By Kimberly Ngoh
Each year, my energy levels and mood seem to emulate the lack of sunshine during the shift between fall and winter. With the sky turning dark before dinnertime, I tend to long for my bed at 6 p.m. and refuse to go out if it means having to endure the cold.
In contrast, most of my friends are still willing to stand in line in the cold, if it means being able to warm up with drinks and a enjoy night of claustrophobia-induced dancing – the latter being too much for me to handle. That being said, I have cultivated a bucket list of indoor activities to keep myself occupied while retreating into hibernation this winter. If you have resonated at all with this so far, I’m sure you would find this list a useful guide over next few months.
Firstly, if you are worried about missing out on drinks and dancing, you may rest assured that the same activity can be carried out indoors sans the cold and claustrophobia, with finer company and the added guarantee of sleeping in your own bed when the night ends. Perhaps it isn’t quite everyone’s scene, but I much prefer a wine night (or whatever beverage you prefer, alcoholic or not) in with friends. Complete with control over the AUX cord, it’s impossible to say no to a night of dancing without the fear of judgment in my pajamas and bare face. Afterwards, there is always the option of retiring to a movie or bed itself (who could say no to that?)
If you’re looking for a quieter activity, getting creative can be a very therapeutic outlet and a great form of exercise for your brain. A night of painting or crafts can leave you with new decoration for your room, and relieved of stress. To complement this spike of creativity, you could concoct cocktails or mocktails to sip on while painting. Mind you, a paid session of the same activity costs upwards of $25 minus beverages, but an investment in the necessary resources allows you to conduct the same activity in the comfort of your own home.
Of course, there is always the tempting option of Netflix to end a long day spent at the library. One of the genres I frequent on TV happen to be culinary shows, and with each episode my desire to quit school and pursue culinary arts grows. At the same time, the personal stories depicted in the show remind me how difficult that path may be. Thus, I have confined my culinary endeavors to the four walls of my kitchen, sometimes using it as an outlet for stress. Not only is it a great way to save money from eating out, but inviting friends over to help cook can be so fun – it can almost be likened to a team building activity. Besides, the end product is all yours to devour.
To compensate for all the sedentary activities mentioned above, there are plenty of indoor sports to choose from. At the ARC, all it takes is a five-minute orientation before you can begin climbing amongst the pros. For the next level hermit, there is no excuse: you could easily do yoga in front of the television, or do a set of ten squats each time Jim pranks Dwight on The Office.
Just to clarify, I love the snow, but not the belligerent winds that attack me on the way to class. Nevertheless, I do try to push myself to see the outside world once in a while, apart from the time spent getting from point A to B. In fact, I recently went sledding down what I think might be the only hill on campus, right by the Arboretum. Just find yourself a large tray or some cardboard and a lot of duct tape to create a makeshift sled, and you’ll find your worries melting away as you trudge up the hill just to slide back down, over and over again.
All in all, there are a myriad of wholesome activities one can do while waiting out the cold – grab a friend and get started!