By Catherine Roebuck, Social Media and Communications Specialist
If you live somewhere where the sun doesn’t shine for half of the year (here’s looking at you, Ohio, home of Fraternity Headquarters), then you know all about cabin fever. No, not the creepy horror film, but the irritable listlessness one feels after long confinement or isolation indoors during the winter, according to the Oxford Dictionary. For many of us, winter break can mean getting stuck inside due to blizzards, ice storms or below-freezing temperatures. Just the idea of going outside on one of those days makes us weep.
Instead of tears and one of those happy lights you’re supposed to stare at to simulate daylight (no joke, those exist), here are some great ways to fight off the winter blues. 1. Try baking
: Not only will baking something give you delicious treats to nom on later, having your oven on will also warm up your house. If you are a baking novice, try something simple, like thumbprint cookies or brownies from scratch. More of a pro? Up the ante by trying macarons, a light-as-a-feather French treat known for being temperamental (meringue is the capricious culprit). 2. Learn to ski or snowboard
: Check out local ski resorts in your area to see if they offer any beginner classes. Grab some friends and shred some fresh powder for a day full of fun and exercise. Already know how to ski or snowboard? Try your hand at the other! Know how to do both? Color me impressed.3. Read a book
: Some days are just destined to be lazy days. Take the opportunity to pick up a good book you’ve been meaning to read and snuggle on the couch with a cozy blanket and a cup of hot cocoa. Check out the latest reading suggestions in The Key
or stop by your local library’s shelf of new releases.4. Build an igloo
: This is something that will take time and dedication, but the end result will be awesome! There are different DIYs out there for both ice and snow, but you’ll need patience and plenty of breaks to warm up before you are finished. This is definitely for those seeking a winter challenge.5. Craft
: Nothing cures the winter blues quite like continuously stabbing your thumb with a sewing needle while trying to be a craft master. Whether you make a felt campfire for a child (or your faux fireplace), cross stitch a floral masterpiece, or paint and reupholster that vintage chair you just had to have, crafting is sure to keep you busy when temperatures dip below freezing.6. Slumber Party
: I’m not talking your average sleepover, here. I’m talking about a build-a-fort, grab-the-old-school-board-games and throw-on-a-boy band-CD kind of sleepover. The type of sleepover during which you order way too much pizza and stay up way too late laughing with your friends and doing each other’s hair. It’s a nice escape from being an adult, even if only for a night.
7. Have a spa day
: Ahh, the spa. A place of relaxation, tranquility and pampering. While a full day at the spa can cost a pretty penny, you can achieve the same feeling at home. Throw on some relaxing music, light candles and dim the lights while you soak in a rose petal bath or apply a face mask. End your day by snuggling in a soft robe with some tea and you’ll feel relaxed and reenergized.
8. Have a movie marathon
: With more and more trilogies and sequels coming out, take a day to veg out on the couch with a movie marathon. Spend all day deep in the wizarding world with Harry Potter, or watch a series of your favorite chick flicks for a day of romance, heartbreak and girl power. Just make sure you keep snacks on hand and some good company by your side.9. Volunteer
: As a Kappa, you already know the meaning of spending your time volunteering. Why not continue by giving back over break? Spend the day playing with kitties and puppies at your local animal shelter or give back to those less fortunate at a soup kitchen or coat drive. Not only will you feel better at the end of the day, but you’ll have made someone else’s day better, too.10. Take a class
: Always wanted to be a dancer but never took classes? Do you fancy sewing your own dresses but can barely stitch together a hole in your sweater? Now’s your chance to learn something new! Check around town for a class in something you’ve always wanted to try. Maybe you fancy a go at glass blowing, or you want to learn how to play guitar. Nothing is out of the question. If you don’t want to pay for classes, you could also teach yourself using videos or online tutorials (unless it’s dangerous … best to leave that to the professionals). BONUS! Get out of town
: There’s never a better time for a mini-trip than break. You don’t have to go too far, but maybe visit a nearby city you’ve been meaning to check out or visit a friend in their hometown. A change of scenery is always a good way to fight off the winter blues.