I have a love-hate relationship with winter. I absolutely love the festive season, snowy days, hot drinks, Christmas lights, layering and so on. I’m not a fan of it being dark by 4 pm (at least here in the UK). It feels like the day is over – do you also experience this or do you like the early evenings?
It’s easy to end up on your laptop or phone for hours on end to bridge the time between getting home and sleeping. However, there are so many other ways to fill the time with more meaningful and relaxing activities that will help you wind down and get you in a ‘home’ mindset.
Here are some of my favourite ways to make the most of the long winter evenings for when you don’t feel like leaving the house but still want to make the most of your time outside of work.
Keep up with or take up a hobby
Dedicating time to a hobby instead of your phone can feel super rewarding, whether that is something you’ve been doing for years or you pick up a completely new activity. Reminder: You don’t have to be good at this hobby. It never has to get you anywhere – it just needs to be enjoyable for you. Whether that may be knitting, baking, painting, doing puzzles or following YouTube dance tutorials, it will bring you joy and help you not feel as tired as early on in the evening.
Watch a Christmas movie
Now, while I know before I said that spending the entire evening watching TV may not always be the best, there is nothing against enjoying a good Christmas movie. Grab some popcorn and someone to watch with you (if you want) and really get into the festive spirit.
Decorate your home
Spend your evening making your living space feel even more homely. This doesn’t have to be Christmassy, though I find Christmas decorating always makes me happy. You could rearrange that room you’ve not been quite sure about or make the time to sort your closet or find the perfect new lamp for mood lighting. In the winter months especially, you spend a lot of time in your home so feeling happy and comfortable with it is key to feeling your best self.
Keep a journal
Reflecting on your day by keeping a journal can be an amazing way to destress and let go of any negative experiences. Grab a tea or hot chocolate and take the time to write down how you feel! Journaling has been proven to have many mental health benefits, from addressing fears and concerns to providing a space for positive self-talk.
We all know that staying active improves physical health, but more importantly, it has been proven to positively affect mental health. This is super important in the winter months where the dark, cold evenings can worsen existing conditions. There’s some evidence this is because of the lack of sunlight we get in the winter months. Whatever it may be, staying active can help you pump up your endorphins and get you out of bed. I’ve found that group exercise classes help as I feel more committed to going, though I also like the short YouTube exercise videos.
Whether you create hand-made Christmas cards or decide to make your own Christmas wreath, DIY projects are super fun and get you away from your computer or phone.
Catch up with friends - in person or online
I think during the pandemic we have all learned to keep in touch with our friends and loved ones online, which is perfect for those long winter evenings. So grab a friend, in person or virtually, and do something you love together. This can significantly reduce stress, give you an outlet and take your mind off negative things.
How do you like to spend your winter evenings?
Leave a comment with your favourite winter evening activities, I’m super curious 🙂 Wishing you a lovely rest of the day!!