Live this season to the fullest
From outdoor fitness adventures to healthy baking ideas to and cozy indoor projects—here are 10 must-dos to add your winter bucket list. This list includes a variety of good-for-you activities to help you brighten up the dark and cold winter months. And who knows—these ideas may spark a new tradition in your life.
Wintertime equals flu season. Support your immune system by making homemade juice shots filled with immune-boosting ingredients like citrus and ginger. Get a daily dose of health by portioning the juice into mini bottles you can grab on your way out the door.
For added protection against colds and the flu, stock up on immune boosters like vitamin D, oil of oregano, and echinacea.
Cold water immersion may boost the immune system, reduce stress, improve circulation, and even increase metabolism. Many people do an ocean plunge on January 1 to try out the benefits and start off the new year feeling great. However, polar bear plunges often run throughout winter. From experience, I know that a cold ocean dip will leave you feeling invigorated and excited to cozy up by the fire with a warm drink in hand.
If you’re ready to take the (cold) plunge, make sure to start slowly and follow safety measures.
Warm up the cold winter nights by making homemade apple cider. To make this seasonal non-alcoholic beverage, you’ll have to cook down apples with water, spices, and your sweetener of choice. Your home will smell amazing when making this comforting drink—no candles or diffusers needed!
Deck out your front door with a DIY natural wreath for an inexpensive way to add cheer to your home—even after the holiday season. To make one, you’ll need a wreath frame, tree branches (fir, pine, or spruce are traditional types), and decorations like ribbons, red berries, and pinecones. (Pro tip: scour the streets or a forest for fallen branches after a storm!) As a bonus, this craft project is eco-friendly since you can reuse the wreath frame every year.
Facing the brisk outdoors when it’s rainy or snowy may not seem enticing, but this time of year can make for a beautiful winter wonderland hike. Every year, my family and I visit our local mountain (a perk of living in Vancouver, BC) and snowshoe our go-to trail. It’s a trip that’s worth the views and may slightly be motivated by our tradition of enjoying a post-snowshoe dessert.
Research trails in your area that are lit up with twinkling lights for a magical-feeling forest walk. These enchanting night hikes are often free and self guided.
Feel good helping a friend, family member, or even a stranger this season by performing an act of kindness. You could gift your mail carrier a homemade treat, pay for a stranger’s coffee, or shovel snow for your neighbor. Small acts of service can make a big difference in the lives of others and help spread positivity.
As a present for loved ones or for your own sweet-treat stash, homemade cookies bring joy in every bite. Try Gingerbread Breakfast Cookies for a sweet start to the day—they’re filled with fiber and protein to keep you feeling fuller, longer. From Stuffed Brownie Cookies to Walnut Raspberry Jam Thumbprints, this list of vegan and gluten-free baked goods rounds up a variety of delicious dessert recipes.
Organizing a game night with friends or family is a cozy night-in activity. If you’re hosting friends, make it potluck style by having each guest bring a different game. My go-to game is Banana Grams, which involves making your own crossword. These kinds of brain games aren’t just fun; they’re also good for your mind. Research shows that completing puzzles such as crosswords helps with your memory—I know I feel smarter after successfully completing a word game!
Receiving a letter in the mail makes any day feel exciting. Consider sending an uplifting message to an isolated senior or those in need. I love making DIY cards, which can be a great activity for parents to try with kids. Pinterest is my go-to spot for card-crafting inspiration, including options for every occasion.
Organizing a photo album with moments from the past year is an easy way to cherish and reminisce over memories, milestones, and adventures. Year-in-review photo books can be easily ordered online. Alternatively, you can print out your selected photos and insert them into your own photo album. These albums also make for great gifts or coffee table books.