When the ground is a black icy sheet of death and when leaving the house means giving yourself a ten minute pep-talk, it's easy to use the weather as an excuse to hibernate from December to March. While it's definitely understandable to spend a good part of the season wrapped in multiple blankets, here's a few ideas of things to do that will help you beat the winter blues.

1. Baking Knows No Season

Malthouse sourdough

treehouse1977 on Flickr

After the holidays are over, when winter is especially awful, times can get tough when the homemade treats run out. Fear not!  Take advantage of the time indoors to learn how to bake homemade bread and enjoy the fruits of your efforts.

2. Get Cultured

The season of ice storms and biting wind is the perfect time to spend inside, perusing the galleries of your local art museum or gallery. Most galleries are free to enter, and art museums usually have free days every month. If art isn't your thing, check to see if there's any quirky little museums nearby, like the International Banana Museum in California.

3. When in Doubt, Board Games

Settlers of Catan pizza.  Yup, you nerds heard me right.  ps:  I'm hungry!

dpstyles™ on Flickr

Got any board games for Christmas? Or any neglected games buried in the closet? Throw a board game party with all your friends that you haven't seen because you haven't left your bed in two days. Nothing brings people together like a quality game of Settlers of Catan.

3. Spread the Holiday Spirit

Winter is the perfect time to start volunteering. Keep the warmth of the holidays alive by volunteering at an animal shelter, soup kitchen, or nonprofit. It's a great way to make friends (or just meet interesting people) and do something that you really care about.

4. Make a “Food Resolution”

Tofu Kimchi [두부김치]

KFoodaddict on Flickr

Dan Pashman of WNYC’s “The Sporkful” podcast came up with a great idea: The Food Resolution. What do you resolve to eat more of this year? Kimchi? Pie? This is a fun opportunity to try new things, eat healthier, or just eat more of something you enjoy.

5. Give Yourself a Break

Everything tends to be harder when it’s 10 degrees out. In the season of New Year’s Resolutions, it’s easy to feel guilty when everyone seems to be jumping on their resolutions­. Don’t. Keep being your fabulous self–it worked last year

Although sometimes it seems like winter is something we all just have to survive through, the season gets a bad wrap. Winter is the perfect time to do things that wouldn't be on the top of your list when its sunny and 75 degrees. So take a deep breath, buy some hand warmers, and make your way to May.