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The Best Winter Activities to Beat Cabin Fever

Grace Lower | Dec 21, 2020

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For many people, the stretch between January and March can be summed up in two words: cold and gray. And let’s face it — this time of year can get pretty bleak.

The magic of the holiday season begins to fade. Budgets tighten back up. The chilly temperatures and oppressively gray skies make getting out from under the blankets a Herculean task. And here’s where cabin fever begins to set in.

Unless you’re one of the fortunate folks who lives in a temperate climate, there’s a good chance you’ll feel a little stir-crazy from spending day after day indoors. Rather than drowning your wintertime blues in yet another round of takeout and Netflix, why not beat cabin fever once and for all? Here are seven slump-busting ideas to help make the tail-end of winter a little bit sunnier.

1.    Hitting the slopes

If you live in an area that can sustain snow (even the fake kind), skiing and snowboarding are an ideal cure for the winter blues. The rush of adrenaline, the burst of chilly air, the long mornings in the great outdoors — it’s no wonder why so many people take a ski-trip to refresh after the holiday season. Even if you aren’t keen on playing in the snow, you can simply kick back and enjoy the view from the lodge with hot cocoa in hand.

2.    End-of-season shopping

Following the madness of Black Friday, the mall might be the last place you want to visit. But when it comes to resolving cabin fever, taking a stroll in the relative calm of a post-holiday shopping center might just do the trick. If you live near an outdoor mall, all the better! Grab a warm drink and check out some of the deals available at your favorite stores. If you went a little beyond your budget in December, don’t despair: now’s the perfect time to make returns or cash in on any gift cards you’ve received.

3.    Hosting a board game night

If you can’t take another minute in the glow of your computer screen, simply going analog for a night might give you the boost you need. Invite a few friends over for an evening of board games and snacks. Hosting doesn’t have to be difficult. Just break out childhood favorites like Clue or Life, or fresh picks, like Apples to Apples or What Do You Meme? and get everyone in on the fun. Who knows? If the night is a success, it could be the start of a brand-new tradition.

4.    Trying a group fitness class

Winter’s cold weather and hearty food can make it difficult to get moving. But for the sake of your health — both mental and physical — challenge yourself to start exercising with others. If it’s been a while since you’ve hit the gym, don’t sweat it! From kickboxing, to Zumba, to yoga, to barre, there’s bound to be a class that fits your interests and skill-level. Even if you aren’t ready to commit to a membership at a fancy gym, many libraries and community centers offer classes for free. Or get together with a few friends and follow along with a YouTube fitness channel. No matter your exercise of choice, getting active is bound to help burn off your cabin fever.

5.    Taking a mini-cation

Sometimes even a small change in scenery can make a world of difference. Take your car, bike, or preferred method of public transport, and head off to a nearby attraction. You might rent yourself a fancy hotel room in the nearest big city, spend an afternoon exploring a local conservatory, or just visit with a few friends across town. Exploring unique spaces in your own backyard can give you a greater sense of connection with where you live. You can find new favorites or rediscover old stomping grounds: there’s nothing like looking at your town, city, or state with a fresh set of eyes.

6.    Learning a new skill

Short days and extended winter evenings can make going outside a tricky feat. Rather than spending another evening scrolling through social media, why not use your downtime to learn something new? Break out your art supplies and try your hand at that DIY craft you’ve been eyeing on Pinterest. Or pop on a YouTube tutorial and see if you can’t get the hang of that latest dance craze everyone has been trying. The options are endless!

7.    Traveling someplace sunny

While getting out of your house is great for beating cabin fever, getting out of town is even better. Now’s the time to take advantage of post-holiday travel deals! With hurricane season far behind us, a trip to the Caribbean might be just what the doctor ordered. Or take a road trip to a nearby city . No matter your destination, make sure to take the necessary precautions: wearing sunscreen, drinking lots of water, and considering medical travel insurance if you’re going far from home. Most of all, stay active and have fun with the last few weeks of winter — springtime will be here before you know it!

About the Author

Grace Lower

Grace Lower has a love for all things writing and travel. When she's not exploring new places, Grace enjoys teaching English as a Second Language, making terrible puns, and running incredibly long distances at incredibly slow speeds.

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