Celebrating the Great Indoors

Socks by the Fire

With record low temperatures throughout the eastern half of the United States and snow falling as far south as Florida, many people are finding they suddenly have a lot of indoor time to fill this winter. You can curse the cold and simply endure it in front of the TV, or you can make the most of that time.

There isn’t as much going on during the winter months, meaning you’ll have lots of time to tackle household projects that got pushed aside during the other seasons. Do you have a shelf to install, a socket to rewire, or a room to paint? Now’s the time to tackle some of those indoorsy tasks.

Consider getting a head start on your spring cleaning—that’s one ever-present indoor project that doesn’t have a minimum temperature. Start with a room or a closet and sort everything in it into “keep,” “donate” and “trash” piles. Contact ClothingDonations.org to pick up the donations, and you’ll help fund veterans’ programs nationwide.

Cold weather is linked to more focused brain activity and greater productivity, so winter is a great time make plans. “Take advantage of the long, quiet, dark nights to review the past year and set relevant, challenging goals for the year ahead,” the Lifehack blog says.

You also can use your extra indoor time to start a new hobby, take a class or try out new recipes (with the bonus of warming the kitchen while you cook). There are lots of activities that can keep you entertained while you’re snowed in, Wisebread says.

There’s nothing wrong with a little hibernating, of course. Embrace the season by following the Norwegian concept of koselig: Build a fire in the fireplace, take a hot bath, make hot chocolate (or hot toddies), and pile on the blankets. Invite your friends over to share in your newfound ski-lodge sensibility.

If you just can’t take the snow and ice any longer, plan a vacation. Not only will it give you a sense of purpose, the anticipation of adventure will make the days go by faster. If you escape to a warm and sunny spot, though, be prepared for the letdown of returning to more frigid temperatures.

Whatever you choose to do with your extra time in the great indoors, simply looking at it as a gift and not a burden will help you cope with the worst that winter has to offer. Stay warm!

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