23 Indoor Hobbies for Winter or Inclement Weather

23 Indoor Hobbies for Winter or Inclement Weather

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Winter is quickly approaching, and with the COVID pandemic still in full effect, I think we are all expecting a long, dark season.

Practicing social distancing and staying home this winter will take its toll on everyone, especially after isolating ourselves for so long already. Having a hobby will benefit you as it will allow you to have an outlet for your stress and bring a little more joy into your life this winter. Spending time doing something that you enjoy that isn’t related to work or other commitments will boost your sense of satisfaction with life and give you the chance to engage in an activity that’s relaxing and rewarding. 

In this article, we will look at 23 examples of hobbies you can do indoors during the cold or inclement weather. These are great ideas to have in your back pocket when facing the long upcoming season.

23 Indoor Hobbies for Winter or Inclement Weather

1. Cooking

Cooking is a useful hobby that will benefit you and your family as they get to enjoy your creations. Learning to love the process of making meals will teach you a skill that will be helpful for life and it will offer you a creative outlet while still allowing you to do something that’s practical.

Following cooking blogs and relevant YouTube channels is a great way to get started with learning how to cook. You can have fun experimenting with different cultures’ traditional dishes and put some new twists on some of your old favorites. 

You will uncover tricks and techniques along the way that you can begin to master. Plus, as long as you’re enjoying it, you can be as messy or precise as you want!

Finally, cooking at home this winter instead of ordering delivery will help you save money and eat healthy, so your budget and body will thank you, too!

Resource: Start with these quick and easy meals for two that can be on the table in under an hour.

2. Writing

One of the worst things about inclement weather is that it often becomes lonely while you’re waiting for it to pass. Writing is a great way to spend this alone time because you can express your thoughts while also having an opportunity to get your creative juices flowing.

There are so many different outlets that you can use to write, such as:

Writing as a hobby doesn’t put any pressure on you that you may feel when you’re writing for other people. Getting your thoughts on paper can be relaxing, whether you write about things that are happening in your life or you write an allegory that reflects your feelings. The process of writing when you’re doing it on your own terms can be very cathartic, no matter what the context of your writing is.

Resource: This post will help you create a daily writing habit.

3. Create Vision Boards

Making and keeping up with your vision boards is a great thing to do when you’re stuck in the house, and it will benefit you in all areas of your life. Your vision board will act as a daily reminder of your long term goals and give you an easily accessible source of motivation to help you work toward them.

Here is a checklist of supplies you should have on hand when making a vision board. Of course you can add any type of material to your vision board that you want–make it unique!

Once you’ve mastered your own vision board, you can throw a vision board party to get all of your friends on board as well.

Resources: If you’ve never made a vision board before, here are instructions on how to create one, and here are some templates you can use to help you map out your goals.

4. Couponing

While you may not be headed out to shop, you can do some work ahead of time by finding and organizing your coupons. Couponing is a fun hobby that can save you a lot of money if you know what you’re doing. If you love the thrill of finding great deals, couponing may be a great hobby for you.

Once you get really comfortable with couponing, this practice will become second nature because you will start to notice how much an item typically costs, who offers the best deals, and when to stock up on necessities.

Resource: Here is a video on extreme couponing for beginners.

5. Create an Organizing Routine

Look out, Marie Kondo, if you’re ready to get organized, you can make your own system for getting rid of clutter and maintaining a clean house. Create a process that makes sense to you to help you organize any belongings that you have that don’t have their own place to be put away. 

There are plenty of supplies you can buy to help you declutter your living space. After doing so, you will feel less stressed and overwhelmed because when your living and working space are both organized, you will find it much easier to be productive throughout the day.

Resource: Take these steps to start decluttering your personal space.

6. Study Philosophy

If you’ve ever wondered what the purpose is of human life or why you are where you are right now, studying philosophy may be a good hobby for you to adopt. Studying philosophy allows you to use your logic and reasoning skills to try to understand the various perceptions that people have about life, the world, and its origins. Reading the theories that other philosophers have come up with can help you decide what you believe is the truth.

Learning about philosophy will offer you some insight into your life’s purpose, and it is a subject that will always be both useful and interesting. Once you get into a little philosophy, it’s easy to get lost in it as one unanswered question leads you to the next.

Resource: Here are six tips for teaching yourself philosophy.

7. Play Video Games

Playing video games all day doesn’t have to mean that you’ve wasted all of your time. Playing video games has some educational benefits and some cognitive benefits for both adults and children such as:

  • Cognitive stimulation
  • Helps enhance problem-solving skills
  • Stress relief
  • Enhanced thinking
  • Spatial-reasoning skills

Plus, studies have shown that even if playing video games just makes you feel happier, this is a benefit that’s important to take into consideration when determining how you’re going to spend your down time. 

Resource: Here is a list of the 50 best video games of the 21st century

8. Make Bread

A lot of people have taken up bread making as a hobby during the covid pandemic, and this is the perfect hobby to carry you through the winter as well. Having fresh, homemade bread right out of the oven is extremely comforting, and much healthier than the processed bread you would buy from the grocery store.

You can experiment with various types of breadmaking if you pick this up as a hobby, and then use the bread you make for other things like French toast and croutons. You can incorporate your homemade bread into just about any meal you have!

Resource: Here is a video that will walk you through making bread.

9. Make a YouTube Channel

I’m sure you know of some famous YouTubers, and you could try to become one yourself! Take whatever skill you have and record it on video, whether that’s cooking, fixing appliances, or even just reading children’s stories out loud, and share it with the world through YouTube. 

Resource: Here is how you can create your own YouTube channel.

10. Interior Design

If you have a great sense of style and enjoy matching furniture with wall colors and decor, you can make a hobby out of interior design. And, while you’re stuck inside, start with your own living space! 

Redecorate some rooms in your house, then open an Instagram page or other online platform to show your work off to your friends.

Resource: This online interior design class will help you get started.

11. Take a Class Online

Learning outside of the classroom has always been possible, but in our age of the internet, you can have a formal, structured learning experience in the comfort of your own home. There are a lot of platforms for online learning, many of which are offered at no charge. 

Taking classes online is convenient, and while it once seemed a bit questionable in terms of its legitimacy, an online education is now valued just as much as one that you receive in-person. Plus, there is an online class for pretty much anything you may be interested in. Another benefit of online learning is that you can do additional research if a certain topic really piques your interest or you’re having a hard time grasping a concept and you want to try to learn about it from a different perspective. 

Using websites such as Coursera, Skillshare, and Udemy can be especially helpful because you can choose from thousands of courses and have an instructor available who can help clarify things for you if you have any questions. 

Finally, online courses typically offer supplemental resources such as guides and PDFs that can’t be accessed by the public. Having up-to-date materials such as these will help you stay on top of emerging professional trends. 

Whether you want to learn about a subject that you just find to be personally interesting or you’re trying to stay ahead of the game in your field, this lifelong learning tool is a very practical hobby that can benefit you in many regards. 

Resources: These are great options if you want to learn a new language, here are 37 free Udemy courses for personal development, or, if you want to learn from a celebrity, you can try Masterclass.

12. Learn How to Play Chess

You don’t need a chess board to play this classic game anymore, as it is readily available online and through apps, so you can play any time, even if you’re home alone! You will be having fun strategizing as you give your brain a good workout while playing chess–whether you do it virtually or in-person. 

The challenge involved with playing this game never ends because there are unlimited strategies to learn to beat your opponent. Playing chess will help keep your mind active and improve your cognitive function in the areas of your brain that help improve your focus, problem-solving skills, analytical thinking, memory, and ability to make decisions, so this is a very beneficial hobby to have!

Resource: This video will help you get started learning this game if you are a beginner. 

13. Yoga

I’m sure you’ve heard about the health benefits of yoga, and you may have already gotten into it a little bit. But, as with any other healthy habit, you need to practice yoga on a regular basis in order to reap its benefits. Practicing yoga offers time for self-reflection while also incorporating physical movement, which means it’s a great thing to practice on those days when it’s too yucky outside to leave the house. 

One thing we may all have to deal with this winter is symptoms of depression. Well, the good thing about practicing yoga is that it can benefit both your current and future mental health. Yoga will not only help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, studies have shown that engaging in this practice can also protect your brain from losing gray matter with age. The study showed that seniors who practice yoga had the same amount of gray matter as the younger population. This means doing yoga could prevent your brain from shrinking as you age.

Yoga also offers physical benefits. The more you practice yoga, the more flexible and physically stable you will become. Your blood pressure, cholesterol, and risk of heart disease will all decrease–typically as much as they would if you were engaging in conventional cardio exercise. Finally, if you’re suffering from chronic pain, fatigue, or asthma, practicing yoga can help mitigate these issues.  

Resource: Here is a 20 minute video of yoga you can practice at home if you’re a beginner. 

14. Do Puzzles

Solving puzzles is a fun and challenging hobby that you can do indoors alone or with your family. And, even with the omnipresence of smartphones, playing real, tangible puzzles is still a common pastime for people of all ages.

The act of putting puzzle pieces together is a great cognitive exercise for your continued brain development. This hobby helps train your brain to look at the bigger picture, engage in visual-spatial reasoning, and improve your processing speed and short-term memory.  

Puzzles will also help you with your problem-solving abilities because they require the use of trial and error skills.  Being a good critical thinker and having the ability to see things from various perspectives are both important traits to have, and when you solve puzzles, you’re able to refine these skills.  

Resource: This site offers thousands of free puzzles you can do at home. 

15. Upcycle

Upcycling helps reduce the amount of trash we put back into land and you get to use your creativity to make something new out of something old. This means that in addition to minimizing landfill waste, you’re reducing production needs in factories for new products, which helps reduce pollution, CO2 emissions, etc.)

Upcycling old furniture or decor around the house can also help you make some money on the side. Refinishing old furniture is a common way to add a unique twist to your home decor, so many people shop for upcycled items in places like Facebook Marketplace and farmer’s markets. Every upcycled product is unique and special because it’s made with a homemade level of craftsmanship that isn’t as common as it once was. We’re so used to mass-produced items that fit into a cookie cutter mold, so seeing things that have been made by hand encourages a sense of creativity that helps our environment and our society.

Resource: Here are 38 upcycling ideas to get you started.

16. Start a Blog

Speaking of having an extra source of income, is there something that you consider yourself to be an expert in or something you’re really passionate about? If so, you can share your opinions, knowledge, and experience with other people by creating a blog.

Whether you’re writing about your upcycled furniture or you write a lifestyle blog about parenting, interacting with other people online through your blog is a great way to get new conversations started and create a platform for yourself where you can be heard.

If you allow companies to advertise on your blog and you start to generate some online traffic, you can earn a decent amount of money with this hobby. Plus, since you will be writing about something that interests you, this is a hobby that will help you be a lifelong learner through an enjoyable process. 

Resource: This site will walk you through starting a blog.

17. Learn About Investing

This is a great hobby because it will help you understand and take control of your finances. Learning about investing will greatly benefit you if you’re able to turn it into an enjoyable hobby.

By learning about smart ways to invest or save your money, you will be setting yourself up for financial success. And, while this topic may sound dull or confusing at first, once you start to learn the basics about investing, you will likely find that you enjoy the challenge that comes along with it and the sense of satisfaction you get when you make a good financial decision. 

Resource: There are plenty of podcasts about personal finance that you can listen to in order to get started with this hobby.

18. Watch Documentaries

Sometimes, documentaries are even more engaging than high-dollar blockbuster films, and getting lost in a documentary when it’s cold outside never feels like a waste of time. There are so many options for great documentaries streaming on Netflix, Amazon, YouTube, etc that are educational, interesting, and thought-provoking. I always find that I’m able to take a look at something from a new perspective after watching a documentary.

Do some research on documentaries that cover your favorite topics (true crime? history? health?) and make a list of the ones that interest you. This could just end up being a hobby that you end up doing even when it isn’t cold outside!

Resource: Here is a list of some of the best documentaries of all time, and here are some free documentaries you can watch on Youtube.

19. Study Your Genealogy

Tracing your roots back to where your family originated is a satisfying hobby that can benefit you and other members of your family. In fact, this hobby can help serve future generations as well–for many years to come.

Many people research their genealogy as a hobby for practical reasons, such as:

  • To determine if stories about their ancestors are true
  • To find out if there is a connection to any famous people
  • To find one’s birth parents
  • To research a family’s medical history
  • To trace back family inheritance of some kind

All you need is your research skills to learn about your genealogy. From there, you will just need to organize the information that you find and maintain the curiosity to learn about your family’s history to keep you motivated. This hobby will help you understand where you came from a bit better.  

Resource: Here is how you can get started with studying your genealogy.

20. Practice Doing Stand-Up Comedy

Doing stand-up comedy allows you to engage in positive and happy communication with others while ultimately hoping that they end up getting a good laugh.

If you’re interested in performing stand-up comedy, it’s important to practice. Just as any other type of performer practices before hitting the stage, comedy is no exception. You can even use your knowledge of comedy that you learn and practice at home as you’re interacting with others on an everyday basis.

So, use your living room as your stage and start practicing some jokes that you would like to perform in front of a live audience one day.

Resource: Here is an online class you can take on performing stand-up comedy. 

21. Learn a New Language

Learning a new language might sound really tough, but there are a lot of benefits to taking up this hobby. Living in the globally fluid world that we do, it will give you a competitive edge in your professional life to be able to communicate with people from other countries. 

There are also cognitive benefits to learning a new language. Research shows that people who speak two or more languages have a better memory, improved problem-solving and analytical skills, and can focus better than those who speak only one language. There is also evidence that suggests people who are bilingual tend to be more creative than those who aren’t.

Finally, being able to access information and media in foreign languages that you would otherwise not be able to will also help broaden your worldliness and give you an opportunity to listen to what’s going on in other parts of the world first-hand. 

Resource: Here are seven of the best resources for learning a new language. 

22. Read

Reading is a very personal hobby, but it will benefit anyone who does it on a regular basis. Reading is a great escape from the real world, and regardless of what genres you choose, reading will exercise your brain, build your vocabulary, help you learn, and reduce stress. If you really want to relax, sit back and listen to an audiobook, allowing someone else to read to you. 

Reading before you go to sleep can even help you sleep better by putting your real-life worries aside, disconnecting from technology, and giving you something relaxing to do. But it’s also a good idea to keep your book on you during the day so if you get some free time, you can pull out your book for some mid-day relief. 

Resource: This post will help you read more books and retain the information.

23. Listen to Podcasts

There’s a podcast out there for everyone, no matter what your other hobbies or interests are. Whether you’re a history buff or you want to keep up on the latest celebrity gossip, it’s easy to find and listen to a ton of podcasts on any topic that you’re interested in. What’s more, you can listen to most podcasts for free, so once you find one that you enjoy, you won’t have to spend a lot of money to keep engaging with it.

Listening to podcasts will give you a great escape from your routine, and you can switch it up depending on your mood by listening to a funny podcast, an educational one, a murder mystery…whatever you feel like at the time. Podcasts are also great to listen to in the background while you’re cleaning or doing a mindless task. Once you find your favorite podcasts, listening to them can help make the time fly by.

Resource: These productivity podcasts and these motivational podcasts will help you feel productive, even on the laziest of days. 

Final Thoughts

This winter may be long, but with these hobby ideas in your back pocket, you will have a ton of stuff to keep you busy. Pick one or two options and start getting the feel for them now before the cold weather really hits us!

Connie Stemmle is a professional editor, freelance writer and ghostwriter. She holds a BS in Marketing and a Master’s Degree in Social Work. When she is not writing, Connie is either spending time with her 4-year-old daughter, running, or making efforts in her community to promote social justice.

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23 Indoor Hobbies for Winter or Inclement Weather