How to Beat the Winter Blahs (and not just watch tv)
chunk of time after dinner and before bed when it’s already dark and you’re too
tired to do a lot of thinking and your body wants to relax. Or it’s the weekend and there’s nothing going
on and taking a walk or doing a winter sport in the single digits isn’t
appealing. What do you do to fill the
us probably fill the time with tv. Lots
like watching tv every night whether it’s Netflix, Hulu or cable, but it’s
something easy, relaxing, and I get to bond with my husband over the characters.
What else can you do?
I’ve searched the
internet and read just about every
article out there on the topic. A lot of the activities the internet
lists just don’t apply to people in the Upper Valley. Can’t do that. Nope, that either.
To determine what other
kinds of activities you can do to fill your time, consider why you watch tv in
the first place.
Get to the Root of Why You Watch TV
I think we need to
understand why we watch tv before we can unplug ourselves.
Do we watch to escape
the world and our lives?
Do we watch to relax and
Do we watch because
there’s nothing else to do?
Do we watch to be
Fill the Void
For me it was all of the
above, depending on the day. I enjoyed connecting with the
storyline and characters in tv shows, predicting plot outcomes with my husband;
getting renovation ideas on HGTV; and learning nature facts on the History
Channel’s Alone. Sometimes I
just wanted to be entertained and watched So
You Think You Can Dance.
When I spent more time
out of the house, took up the hobby of blogging, and started reading again, I
found I didn’t feel the desire to watch tv anymore. I tried to figure out
why and realized that the new activities I was doing fulfilled the reasons I
watched tv in the first place. Tv became something special to do and not
an everyday thing, and I was okay with that balance.
It may sound simple, but
what worked for me was to find another activity you enjoy that fulfills
the reason you watch tv. Fill your time with another activity that is
productive and purposeful, which will be different for each person.
Need a Way to Escape Reality?
Read a good book. You can see a list of bookstores here and find a book club. Scratch in Lebanon has book groups for adults, middle schoolers, and high schoolers. There’s even a writer’s club for teens (both middle and high school).
Better yet write your own or read someone else’s online. I love the illustrations you can use as inspiration for your story at Storybird and the wide variety of fiction and poetry you can read at Figment. These two websites were created specifically for young adults, but has grown to include a lot of adults and published authors too.
Locally you can find writer’s groups and take classes at the White River Junction Writing Center. You can even use your creative writing juices at the Upper Valley NHVT website, which welcomes local contributors.
Try a New Activity
Want to relax
and be entertained? Try these tips.
I think I’ll try #3 and 10 sometime. Want to learn something new? This is
a list of awesome sites to learn something new, definitely something I
want to dig deeper into.
Try a Board Game
Board games just never inspired my husband and we decided it was
the type of games we had. There’s a game store half a hour from
home. I hope to try out some board games with him before buying to see if
he’d be interested. Ideally I’d like to rent a board game that I can pick
up and bring home and return to the store since my husband and I have different
hours and driving a half an hour to play games doesn’t seem very appealing
unless it’s a special occasion. Plus now we have a little one and that
makes it even more interesting to manage. Gameboardgeek has a lot of forums and
good ideas of board games. Here are some lists to get you started:
If you have kids this has some good ideas for ideas after little ones are in bed and you're tired. If you are a couple looking for 2 player games I like how these lists comment on the wife and husband's take on the game so you can see if it would fit your tastes. List 1. List 2. And of course the ultimate list of other other lists people created if you really want to dive deep into the best two player games.
There are places to play board games and do some trivia in the
Upper Valley too.
Try a hobby
We could also tackle a new learning experience or hobby together. My
husband and I both want to brush up on our French but is that too much work for
an evening? Is there a fun way of doing it? Maybe for a ½ hour? This website looks
like a great place to get ideas. More
ideas of hobbies for couples here and here.
If you’re still stuck here’s my plan of attack and I hope it helps you too:
1. Have a go-to list for when you’re bored
Plan and prepare the activity or you’ll find it’s easier to just
sit and watch tv. Once the beautiful weather arrives yard work,
afternoon/evening walks, hikes, day trips all seem more doable. Still
planning is essential for us…. You sit on the couch and say I’m bored I’m
tired of watching tv – what else is there to do? I don’t know. Spur of the
moment doesn’t work for a play or music venue. Of course if you lived in
the city this would be a problem as well but it’s more likely you’d be able to
find something to do that was free and at a time that would work spur of the
moment because there’s so much more available.
Find a place to volunteer if you have the time. Here’s a link to ways to volunteer.
Organize a night with friends to play games, cook, learn a
Read a book with your partner and discuss.
Take a seasonal activity and make it special by only doing it once
a year or making it different: like drinking hot chocolate and making gingerbread
houses or baking a certain type of cookie once a year. Having fun
sometimes is about doing something different from the ordinary, which can take
work and creativity.
If these don’t pan out you can always connect with the tv shows
you watch by predicting and discussing characters.
I really like all the ideas on hobbies for couples and hope some of the ideas will work for my husband and I and hope they can for you too.
May life bring you lots of new joyous memories. All the best on your journey to beating the winter blahs.
What do you to beat the winter blahs?