How to hibernate
This February we’ve had lots of bugs going around, plus some terrible storms, including severe weather warnings where people we recommended not to make unnecessary journeys. At times like these it makes perfect sense to bunker down and keep cosy – and you can still do it brilliantly on a budget, no £75 designer candles required.
So how do you make the most of a rainy weekend or weekday evening that keeps you indoors?
One: Keep an eye on the weather forecast
Respect the weather, and know which days are likely to be the worst. Check apps, transport sites, the news and the radio for information, and take any severe weather warnings seriously.
Try to get your groceries in and your laundry done before the really bad storms hit, so you don’t have to go outside if you don’t want to.
Two: Have a loose schedule (but be prepared to adapt)
There’s a difference between choosing to enjoy being at home and feeling that you’re stuck indoors. Make a rough plan for your time and include plenty of things to look forward to so that you don’t get cabin fever.
Three: Aim for maximum cosy
Keeping warm and cosy can also be very cost effective, and you don’t need to buy anything particularly fancy in spite of what certain lifestyle influencers will tell you. Aim to keep just a few specific areas of your house or flat warm and mimimise draughts, so you won’t have to turn your heating up too much or have it switched on for too long. Keep doors closed where you can, and do a bit of DIY around the house if you need to seal gaps around windows and skirting boards.
Keeping cosy is the next thing to look at. Warm curtains that you draw when the sun goes down, throws and blankets on chairs and sofas, extra pairs of socks, several thin layers of clothing and maybe a hot water bottle too.
You can also go to town on the soft furnishings if you fancy, with cushions, candles and so on, but don’t worry about buying big brand names. If you’re likely to nod off on the sofa then get LED candles instead, and don’t leave anything burning unattended.
Four: Good food and drink
This is the perfect excuse for some good eating and drinking , isn’t it? Soups, stews, curries, pies, casseroles and hotpots were all made for rainy days and can all be made with low cost ingredients. Especially good value if you can make them in a slow cooker too. A rainy day is also perfect for baking, or making pots of tea or mugs of hot chocolate…
There’s a time and a place for tidying up and cooking, but make a big chunk of your day about having fun. Play music, watch movies, read a book or magazine, re-watch a box set or stream a series, or play computer or board games. Enjoy your time off. You don’t need to make multiple expensive purchases, especially if you’ve recorded something from Freeview, visited the library, dug out some old favourites or swapped with friends.
Cosying up on the sofa in front of a film is always great, but don’t say sat down for hours on end. Keep your blood pumping and your energy levels up by walking about, doing some stretches or yoga, using home gym equipment or dancing around the living room. Your choice.
Seven: Communication / community
You don’t need to completely batten down the hatches and cut off the rest of the world. Keep in touch with friends, send a few emails or texts, or write a thank you card to someone who’d appreciate it.
Eight: Pampering and relaxation
De-stress and look after yourself. Have a lie in, take a nap, or listen to some relaxing music. Or do some rainy day pampering: soak in the bath, give yourself a pedicure, or sit in front of the telly with a sheet mask on.
How do you make the most of a day indoors when the weather outside is bad?