Two major things tend to happen come winter: One, it gets cold and finding things to do—honestly, just leaving the house—becomes a chore. And two, if you're single, it feels like everyone around you is coupling up. Winter feels like a time to be cozy and romantic, but sometimes the best thing you can do is take this time to focus on yourself.
Whether or not you're single, you should always make time to date yourself—it's all about enjoying alone time, de-stressing, treating yourself and having fun without relying on anyone else. And this winter is the perfect time to start...
Cook yourself a fancy dinner
You could order takeout, but if you really want to treat yourself, try cooking yourself a fancy meal. Sure, it requires time and effort, but if you take on a new, complicated recipe and succeed, you'll get a delicious (and Instagram-worthy) meal out of it, and you'll feel accomplished.
Go ice skating
Ice skating is usually seen as a cute wintertime date idea, but it's definitely not just for couples. Going alone can be just as fun, and if you're not well-practiced at ice skating to begin with, there's less pressure to be good at it because you've got no one else to impress. Bundle up, head to a public skating rink and skate to your heart's content—then follow it up with some hot cider.
Take yourself to a show
Sometimes the best way to spend a cold winter night is indoors, but that doesn't mean you have to stay home alone. Take yourself out to a movie, a show or a concert that you've been dying to see. Sure, you could enjoy it with a friend or a date, but there are a lot of perks to going solo (namely that you can enjoy it with abandon, without worrying if anyone else is having as good a time).
Have a hot cocoa tasting day
The best part of winter might just be that when the weather gets colder, the beverages get hotter, and few things are more satisfying than a mug of hot chocolate on a snowy day. Challenge your sweet tooth and spend a day trying hot cocoa all over town—do a little research on the best hot chocolate in your area, then make a list and go see how the reviews stack up.
Teach yourself something new
Have you always wanted to learn how to draw or play guitar? Set up a recurring "teach yourself" date when you know you'll be home and have nothing to do, and then use books or the internet to help you learn a new skill. You'll learn how to do something new and you just might learn a lot about yourself in the process.
Have a nostalgia night
Think back to your childhood—remember the days of building living room forts and staying up all night playing games and watching TV? It doesn't have to be a distant memory. Build a cozy grown-up fort, fill it with pillows and blankets, and spend the night revisiting your old favorite shows and movies, listening to music and eating all the best snacks from your youth.
Take a mini vacation
A weekend getaway for two may be romantic, but going it alone is your ticket to true relaxation. It doesn't matter where you go—book a room in a hotel and order room service, go somewhere scenic and stay in an Airbnb, or spend a weekend at a spa—just allow yourself to do whatever it is you'd like to do. And above all else, avoid all stress—an especially important goal during the oft-exhausting holiday season.
While chatting up new friends in the communal kitchen or grabbing dinner with an interesting couple from Argentina might be right up your alley, so is locking your room door behind you and flopping backwards on the bed.