20 Ways to Get Through Winter's Gloomiest Months

Cozy shot of woman with tea, blanket and plush socks.

Milk and Honey Life

There is a moment post-holiday season where the reality of January sets in: the air is extra chilly, our Christmas cookies are eaten, and we are searching for things to do to beat the winter blues. With outdoor activities no longer an option, it can feel confining—and trying—to find ways to keep busy in the winter.

If this sounds like you, look no further: we rounded up 20 great ways to make the wintertime worthwhile, from spending time resting to trying out new recipes.

01 of 20

Create a Serene Sleep Space

Messy bed.

True Home

Take some time to make your bedroom as soothing as possible. After all, a good night’s sleep can work wonders. Spend an hour or so decluttering your nightstand drawers and dresser top, then tackle your bedding.

Feeling lackluster about your duvet? I’ve waxed poetic about my love of comforters before, and this (aptly named) style from Parachute truly feels like sleeping on a cloud. It’s the perfect "treat yourself" item that you’ll actually use every day.

Cloud Cotton Quilt
Parachute Cloud Cotton Quilt $249
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02 of 20

Download New Reads on the Cheap

While I generally prefer to flip through physical books, a recent closet cleanout (similar to the one described above) reacquainted me with my Kindle. Along with the discovery of BookBub, it’s been a game changer, especially as someone who loves taking advantage of deals.

BookBub is an app that highlights e-books on sale by genre, with most titles ringing up at $2.99 or less. New arrivals are added every day, so it’s perfect if you’re a speed reader like me. 

03 of 20

Host a Virtual Wine Tasting With Friends

Set aside an evening to virtually sip wine with your girlfriends and select your top picks from a selection of Trader Joe’s blends. For just $30, you’ll be able to try five or so types of vino—and settle on a new go-to once IRL hangouts resume.

04 of 20

Up Your Food Delivery Game

The chilly months make it even more tempting to treat yourself to takeout, but if you’re looking for something beyond your go-to places, Goldbelly is for you.

Featuring items from restaurants all across the country, you can easily get your favorite NYC bagels sent to your doorstep, even across the country. Just because you may be unable to travel doesn’t mean your food can’t.

05 of 20

Propagate a Plant

woman planting

visualspace/Getty Images

It’s the easiest way to add new life to your space on the cheap, and watching your green friends grow and thrive will make you feel like a proud plant parent. Come spring, you’ll be able to appreciate how much your plant baby has grown in such a short period of time.

06 of 20

Learn to Needlepoint

Needlepoint is majorly on trend these days and is a great way to be productive while kicking back and marathoning Grey’s Anatomy for the fifth time. Go ahead and embrace the grandmillennial lifestyle

07 of 20

Sweat a Little

Why I started running in 2020 - gym bag with yoga mat, water bottle, and tennis shoes

Carol Yepes/Getty Images

A bit of exercise can go a long way in improving your mood. Not sure where to begin? Check out these at-home workouts that will help you stay fit from the comfort of your living room, no matter if you prefer spinning or yoga.

08 of 20

Give Back

Donate clothing to a local women’s shelter, volunteer to tutor students online, send care packages to the troops, or shovel the driveway for your elderly neighbor. It may sound cliche, but making a positive difference in someone else's life is bound to lift your spirits, too. 

09 of 20

Add Spark to Your Relationship

Unable to travel to see your boo? Make your time apart feel a bit less lonely with one of these long-distance relationships activities.

10 of 20

Master the At-Home Mani

Cue up an episode of your favorite podcast and take some time to give yourself a salon-worthy mani in the comfort of your apartment. This Olive & June kit packed with the essentials will make the experience feel extra glam. We’re a fan of the special polish bottle handle that makes the DIY process a bit easier.

The Mani System
Olive & June The Mani System $80
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11 of 20

Have a Movie Marathon With a Twist

Enjoy an at-home movie night with a theme. For example, only watch films where Reese Witherspoon plays the lead. Legally Blonde is a must, of course, but trust us, the lesser known Home Again features some seriously good décor inspo.

12 of 20

Master a New Recipe

detox lentil soup
Pinch of Yum

Seek out a new recipe to add to your repertoire, be it a healthy dish or a sweet treat. My favorite dinner to whip up as of late is any type of delicious chicken soup, which is the perfect meal to enjoy on a cozy winter evening—and can be packed with plenty of nutritional benefits, too.

13 of 20

Start That Blog or Instagram

You know that account you’ve been wanting to launch for years? Now may be the time to bring it to life. Whether you’re passionate about clothing, travel, interiors, or food, don’t be afraid to kick that Instagram page or website into gear once and for all. You’ll thank us later when you find yourself connecting virtually with fellow creatives across the globe.

14 of 20

Actually Read Your Coffee Table Books

Pink couch and two coffee tables.

House of Harvee

You know all of those gorgeous books you own that you hoped to flip through “one day?” Well, that day is here.

Pick up a compelling title or two, grab a mug of tea, and spend an afternoon leisurely gathering inspo—you’ll ask yourself why you didn’t make time to do so earlier.

15 of 20

Ignite Your TikTok Obsession

Seriously, we won’t judge. Here are seven of the best home décor videos to get you started.

16 of 20

Send a Note or Two

Bust out your favorite stationery and let your nearest and dearest know you’re thinking of them with a bit of good old-fashioned snail mail. An unexpected letter will always bring a smile to your loved ones’ faces.

17 of 20

Paint an Accent Wall

Rose accent wall in neutral living room.

Home by Polly

As long as you have permission from your landlord, you’re good to go. Whether you opt for an arch, some stripes, or just a bold backdrop, some added color may perk you up in no time. Not sure where to begin? Check out our favorite accent walls to get those creative juices flowing.

18 of 20

Get a Luxe Massage At Home

Treat yourself to a spa-like massage without having to leave your bed thanks to this top rated device that I’ve owned and loved for years. The fact that it’s also heated makes it all the more wonderful.

19 of 20

Look Into a Side Hustle

Maybe it’s finally opening up that Etsy shop, turning your photography hobby into a mini biz, or launching a career coaching service. Keeping busy will help time fly, and the extra cash won’t hurt, either!

20 of 20

Whip Up a Prosecco Cocktail

Sparkling grapefruit sangria

How Sweet Eats

Why tuck away the bubbly until your next “special occasion” when there are plenty of delicious cocktails you can make right now? These easy recipes are bound to delight every palette.

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