Winter Bucket List

Our team at Empowered Connections thought it would be fun to create a short winter bucket list to help you escape the winter blues and spread some love this year. 

1. Make homemade hot cocoa. Okay, NOT the mix you buy from the grocery store, but with real milk, real chocolate and some real whipped cream (again, not the frozen crap!). It’s a treat that you can make for yourself and your people before you get ready for some marathon Netflixing! Look up ideas of recipes from Pinterest if you’re stuck. 

2. Watch all the movies that were nominated for an Oscar the last couples of years. Speaking of Netflix, why not commit to binging all the movies that were nominated last year for an Oscar? How about watching Get Out, Coco or the Shape of Water? We always have good intentions to watch these movies, but always forget. Winter is the perfect time to cross these off your list! 

3. Go ice skating. When was the last time you did this? When you were a teenager in high school? What about your kiddos or some little ones in your life? I bet they would love to bundle up on a Sunday afternoon and try their hand at this awesome, fun sport! 

4. Build a gingerbread house! I admit, this one is hard for me as I just want to eat the dang thing before it’s built, BUT if you’re stuck at home during a storm or yucky weather, throw on some music and build yourself a delicious – errr adorable – gingerbread house! 

5. Pay it forward. Stuck in a long line at your local coffee shop? Buy the person’s coffee behind you as a way to brighten their day. Is your significant other’s laundry piling up? Even if you don’t do their laundry normally, it would be kind and thoughtful to gift them with a pile of clean, folded clothes waiting for them when they get home. 

6. Try a new restaurant. Is there a ramen spot you’ve been eyeing in town lately? Or a sushi bar that you’ve been wanting to check out but keep forgetting? Now’s the time! Grab your bestie or your favorite child and head over on a cold, blustery day and experience something new. 

7. Go see one movie a week. By yourself. I’ll admit, this isn’t for everyone. I recently made an intention to see one movie a week as I LOVE going to the movies, but it’s hard to find someone to take with me most of the time. Joining AMC Stubs A-List only cost me $23 a month and I can see up to 12 movies a month included in that monthly fee. Try going to a movie in an afternoon with your blanket and some freshly popped popcorn or milk duds. Heaven! 

8. Go see a locally produced play. Believe it or not, a lot of our local colleges, high schools and theatre groups in town produce some really great plays that are a cheap treat on a winter weekend. If you live near our Leonardtown office, check out Ryken High School’s plays or the Port Tobacco Players; they’re always playing a seasonal production and they’re pretty freaking amazing! 

9. Find a local hot springs and take a dip. This one I stole from a winter bucket list from years ago that I read about, but it sounds super fun! Just Google “natural hot springs near me” and see what comes up. They’re pretty great and a relaxing way to spend an afternoon. 

10. Volunteer. Bored and wanting to give back? Why not try volunteering at a local animal shelter one weekend a month or at a shelter that houses homeless families? There are always tons of opportunities for us to spread love this winter season, and who doesn’t need more of that?! The cool part of this activity is, more than likely, you’ll go home feeling more filled with gratitude than the animals or people you helped. Try it and see! 

We hope these are some good ideas for you to start with! I, myself, love lists, so I make bucket lists for every season and while I don’t usually cross off everything, it’s still a pretty fun way to kick the winter blues. As always, if you feel you need some extra support this winter, we got you! Check us out at

DEBORAH DULEY is a licensed social worker in the state of Maryland. She has a BS in social work from Bowie State University and a Masters of Social Work from Howard University, Washington DC, as well as thousands of clinical hours and continuing education. She is a certified Stepfamily Foundation Counselor and is ASIST trained in suicide intervention. In addition Deborah is trained in divorce and custody mediation. Deborah is the founder and owner of the counseling practice Empowered Connections LLC, located in the heart of Leonardtown Maryland and the facilitator of her new therapy program “10 Sessions to Better Self-Esteem.” Deborah has over 25 years of experience working with women in many capacities such as activist, domestic violence counselor, and crisis interventionist. As the “women’s therapist,” she is passionate about working with women and teen girls. She integrates her knowledge of mental health issues and her life experiences to assist them in increasing their self-esteem, decrease anxiety & depression symptoms and tackle a whole host of personal issues that women struggle with.