It looks like winter 2021 is going to be pretty low-key. Even if you’re the most introverted of introverts, you’ll want to find something to do other than watch Netflix (Not that we’re judging the occasional Netflix binge!).
We’ve rounded up a few of our favourite ways we’ll be keeping busy over the winter. We’ve grouped the activities by personality. We’ve got you covered whether you’re an overachiever, homebody, or lover of the great outdoors. Keep reading to see our suggestions.
For the overachiever
If you’re someone who always has a packed schedule, staying home all the time might be hard on you. Try to put a positive spin on it: a quarantine might be an opportunity to learn something new or pick up a new skill. Here are a few things that might keep you busy:
Take a class
There has never been a better time to take a class. Many college and university classes are now offered online, meaning you can learn in your jammies! Here are a few options available online that start in January:
Introduction to Screenwriting, University of Toronto
Do you have a brilliant screenplay in your head just waiting to be written? The Introduction to Screenwriting class could be your first step on the way to an Oscar. Starts February 8.
Introduction to Italian, University of Victoria
When is the last time you opened Duolingo? (Be honest.) If you’re serious about learning a language, a class is the way to go. For anyone interested in learning Italian, the Introduction to Italian class starts January 28.
Leaders as Coaches, Southern Alberta Institute of Technology
Are you looking to up your game at work? The Leaders as Coaches course helps you become a better leader and boss. You’ll learn the principles of coaching and how you can apply them in your work. Starts February 8.
You can also check out Coursera, which offers courses from universities around the world completely free of charge!
Start your own virtual club
If a formal class isn’t your thing, why not create one of your own? Find some friends with a common interest and meet once a week. You could start an online dinner club where everyone cooks the same dish at home and eats together over a video chat. What about a book or movie club? Or maybe you’re into art or music. Whatever your interests are, round up some friends and create a club. The best part is there’s no homework or exams in a club!
Even though we’re still living through a pandemic, there are lots of opportunities to volunteer. Here are a few ways you can volunteer safely during COVID:
- Deliver meals or groceries to an elderly neighbour
- Manage a social media account for a charity
- Help job seekers write resumes
- Tutor a student over Skype
- Send a letter or email to a nursing home resident
- Send a care package to a front line worker
There are hundreds of volunteer opportunities available. Volunteer Canada is a great resource for anyone looking to volunteer. It will direct you to volunteer opportunities wherever you live.
For the homebody
Some folks see this pandemic as an opportunity to slow down. If that’s you, here are a few suggestions for activities that will never bring you too far away from the cozy couch:
Foster a fluffy friend
A lot of us are spending more time at home, especially if you’re working remotely. Consider becoming a foster parent to a fluffy friend! You don’t have to commit to having the animal forever, you just house and care for the animal until they find their forever home.
Check out the Humane Society’s website in your city. They will have resources on how to foster an animal where you live.
Quick Tip: If you already have a pet, why not teach them a new trick? We were particularly impressed by these cats on America’s Got Talent:
Nurture some plant babies
If you’re not ready for a fur baby, how about a plant baby? It can be very rewarding to watch your plants grow. Once you get one plant you’ll be hooked!
If you’re a beginner when it comes to the plant life, start with a succulent. They typically only need to be watered once a month and they’re pretty hard to kill. Before you know it, you’ll have more plants than you know what to do with!
Here are a few Instagram accounts we love to give you some plant inspiration:
Classic movie marathon
There are new movies and TV shows coming out on different streaming platforms all the time. Sometimes it feels like it’s impossible to keep up! Instead of watching the latest show everyone is talking about, try putting on a classic instead. You can pretend you’re in a simpler time before global pandemics existed.
Here are a few ways to check out old movies:
- Some classic films are available free on YouTube. Check out the channel Timeless Classic Movies for black and white and silent films.
- If you have a library card, you may have access to free movies. For example, if you have a Toronto Public Library card, you have access to Kanopy. You can watch classic films like Dial M For Murder, The Great Dictator and His Girl Friday. Check your local library to see what you have access to!
- Netflix has more than just Tiger King and Grey’s Anatomy. Check out the classics sections for some great movies you probably haven’t seen.
For the outdoorsy person
Just because its winter, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the great outdoors. Outdoor activities can be a safe way to maintain physical distance. Here are a few outdoor activities you might not have thought of yet:
Have you ever tried snowshoeing? If not, this might be the year to try! It’s a great way to stay outdoors and maintain social distancing. You can rent snowshoes in most Canadian cities – look for a snowshoe rental near you!
Hikes aren’t exclusive to warmer weather. As long as you bundle up, winter can be a great time to explore the outdoors. Here are some tips for hiking in the winter:
- Don’t forget that winter means less sunlit hours. Start your hike early and bring a flashlight or headlamp in case you don’t make it back before nightfall.
- You’ve heard it before but we’ll say it again: dress in layers! Even when it’s cold, a hike can get the heartrate up and you’ll be sweating in the snow. You’ll need clothes that are easy to put on and off as the weather and your temperature changes.
- Just because it’s hot doesn’t mean there’s no risk of getting dehydrated. Be sure to bring lots of water!
Westjet magazine has a list of spots to check out for winter hikes.
Other popular Canadian outdoor activities to consider include: ice skating, cross-country skiing and dog sledding!
For when you’re out of ideas
If you’ve already done everything on this list, here are a few last-ditch things you can try!
- Move your furniture around
- Learn slight of hand magic
- Have a dance party
- Grow a beard
- Read the History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
- Knit socks for your entire family and all your friends
- Dye your hair
- Nothing wrong with a good old fashioned Netflix binge
- Bake cookies and give them to your neighbours
- Wash your baseboards
- Learn how to juggle
What else can we add to this list? Be sure to let us know what you’ll be doing this winter to stay busy!