While being stuck inside during the wet, cold months of winter can seem pretty bleak, there is plenty of upside. For starters, it’s the perfect time to enjoy comfort food, get cosy in your slippers and indulge in a hot chocolate (or two!). Being inside more often also provides an ideal opportunity to take up an indoor hobby or activity.
Whether you reignite your passion for something you already love, or try something new, there are many possibilities. Some activities benefit the brain or body (or both) and there are plenty of options that are low cost or even free.
So, if you’re looking for some inspiration to make the most of the winter months (and beyond) read on to discover five indoor activities for retirees that are perfect for a rainy day.
1. Escape the Everyday with Books
If you’re already a regular reader you’ll know well the benefits of getting lost in a good book. Reading is a great way to relax and escape from day-to-day troubles and open your mind to new ideas and possibilities. It’s also an enjoyable way to keep your mind active, which is especially important as you age.
You’ll find endless inspiration at your local library, and of course you can always dust off some of your old favourites from the shelf at home. You could even organise your own book club, asking friends or relatives to join you in choosing and reading a book or two each month. If reading is too hard on your eyes, there’s always the option of listening to an audiobook. There are some excellent unabridged recordings available across all genres that can be borrowed from the library or accessed online.
2. Train Your Brain Daily with Puzzles
A daily puzzle or two keeps your mind sharp, and can also improve your memory and reduce stress. Whether you enjoy crosswords, sudoku, word search, solitaire, jigsaw puzzles or trivia, there are lots of websites that offer puzzles and brain teasers that are free to access and sure to keep you busy.
If you prefer to pick up a pen and tackle them the old-fashioned way, you can find inexpensive puzzle books or jigsaw puzzles at op shops or your favourite bookshop. Set aside an hour or two each day and enjoy the challenge and benefits that a daily brain workout brings.
3. Tackle an Online Course
If you’ve always wanted to learn a language or discover more about a particular subject, an online course is a great way to do it. You can study from the comfort of your own home, at a time that suits you. Most allow you to work at your own pace and offer support from tutors and other students via online forums to keep you focused and motivated.
There are lots of online learning providers, including the U3A (University of the Third Age) who specifically cater for older adults. They offer a range of diverse subjects under topics such as history, nature, science, lifestyle and writing. To access the courses you pay a low yearly membership and all courses are ‘informal’ so there are no exams. A wonderful, low-cost way to expand your knowledge.
4. Cook Up a Storm
The winter months are a great time to have some fun and try new recipes in the kitchen. Challenge yourself to make something different a few times a week, across a range of cuisines and dishes. You’ll find plenty of inspiration online, just google your favourite chef, style of food or ingredient. The library is also a great resource, so have a browse of the cookbooks on the shelves to see what takes your fancy.
5. Exercise Your Body with Yoga
Yoga is a wonderful way to exercise your body and relax your mind and it’s suitable for all ages and fitness levels as you can go at your own pace. These days, it can easily be done at home as there are lots of classes available on YouTube. Search beginners, intermediate or advanced, choose a teacher, find a suitable space and enjoy. But remember, if you have any existing injuries or health concerns it’s best to see your GP before starting.
But Don’t Stop There…
These ideas are really just the tip of the iceberg – there are many more indoor activities and hobbies that would be perfect for wintery days. Always wanted to research your family history? Try your hand at painting? Write a novel? Knit a jumper? What are you waiting for!
Over to You
Do you have a favourite winter pastime or hobby you’d like to share? We’d love to hear it! Simply post a comment below.