By Kelly Bjornstad
This winter has been one of lowest recorded temperatures ever, along with unusual snowfall in California. In Southern California, blizzard warnings are being sent out as a blizzard from the Midwest is finally settling down after engulfing states in extreme levels of snow, quick winds, and heavy rain. CNN reports, “In its first-ever blizzard warning, the National Weather Service in San Diego said the San Bernardino County mountains could see 3 to 5 feet of snow through Saturday morning.” The report continued, “Blizzard warnings were also issued for Los Angeles and Ventura counties through Saturday afternoon. Up to 5 feet of snow is possible with some isolated areas seeing between 7 and 8 feet.” The places that haven’t received snow that are now being snowed on include Santa Cruz and the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
As winter in the Bay Area carries on stronger than ever, you’ll most likely find yourself bored. Here’s 5 things to keep you busy if you choose to spend your time somewhere sheltered from the cold:
Crochet a temperature blanket! Okay, maybe not the most exciting activity that first comes to mind, but a temperature blanket takes more time to make than you think. Here’s how they work: Pick out a couple colors for your blanket, most people opt for blues, reds, and oranges to represent warm and cool temperatures. Assign a temperature range to each color of yarn that you have. For example, 30-40 degrees might be the iciest blue that you have, and as temperatures move up, they get closer to the reds, oranges, and yellows you’ve picked out. Pick a time to draw a temperature from each day. Then, crochet two rows of the corresponding color for however long you’d like. More time means a bigger blanket, so it’s all up to you. Plus, yarn is pretty cheap from any craft store or any online spot you prefer, and it’ll only take a couple minutes of your day. When your blanket is done, you’ll see a cool transition from blues to reds. Maybe it’ll turn into your beach blanket for next season!
The next thing you can do is take a day trip. As long as it’s safe and not super-storming, set a destination and turn on some music. You can take yourself to a lookout point, somewhere warm, or to a restaurant that’s farther than you’d usually go. You could sit in your car while the heater is on while watching the waves at Muir beach, Half Moon Bay, Stinson beach, or Ocean beach in San Francisco.
Another thing to occupy you this winter is: Cleaning. It’s probably something you’ve been putting off. Spending time inside will be more enjoyable when you’re not surrounded by a huge mess. As much as you don’t want to, clean your room, or wherever you spend most of your time. Maybe it’s time to go through the drawer you call your “Miscellaneous drawer” or finally look in the back of your closet to see what’s been sitting there for who knows how long. You never know, maybe you’ll find something you’ve been looking for. According to TheCleaningCollective, cleaning your room can lead to better focus, less stress, less anxiety, and a better mood.
You could also start a collection. Maybe it’s looking for shells, leaves, flowers, jewelry, buttons, stamps, coins, baseball cards, Vinyl records, comic books, or funky fridge magnets. Anything you would like! Go to your local thrift and vintage stores and see what you can find. There’s plenty here in Benicia, so go shop around!
Lastly, create some art. It doesn’t have to be some calculated craft if you don’t want it to be. You could use leaves, sponges, or pieces of fabric. It could be finger painting or picking something to stamp onto some paper. The American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine or ACRM explains, “There is increasing evidence in rehabilitation medicine and the field of neuroscience that art enhances brain function by impacting brain wave patterns, emotions, and the nervous system. Art can also raise serotonin levels.” You could draw an alternate planet where everything looks to your liking, or try to design a new creature. Try to paint a couple of lines and make a picture out of it, or use all sorts of materials to make a mixed media piece of art. You can use string, paper scraps, beads, magazine clippings, hardware, and all sorts of things all together to make a unique piece of art.
As rain and snow continue to come down heavily this season, it’s important to try not to let yourself fall into a rut. It’s important to rest, but just as important to keep yourself busy!