8 Winter Activities to Counter Cabin Fever

December is full of anticipation: brisk air, fresh snow, and celebrations to enjoy. But by late January, even the biggest winter-lovers among us can experience cabin fever. We’ve gathered ideas for winter activities and items from the co-op that can help you not only survive the short, cold days and long nights, but actually thrive.

1. Embrace outdoor winter activities.

Don your warmest layers and experience the winter wonderland in our backyard. Gather with your community at these wintertime festivals, all great reasons to head out and join the fun.

The John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon scheduled for Jan. 28-30 has been cancelled due to lack of snow. Before heading to an activity, please check the events’ websites for details and possible schedule changes!

2. Escape to the garden.

An hour or two of lush greenery and humid air can shift your mindset from arctic to tropical. We’re lucky to have a few indoor gardens and greenhouses in the Twin Cities. Make a plan to visit Como Conservatory in St. Paul or the greenhouse at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.

3. Snuggle down at home.

Two People Work on a Puzzle Together

Settle in with some cozy activities to help you wile away the coldest winter days.

  • Work on a puzzle with friends and family while sipping Chaiya chai tea or certified Fair Trade hot chocolate.
  • Crack open new children’s books that might become instant family favorites.
  • Bake homemade bread and eat it fresh from the oven with local butter and honey.
  • Have a pizza/game night. The deli has take-and-bake pizzas ready to go, with some available by the slice. Add in your favorite board game from Eeboo for a great night in. A woman-owned company, Eeboo uses minimal packaging, recycled materials, vegetable-based inks, and is certified Climate Neutral.
  • Enjoy fresh-baked cookies from local, BIPOC- and woman-owned Dough Gold cookie dough. Made with only simple, clean ingredients, you just scoop and bake for chocolate chip, peanut butter, and chocolate fudge cookies in a flash.

4. Try something new.

Winter is the perfect time to stretch yourself — maybe literally.

  • Try a new yoga class or start or deepen a meditation practice.
  • Channel your creativity with a new craft or hobby. Handmade cards, soap, and jewelry are easy to try at home with a few simple supplies.
  • Take a photography tutorial online and see what you can capture, whether you’re using a pro-level camera or just your mobile phone.

5. Sharpen your kitchen skills.

Kitchen Scene with Cookbook Open, Ready to Cook

Cooking at home is a creative pastime you can practice every day. And eating amazing food is your reward.

  • Peruse your cookbooks and pinpoint a few new recipes to try.
  • Think of a favorite restaurant meal and see how close you can get to recreating it yourself.
  • Make a “surprise dinner” where everyone in your friend group or household makes a different part of a meal — but no one reveals what they’re making until it’s served.
  • Make a meal inspired by a favorite movie or TV show. For example: Italian beef sandwiches inspired by The Bear; omelets inspired by Only Murders in the Building (but please don’t throw them away); or grilled steaks à la Yellowstone.

6. Play in the snow.

Pulling on Brown Boots

When there’s fresh snow, layer up and head out to play! Even 20 minutes of fresh air and sunshine can help you combat cabin fever. The options are endless: snow angels, snowball-throwing contests (for distance or accuracy), animal tracking, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing (many parks rent snowshoes and skis). And be sure to dress appropriately for the temps. Tey Art socks are a good base layer, sustainably made from alpaca wool in beautiful patterns.

7. Focus on your well-being.

Bathroom with Small Mirror, Bouquet, and Two Supplement Bottles

Winter is a chance to assess what’s working for your well-being — and what could be improved. Are you getting the right vitamins? (Vitamin D is essential, and supplements can help). Are you getting enough light? (Consider morning light therapy to counter seasonal affectedness). How’s your everyday mood and brain function? (Natural Stacks’ Brain Food line can give both a boost).

8. Carve out time for yourself.

Bath Salts and Candle on a Cozy Robe

Self-care doesn’t have to mean taking a full-on spa day. A few spare minutes or one new routine can offer a lovely dose of You Time. Try adding one of these elements to your daily regimen.

  • Soak in an Epsom bath. New Roots Essential in Recovery is ideal.
  • Warmies is known for its adorable stuffed animals, but they make luxurious items for adults, too. Heat up Warmies slippers or a neck wrap to feel soothed and comforted after a bath or before bed.
  • Light a Rare Essence candle in Dream to bring in extra calming vibes.
  • Make a cup of local tea, such as Rishi in blueberry hibiscus or Sacred Blossom in Breathe.
  • For a rewarding treat with minimal work, grab ready-to-bake cookies or scones made in our Deli. Find them in the frozen aisle.

Explore more ways to thrive this winter by focusing on good sleep hygiene and winter self care.