Winter’s Always been A Challenge But This Year…

Winter Checklist

It’s that time of year again. Winter is upon us and with the year we’ve just had, we could all probably use a little bit of festivity in the air. However, whether it’s a season you love or hate, there are always things that can make it that little bit better. It may be darker and colder outside, so, if you find yourself at a bit of a loss for what to do on those days when you just can’t face the thought of venturing out, then this is the list for you.

Make a scrapbook of your fave memories of the year – Okay so it may have been a strange year, but it’s also been a year filled with creativity for many. Being stuck at home meant we all had to find fresh ways of entertaining ourselves and there’s bound to be some leftover remnants of that to fill a scrapbook. So, get your pictures, stories, jokes and basically any moments that represent the highlights of what is sure to be one of your oddest years yet. Not only is it a great way of compiling a year, but it’s also a great little tool for mindfulness that is sure to keep you absorbed for some time.

Make a homemade hot chocolate (the crazier flavour, the better) – Sometimes, when it’s freezing outside, all we want to do is simply enjoy the comforts of a cosy home. However, winter may also have us craving that festive favourite at the local Starbucks, what to do? Well, how about creating your own version. Think raspberry, think mint, think marshmallows, bananas, strawberries, caramel …. I’m sure you get the idea. Basically, all you need is your base of hot chocolate (or coffee) and then make your flavoured mixture, mix the two, and voila, your very own flavoursome hot drink for you to enjoy, without the risk of frostbite to get it.

Watch a made for tv Christmas movie (Christmas24 channel has you covered) – Ahh, Christmas movies, with their quaint little towns, impeccably decorated houses and feel-good plots, is there anything better to put you in that festive spirit? (maybe, but this is definitely a good start). Christmas24 channel has your back for your Christmas countdown, with these festive delights starting now (actually October, go figure!) and yes, playing them 24 hours a day so there is sure to be no shortage of yuletide fun. And who knows, it may also give you some inspiration for some Christmas baking as there is bound to be at least one movie about the local Christmas cookie competition (or something to that effect).

Make your New Year’s resolutions by the Netflix fireplace (or a real one if you have one) – With the end of the year approaching, it’s that time again to start thinking about a fresh start. We all might think passing thoughts about what we want to do next year but how about getting a pen and paper, sticking on the fireplace (incredibly relaxing), assuming you don’t have a real one of course, and start jotting down some New Year’s resolutions. And if you want to get really extra, maybe you could even start making up a schedule of how you plan to stick to them, so it won’t be just another one or two-month success.

Make homemade Christmas cards – Why not let your creative side out this Winter by making handmade Christmas cards for friends and family. It’s a chance to let your artistic style run wild and there’s plenty of inspiration online to help you get started. While being a nice little surprise for those nearest and dearest, it can be also be a handy money-saver, after all, every penny counts, especially as a student. Maybe stick on some Christmas tunes to set the mood and have some fun with this one. And, you never know, you might find a hidden talent, making it not just a Christmas task.

Spend the day visiting sunnier locations through virtual videos on YouTube – Due to lack of holiday options this past Summer, it’s fair to say we are probably all a little sun-starved. However, thanks to a growing trend of virtual videos, we can now jet off to brighter locations from the comforts of our own home. How does strolling around a Mediterranean resort sound or possibly venturing through a California forest? Well, thanks to the internet, there’s now an abundance of places to visit, all you need is your screen and a little help from your imagination to block out that couch in the corner, or better yet, a virtual headset for a truly immersive experience.

Complete a giant jigsaw puzzle – Ever felt that little pang of jealousy when watching a child totally absorbed in every task they do? How nice it is to be totally present in the moment, a gift that seems to get more difficult with age. However, there are still some ways that can give you that little bit of help. With the weather getting colder, and, in turn, less desire to venture out, it leaves room for some more mindful type activities, aka, the jigsaw. And why not challenge yourself, the bigger and more complex, the better. I’m sure, before you know it, you’ll be wondering where the time went.

Have a games night – Whether it’s an old fashioned boardgame like Monopoly, a classic like Charades or one that risks a feud like Tension, Cards Against Humanity or If You Had To (might need a drinkl for the last two!), invite some friends round, set out the snacks and have yourself a good ol’ games night. What better way to unwind after a tough week of work or study than a bit of healthy competition? And often, the more competitive, the better. So, even if you’ve never hosted one before, it’s never too late to start as they are simply just a great opportunity for some laughter and bonding time between friends and family.

Select your fave trilogy and have a movie marathon – Sometimes we all need a little escapism and what better way to do that than to absorb yourself in another world for not just one, but three movies. How about a little time travelling action in the Back to the Future series (Back To The Future the musical is out next Summer so that’s another excuse to get reaquainted)? or spend some time with Caesar and his ape family, courtesy of the Planet of the Apes trilogy, or if it’s a little romance you’re looking for, you can get swept away in the saga of Bella and Edward in the Twilight films. So, go grab yourself a bowl of popcorn, get comfy on the couch and settle in for a day at the movies.

by Rachel Salveta