It happens every single year, and yet somehow always catches me by surprise…
I mean, total darkness by 4:30pm?! It’s just not on! What are we supposed to do with our lives past this time??
If you’re anything like me, you probably get the 3 o’clock lull each day when your body’s like ‘Okay I’m ready for a nap now’, but at this time of year when it’s gets dark around then, this time pretty much marks the end of the day in terms of my motivation to do things.
But that sucks. I don’t actually want to waste my evenings away doing nothing or sleeping more just because it’s dark outside. Time is precious!
So I’ve put together a list of ideas on how to spend these cold and dark times, to help share ideas but mostly to remind myself to stop being so lazy…
1. Work on a ‘personal project’ (eg. writing a novel or blog?)
I often assume that everyone has multiple personal projects on the go like I do, but actually many don’t! If you haven’t, Winter is the best time to start, as the bleh evenings provide distraction-free time to get in the zone and become your most creative self!
Ideas: write a novel, start a blog, create a photography portfolio, start a side business, set up a YouTube channel etc.
2. Practice your drawing/painting skills
A ‘personal project’ kind of sounds like a big deal that requires planning, so if you just want to try something that will help to chill you out then creative activities that get you away from a screen and technology are a good shout. Drawing and painting are great ways to get lost in your imagination!
3. Host a board game or Netflix night
Get friends and family together for an evening of tasty food and a selection of fun board games. We used to do this a lot of as kids, just me, my sister and parents, and it was a surprisingly entertaining way of spending a Winter’s evening! Obviously a movie night is a fun idea too but I was trying to avoid the whole TV thing in this post…
4. Try out new recipes & get experimental
I’m always dying to try out new recipes that I come across on Pinterest or Facebook, so why not use the evening downtime to experiment? It doesn’t matter if it all goes kind of wrong if you’re just cooking for yourself, right?
5. Learn an instrument
Another creative activity you could try is learning an instrument, although obviously you’ll have a start up expense to do this. But if you’ve always fancied yourself the next James Bay why not crack out the guitar and get learning some tunes!
Or if you’re kinda tech obsessed like me, why not try creating music electronically by using one of the many great software kits or apps on the market? Try your hand at remixing your favourite songs or creating new ones.
6. De-clutter your home or wardrobe
It doesn’t have to be Spring to get organised! Use the boring Winter evenings to go through your belongings and decide what you actually need to keep and what you could sell or donate instead. It’s great to do this before Christmas too, as selling your stuff obviously gives you more present budget and giving things away to a charity or just someone who loves your things is a lovely way to spread the cheer!
7. Plan a holiday (budget or not!)
A great way to help you forget about the grim weather outside is to start planning your next excursion. Whether you want to start looking for your Summer trip abroad or want to begin planning adventures for any place and time of year, it doesn’t matter what your budget is. Often part of the fun comes from planning how to get the most for your money and doing things on the cheap – like a challenge!
8. Christmas crafts & present planning/wrapping
Evidently on the lead up to Christmas, planning, buying and wrapping presents may take up some of your evenings. This is a fun, cheerful way to spend your time, especially with a mulled wine in hand and carols in the background! But why not try a Christmas-themed craft or two as well? Last week I went on a ‘wreath-making day’ and had loads of fun, but you could also make homemade decorations or table features etc. too. Just check out Pinterest for ideas!
9. Try a workout regime or yoga session
Head to YouTube and find a fun workout or yoga routine video to put on your TV or laptop and follow along! You never know if you’ll love it or hate it if you don’t try it!
10. Read more books
Even if you don’t fancy getting lost in the world of a fiction book (sometimes I’m just not in the mood for that!), you could always try a personal development style book instead! These often have ‘activities’ for you to do along the way and get you thinking too. My current favourite is The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k*… trust me it’s hilarious!
Please share your ideas below too! I’d love to hear them :)
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