I’m pretty sure those of you who live in warm climates are sick of hearing about this but here in the Northeast, it’s motherfucking cold. Not like the cold in a movie theater (seriously, why do they do that?) or a conference room during a business meeting (again, why do they do that?) but so cold your fingers and nose and ears burn at even the thought of going outside, 45 layers won’t keep you warm enough, and your heater is slowly approaching temperatures only found at the equator.
I guess what I’m saying is that it’s Canada cold. Or Alaska cold. Or Midwest prairie cold.
It completely sucks and kudos to those who live in places where it’s regularly like this.
Anyway, because it’s turn your tears to icicles cold in my part of the world, I’ve been stuck inside. Which doesn’t really bother me because I’m as close to a hermit as you can get without people being worried but still, after awhile, even I contemplate going outside. Which I then think better of because frozen tundra. And then I’m left wondering, after 4 straight days with close to no hope of leaving any time soon, what do I do next?
So I sat down to make a list. Because of course I did. Because I love lists. And since I love to share my lists, here’s what I came up with of some of the things to do when you’re locked into vacancy:
- Read. Did you doubt this would be first? There is nothing better to do than read. And if you’re stuck in the house, the best way to escape is through a book. This is the perfect time to tackle the stack of unread books on your nightstand, pour through the dozens of links and blog posts you’ve been hoarding saving, dive into that extra long book you’ve been keeping for the day you can finally get to it, plow through the stack of magazines or clean up your eReader. There’s never any shortage of reading materials. And this can keep you busy for hours and hours. Especially if you combine it with naps.
- Watch TV. I know those who are adamant that TV is a waste of time will disagree with me but I believe you can still be productive even with the television on. When you’re in the house, why not go through your DVR’d shows, start that show on Netflix you’ve been meaning to check out (here’s a helpful list if you need suggestions), or take some time to watch a classic movie or rewatch one of your favorites. Like books, TV and movies can be a good escape.
- Be creative. Tired of reading and watching TV? I get it. It happens. And when it does, why not take an hour or so to color or paint a picture, write a short story or blog post, knit or crochet, try a new makeup look or hairstyle, sew, put together a scrapbook page, choreograph a dance, cook a new recipe, have a whole conversation in movie lines or song titles/lyrics, anything else you can think of that will get your creativity flowing and keep you busy. Keeping your mind occupied is a surefire way to stave off boredom and forget that you’re confined to your home.
- Move. I mean, not your home or possessions but your body. Spending all that time on the couch or in a chair, while comfortable, can sometimes make your cranky and achy and kind of fussy. I know it can for me. So, when that happens, why not take 30 minutes to exercise? You can do a workout DVD, following along to a YouTube video, find an at-home workout on Pinterest, have a dance party or even make up your own. Just get yourself moving a little bit. It’ll help stave off boredom, keep your mood lifted, and you won’t feel like a big sluggish lump. And then you’ll also feel less guilty about the 230436 cookies you ate because your winter weight is helping to keep you warm, dammit. PSA: don’t forget to do this with your pets as well, especially if you have dogs. They’re most likely used to a couple of daily walks and when it’s this cold, they can’t get that activity either. Try playing a game of fetch with them indoors, if you have the space or just find some way to help them burn off some energy.
- Spend time with your family. If you live with people, why not use your home confinement as a way to bond with them? You can have a family game night, do Mad Libs, have actual conversations, tell stories, take some of the creativity you exercised earlier and have a showcase (talent show, art gallery, etc) where you all get dressed up and pretend it’s fancier than it actually is, sit down to a meal together, or whatever it is that your family likes to do. If you live alone, you can still connect with your family and friends via all the available methods like Facetime and text and phone calls. Just stay connected. Or, if you hate your family, you can figure out all the ways you can creatively avoid them.
- Plan. One way I get out of my own head and away from the misery of subzero temperatures is to plan all the fun things I’ll do when it’s warmer. I like to plan our spring and summer day trips and vacations, check out which baseball games I’ll buy tickets to, who I want to be sure we visit, what we’re going to do to the outside of the house (flower beds and outside lighting and the garden and what our patio is going to look like once we build it) and doing some online window shopping for spring and summer clothes. Thinking about the warmer weather, and indulging my fantasies about it, makes the ice age I’m living in that much more bearable.
- Chores. Okay, so this is last on the list for a reason. Chores suck. But if you’re stuck inside, this is a great time to dust and vacuum and do laundry and pay bills and sort the junk mail and put away the dishes and organize the pantry and write the grocery list and menu plan and go through your closets and all the other things we wish we had time to do but other things are more fun to do when you have free time. This is a great time to get this stuff done and not have them hanging over your head so when the weather improves and you finally escape your imprisonment, you won’t feel guilty doing everything else.
I’m curious–what do you guys do when you’re stuck in the house with no end in sight?