone sit down in the living room while I click through my slideshow and suggest what I think are good gifts. I will say I have matured and there is now a section dedicated to ‘unrealistic gifts I would love to receive’ which includes gifts like a puppy, a car and a vacation to Bora Bora. If you think I’m over the top, take a look at my little brother’s slideshow (yes, I convinced him to make one every year and we FaceTime to make them together even when I’m at school).

7) Binge Watching 

There’s something special about curling up under a fuzzy blanket to binge watch your favorite shows while the snow is falling all around you. My go-tos are usually Friends, the Office and the Mandalorian.

6) Baking

Everyone has a different reaction to stress — mine is baking. As soon as I have a project to do or something that requires my undivided attention, it’s suddenly time to make chocolate covered strawberries and homemade chocolate chip cookies. This is a habit of mine that my family, specifically my brothers, actually enjoy. I’ve made brownies, cake, cookies and chocolate covered everything to procrastinate my actual work. Does it work? No. Will I keep doing it? Absolutely.

5) Planning Fake Vacations

When the weather is really terrible, the thing that will temporarily cheer me up is planning a vacation that will never happen. Last winter, I planned a two week trip to Florida with my friends where we made stops at Disney and Universal, rented a car and drove across the state to hit a bunch of different beaches and restaurants and ended with us hopping on a plane to the Bahamas. The only time my organizational skills emerge are when I’m planning a vacation somewhere.

4) Annoying My Siblings

What happens when you stick a girl and her four brothers inside a house all winter with nothing to do and nowhere to go? A lot of quality time! In all seriousness, being stuck inside with my siblings and forcing them to hang out with me always brings a smile to my face. Usually, I end up playing Minecraft with my little brother for hours at a time until my eyes feel like they’re going to burn out of my head. It also means making waffles for breakfast in the mornings and annoying our parents together as a unit.

3) Going to Basketball Games

Speaking of my brothers, going to different games at all times of the year is something I try to do as often as I can. That being said, all of the winter games I attended/watch online are basketball games. I love going and cheering for their team and watching them play. Now that four out of the five children in my family are in college, watching games every weekend is something I’ve missed this year. But don’t worry, I still tune in to watch my boyfriend’s basketball games every weekend and there’s plenty of baseball coming up in the spring.

2) Working Out

As an athlete myself, the winter is my off season — meaning I don’t have any mandatory practices or games. That being said, winter is also right after the end of my season so I’m in really good shape heading inside. I try to go to the gym or do workouts at home as often as I can so I can continue to feel healthy and strong and so I won’t be starting from scratch fitness wise in the spring. Some of my favorite at home workouts are workouts I found on YouTube — specifically those by Madfit because she gives helpful pointers on form and does everything with you so you feel less alone.

1) Self Care

Spending so much time indoors without sunshine ruins my mood 95% of the time. Taking care of myself helps me feel better and more put together. The most important part of self care is listening to your body. Sometimes my self care is doing a workout and taking a long shower. Sometimes it’s laying in bed until noon not talking to anyone because I simply can’t that day. Sometimes it’s surrounding myself with my family. No matter what your self care looks like day to day, listening to your body goes a long way both physically and mentally. You can’t take care of anyone else until you take care of yourself.

About Kyra Russo 26 Articles
Kyra Russo is a second-year journalism major from East Greenbush, New York. This is her second semester as a copy-editor on the Oracle. Besides the newspaper, she is on the women’s soccer team at SUNY New Paltz and participates in the Rising Hawks leadership program.