The best things to do while staying warm this winter

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The best things to do while staying warm this winter

photo by Matias North
Words by Laurence Adorni-Dickson

Who says staying home and keeping out of the cold had to be boring?

Winter is here, and it’s cold. Motivation is low and it’s so easy to spend all day rugged up in bed doom-scrolling the socials, binging Netflix or staring blankly at the roof for obscene amounts of time. And you know what? That’s totally okay, we’ve all been through the ringer of late and we deserve the odd self indulgent ‘nothing day’ every once in a while. But if you want to get up to something a little more interesting throughout the day to break up the saminess of a cold induced stay at home, here’s a few easy things to get you started.

Cook something new

Comfort food is the name of the game in winter. That means hearty stews, pasta, pies and all manner of those delicious foods everyone keeps telling you to eat in moderation. Grab out a dusty old cookbook and have a flick through to see if you find something you like. Try to cook something new, that’ll keep things interesting and take a little bit of extra time out of your day. Maybe go that extra mile and try making certain things from scratch! Pizza bases and fresh pasta are all super easy and fun, and the rewards by the end of it are all the better for the hard work you put into kneading that beautiful ball of dough. If you want something a bit easier that you can set and forget while you go back to that Netflix binge, it’s time to grab out that slow cooker.

Play a game

If you’ve got housemates or family around, gather them at the table and grab out a game to play. This can be anything from a video game, to a basic card game like snap, to something a little bit more organized like a board game. If you don’t mind the shameless plug, we’ve got a few recommendations for board games that you can check out right here. Easy card games like spoons, snap and if you’ve got a deck lying around, Uno, are all great ways to get everyone up and out of their rooms and hanging out together. This can lead to some fun conversations as you destroy your housemates in whichever game you pick, or lead you into doing something else afterwards, like sitting down together and watching a movie. If you’re after a bit more variety in your competitive housemate gaming and have a console or laptop lying around, maybe check out Jackbox games, a series of virtual game shows that everyone can tune in to using their phones. These games range from trivia, all the way to robot rap battles, so you’ll never get stuck on one thing for too long.

Do a stay at home wine tasting

Winter is red wine season, and that’s just as good as any other reason to treat yourself to a glass or two. But maybe this time, spice it up a bit and take some notes on each one you try. Do a little bit of research about what you’re looking for before you start, and then just jump into it. You can do this on whatever budget you like, which may even result in you finding a new cheap favourite. Having some tasting notes on hand will help you recommend a wine or two to your friends, and let you pretend to be a little bit sophisticated. You could even write a quick blog or a social media post about your findings. ‘The students guide to $5 wines’ does have a nice ring to it. What’s even better, is that if you find yourself with a bottle or three that you don’t feel like drinking another night, why not grab some cloves, star anise, an orange and some maple syrup and turn it into mulled wine, the perfect winter warmer.

Read a damn book!

Seriously, I can’t remember the last time I sat down under a lamp with a big warm blanket and just lost myself in a book. Maybe that’s just the student schedule talking, but I’m sure I’m not the only one here who has deprived themselves of a good read. They help the hours go by and give you something new to obsess over for a little bit. It’s such a simple thing, but in the fast pace of today sometimes the simple things help us wind down and enjoy the winter just that little bit more.

If all this talk about food and wine has made you a bit peckish, be sure to check out Forte’s food guides to pick your next spot to dine in!