Cold weather often seems like a great excuse to hole up at home and do nothing. Why not use it as an excuse to try something new instead? From skiing to sewing, brisk weather is the perfect backdrop. Take advantage of it before it slips away!
01. Winter Sports
We still have a couple more weeks before the winter season is over. If you enjoy the outdoors, give winter sports a whirl. Gather some friends for a day of ice skating, snowboarding, or skiing.
These may seem scary, but having a good support system makes all the difference. Start off with an experienced instructor, whether that's a professional or a friend. Yes, its cold out, but once you get started your body warms up. Proper thermals and ski socks will help you stay dry and toasty. And plan to practice in good weather conditions!
While ice skating can be tricky, it’s all about balance and leg power. Check out this basic tutorial or watch this video if you want to hit the ice. Prefer powder? Check out these beginner guides to snowboarding and skiing.
02. Knitting or Crocheting
Knitting and crocheting aren't just for Grandma. Both hobbies are on-trend (just look at Etsy!) and your creations make great gifts. They're easy, affordable, and relaxing ways to de-stress from a long and busy day.
What's the difference between the two? Some say one's faster, while the other is more fashionable. Which is which? Decide for yourself! Martha Stewart's guide will teach you all the knitting basics, while the Craft Yarn Council's guide to crocheting has easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions and illustrations.
03. Jewelry Making
Love buying statement jewelry or collecting custom-made pieces from online boutiques? Then try making your own! You can buy most of the materials at your nearest craft store or on Amazon. Check out your local Joann’s Fabrics or Michael’s for an affordable jewelry-making class. Review this advice and encouragement from All Free Jewelry Making so you aren't overwhelmed. Then visit Jewellery Makers for a comprehensive list of basic video tutorials.
04. Reading and Journaling
Ah, an English major’s favorite hobby—and my personal favorite creative outlet. Reading is the most efficient way to learn a great deal of things. And it allows you to go beyond your day-to-day thoughts. As for journaling, it allows you to document your thoughts the old-fashioned way. Pick up a book you've been meaning to read, or fill your journal by using one of these seven writing prompts for every day of the week.
05. Board Games and Puzzles
Board games help the mind to work and look at things in a different way. It’s also a fun activity for gatherings with friends and family. Our classic go-tos are Monopoly and Scrabble. But it doesn't hurt to try cult faves like Settlers of Catan or Ticket to Ride (for the less cutthroat).
06. Speaking a New Language
Always wanted to learn a new language? It’s never too late to start. Just practicing snippets from a phrase book can help you get the hang of the basics. Another affordable way to get your toes wet is by doing a language exchange with a friend who is fluent in another language. Set up a coffee date and teach each other basic phrases and grammar. DuoLingo is a free app for Android and iPhone that turns learning a language into a fun game; use it to make the most of your commute. Find yourself hankering for more? Invest in a language program like Rosetta Stone or the more affordable online program Babbel. Or take classes at your local community college.
07. Painting and Drawing
From watercolor to oil, painting is a visual and emotional outlet. The same holds true for drawing—even the simplest doodles can be a breath of fresh air. Arty Factory is a free resource for a variety of methods like pen-and-ink drawings and portrait painting.
It’s one of the most popular hobbies of our time—like journaling but a more public approach. Start off with joining free domains such as Blogger or Wordpress. Blogging topics can range from fashion to food and DIY. Pick something you're already passionate about! From content planning to design, Skillshare contains a wealth of classes from well-reviewed and sought-out bloggers. Consider joining blogging communities to meet like-minded bloggers, get ideas, and drive traffic.
09. Flower Arranging
If you can't wait to enjoy flowers outside, bring them inside! Adding a lovely piece to your mantel or coffee table can enhance your mood on dreary days. Or create a pretty bouquet to surprise friends and family. Check out these Martha Stewart tutorials for the secrets of flower-arranging and creating natural arrangements.
10. Food Decorating
Food presentation makes a great impression at any party or gathering at home. Food decorating ranges from large platters to lunch on the go. Try the art of Japanese bento-making with recipes and inspiration from the adorable Little Miss Bento. Or explore Craftsy for affordable online classes, including food gifts and cake decorating.
Warm weather will come faster than you know it. In the meantime, learning one of these hobbies will have you hoping winter won't end too soon.