Hope everyone is as excited for the weekend as I am! I don’t normally look forward to as many things in the winter, but I am making a point to make my spare time meaningful and enjoyable – and to not get bogged down in the cold + dreary weather. Every year since moving to Chicago, my gal pals and I always talk about how hard the winters are here – I think winters are especially tough in any colder city, but in general this time of year can be a struggle for a lot of people. The combination of the post-holiday lack of activity, the pressure of everyone and their brother starting resolutions, and just the gloom of the winter can take a toll – and this year especially I am trying to fight that!
I’ve put together a list of all the things I am making myself do the next couple of months to really enjoy this less busy time of year, rather than hibernate and just try and wake up when it’s sunny. Hopefully my list will give you some inspiration to fight these blues too!
Be social outside of your house – This one I have to really make myself do – I am more than content to have a movie night at home with Dayon or with my friends, but I spend enough time on my couch in the winter. Heading to a happy hour, exploring a museum, or doing a spa day with your friends are great ways to get out of the house while still staying warm. Choosing activities like these require you to plan ahead, which also ensures you will actually do them! Getting out is important for me personally, because I can become a hermit very easily if I don’t make myself do things outside of the house – it’s all about pushing yourself and staying social!
Take advantage of indoor activities – This relates to my examples in the previous point, but the winter is the absolute best time to make a point to do fun indoor activities that you wouldn’t want to waste the weather on in warmer months. Go see all the movies with Oscar buzz that look interesting to you, head to the art museum, do an Escape Room with your friends, book a massage – there’s a lot out there if you do some research! Two things in Chicago that I think are really cool are the new AIRE Ancient Baths, and a simulated golfing experience (for the guys) called Play18. Both are super unique activities, and something you wouldn’t do in the spring or summer – so look for things like that where you can give yourself an excuse to try something new!
Stay active – I fell off track over the holidays and during my project switch, but I started working out in June and felt so, so much better – not just about my physical self, but about my mental self too! Life got in the way and I had to learn my way around a new city (my new project is based in Cleveland), and so I just stopped doing barre. I’ve finally gotten my bearings on my new project, and found a studio, so I am committing to 3 classes a week (for now) and getting back into the swing of things! In the cold it’s especially easy to come up with excuses to stay home – but, I always feel so much better after a workout and the endorphins are just so necessary for me this time of year. I also reward myself with new workout clothes when I stay consistent so…I’m also looking forward to a Lululemon spree in a couple of months!
Treat yourself – If any of you are like me, I spend way less money in the winter – I just don’t do as much, so there’s less to spend on. As a result, I have a little extra in my monthly budget and I think it’s a great idea to use some to treat yourself to something you normally wouldn’t. I am on a skincare kick and I have never had a facial – so, tomorrow morning I am getting my first one! It’s something that makes me happy, something I don’t normally do for myself, and something to look forward to on a weekend with not much going on. It doesn’t have to be extravagant, but doing something for yourself that’s outside the norm is a great way to give yourself something to get excited about!
Make a winter bucket list – I know this sounds really goofy, but I am a total list person so to me this seems normal! I keep a running list (organized by topic, of course) of book recommendations, movies/documentaries, restaurants, etc. that I am interested in and would like to try. Over the next few months, I’ve narrowed it down to some restaurants I haven’t had time to visit and books I haven’t had time to to sit down and read, and I’m making a point to make time for them now. Be intentional (my word for the year) with what you want you to do with your free time, and give yourself a list of things for inspiration when you’re looking for things to do!
Pick up a hobby – You can do this any time of year, but I think the winter is a great time to start since you typically have more free time now than you do in other parts of the year. This time last year is when I finally bit the bullet on starting a blog – I had the time to actually research and devote to it, and it’s been such a great thing to focus on outside of work hours – especially during this time of year. Whatever it is you’ve been thinking about trying or starting up – now is the time to give it a go!
And in case you’re interested – here’s my outfit details:
If you guys have any other ideas of things to do – I would love to hear them! Hope everyone has a great weekend!