We could use a little more than Netflix to get us through this rough winter.
Not to dwell on the obvious but winter has quickly descended upon us, snow-piles are popping up left and right, and the 2021 we envisioned isn’t quite yet here. When March arrived and brought with it a lockdown, we thought, “Surely this will be over by June.” But then came and went June, July, and the entirety of fall—over half a year later, the sourdough starter we cared for and nurtured has starved and the parks we once considered our safe-haven are simply too cold for a socially-distanced, unmasked moment in the sun.
We never thought we’d be back at this point, but here we are once again confined to our homes, incredibly bored. To help you get through another cold season in quarantine, we’re getting you a new hobby. Whether you’re looking to stay indoors or wanting to venture into the snow, we’re finding you the perfect new activity to make this winter a little less sucky.
Top Picks for You
Become a Yoga Teacher
You’ve made your way through every online yoga class and attended your city’s weekly yoga in the park. After months of setting your intention and perfecting your tree pose, you feel ready to move past the classes and teach your own. Use this extra time to finally put those long hours of practice to good (in a profitable way) by getting certified as a yoga instructor. Choose from some of the best online yoga certifications that will take you from being your class’ shining star to the instructor—while this activity means that post-pandemic you have a new career option (even if it’s just teaching a class here or there), it also means you’re taking a moment to yourself to breathe into stretches you’ll likely want after a long day hunched over your computer.
Living in an extremely cold climate can have its obvious downsides, but consider making the most of the bone-chilling winter season with an activity that gets you out of the house for a change. Ice fishing might not be the most popular winter activity, but with few people rushing to their nearest frozen body of water, it’s the perfect way to socially distance, enjoy the outdoors, and maybe catch a dinner or two. While you may not have ice-fishing opportunities out your backdoor, you might not be too far a drive from a location where you can drop your hook and hope for a catch.
Back to Baking
Baking consumed our spring. Everyone you knew was posting photos of their perfect (and perfectly imperfect) loaves of bread and suddenly your kitchen appliances doubled. Then summer hit and with it came heat waves across the country—not exactly the weather that makes you think “let me turn my oven on.” Well, we’re back to blistery weather and, if we’re being honest, there’s nothing quite like a dessert straight out of the oven to turn a cold, gloomy day bright. While spring was all about the bread, make winter about the desserts. Claire Saffitz of Bon Appetit fame released her highly-anticipated book Dessert Person, making this challenge much simpler. Inside she lays out recipes simple to incredibly difficult, giving you the chance to assess your challenge before diving in headfirst.
But for some, the baking wave passed, and searching for yet another packet of yeast is the last thing on their agenda. For those who prefer savory to sweet (or just can’t imagine buying one more sack of flour), online cooking classes give you the chance to learn how to create your favorite dishes at home. Cooking is a completely different beast from baking—baking requires precision and time, while cooking requires quick movement and a knack for flavor (you get to learn what a “pinch of salt” means to your taste buds). These classes can be your chance to perfect something that’s always been a passion, or can be your reserved date night. Pour a glass of wine, put on your chosen class, and work with your partner to create a dish for a romantic night where dinner is not eaten on the couch.
Hit the Slopes
For those who were never much into the après ski lifestyle anyway, this year, where after-parties are a big no-no, is the ideal time to head to the nearest ski resort for a nice, peaceful day on the slopes. Your favorite hills might be limiting capacity, but you’ve got the entire winter (so, no stress). Pick a weekend and bundle up for a breath of refreshing (but definitely crisp) winter air. It’s an outdoor activity where there will be little worry about social distancing as the closest you’ll get to other riders is when passing. This is a place where face-masks are the norm.
You might feel a little old-ladyish grabbing your knitting needles and a spool of yarn, but once you start it’ll be hard to stop. Knitting is the perfect hobby for someone who just needs to keep their hands busy as they enter into hour five of a binging marathon. Once you get the pattern down it takes little thought as your hands move through the oh-so calming movements. While you might pick up the hobby because you and your family could use some new winter hats, you’ll keep going because there’s just something therapeutic about a night under a fuzzy blanket working with warm yarn.
INSIDER TIPFor beginners, this hat loom is a great (and not-too-pricey) place to start.
Become Your Own Jeweler
DIY jewelry-making can be difficult, with the results being less-than chic. With special tools and an eye for detail required, this hobby wasn’t always for everyone. But then arts-and-crafts style jewelry came back into style and a knowledge of the finer things was no longer required. While before we were trying to make intricate, elegant earrings, we’re now stringing colorful beads on a necklace and calling it a work of art (and it is!). This beading kit from beloved NYC designer Susan Alexandra makes the act of jewelry making incredibly simple and incredibly cool. You get her signature beads and the artistic liberty to do with them what you will. While you might (initially) grab the kit for your kids, know you’ll be joining in on the fun too.
Become a Sommelier
You’ve always considered yourself an expert when it comes to wine. When friends need a recommendation, you’re the person they go to. While you might consider yourself somewhat of an unofficial sommelier, use this time to make it official with online courses that can fill you in on what you don’t know. Once you’re done (and the pandemic is over), you can celebrate your certification with a perfectly selected tasting menu.