10 Ways to Get Through—and Enjoy—a Stay-at-Home Winter

Keep safe, stay healthy, and have fun indoors and out with these awesome ideas—for physical activities, crafty creations, social interactions, and more—that will make this winter wonderful in its own way.

To heck with hibernation! Get busy!

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Ways to Get Through a Stay-a-Home Winter

The onset of winter typically brings its own set of challenges, but this year, as we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, we may find ourselves dealing with more stress and restrictions than ever. While winter may call for its share of cozying up, spending too much time under the covers in bed or staring at a screen isn’t healthy for the mind, body, or spirit. Consider these inspiring ideas to stay physically active, mentally stimulated, and safely connected with loved ones so you can not simply survive but thrive this season.

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Take a Walk Every Day

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Take a Walk Every Day

Getting outside for a walk in the fresh air is a healthy daily habit for people of all ages. In winter, however, it’s especially important to take precautions to prevent a slip or fall. Yaktrax walking cleats can add significant traction to the soles of your shoes, providing extra stability on icy and snowy surfaces. Treat yourself to a set so you’ll feel more confident walking in winter weather conditions.

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Complete a Minor Home Repair or a DIY Project

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Complete a Minor Home Repair or a DIY Project

Winter is a great time to start, and finish, a DIY project. Small, pesky problems like a dripping faucet, a squeaky door, and other minor home repairs get pushed to the wayside when schedules are hectic and busy. When you’re stuck at home, completing these types of activities can be a productive way to use time and energy, while also providing some mental stimulation.

Related9 Home Repair Remedies to Borrow from Your Medicine Cabinet

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Connect with Love Ones via Video Conferences

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Connect with Love Ones via Video Conferences

Video conferences can help provide social interaction during times that we need to stay at home. Smartphones, computers, and the cool new touchscreen device Facebook Portal make it easier to stay connected with others. Consider creative ways to make social interactions over a screen feel special, such as reading to or listening to a grandchild read, celebrating a birthday, or having a virtual gathering to cheer your favorite team during a football game.

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Go for a Bike Ride

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Go for a Bike Ride

Cycling is a super way to exercise outdoors, and with the right bike you can get out there even if there’s ice and snow on the ground. Fat tire bikes, especially those with studded tires to provide ultimate traction, make winter riding possible. Recreational areas increasingly rent fat tire bikes and have created designated trails and courses for them as this activity continues to gain popularity.

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Try a New Craft

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Try a New Craft

Crafting can be a mentally stimulating way to bring enjoyment to your winter downtime. Knitting, sewing, painting, soapmaking, small woodworking projects, and creating a stained glass piece are all pleasurable and productive activities. Tackle whichever new projects strike your fancy! You’ll be proud of your handiwork and may just develop a hobby that will last a lifetime.

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Enjoy a Backyard Fire

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Enjoy a Backyard Fire

The warmth, light, and ambiance of a small backyard fire can be enjoyable and, depending on restrictions, a safe way to hang out with loved ones while social distancing. There are traditional fire pits designed for burning wood as well as propane-powered models, so choose the style that suits your yard and bring the brightness home!

Related10 Fire Pits We Love

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Consider Adopting an Animal Friend

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Consider Adopting an Animal Friend

Animals make amazing companions! Recent research shows that that pets played a critical role in fighting loneliness during the COVID-19 pandemic. Always think adoption first to find the perfect fit. Dogs and cats are popular, of course, but small creatures like rabbits, ferrets, guinea pigs, reptiles, birds, and ornamental fish also make excellent pets. Even if you can’t commit to giving an animal a forever home, perhaps you could foster short term.

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Try Some New Recipes

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Try Some New Recipes

With limitations in place on restaurant dining, people are cooking more frequently at home. This is the perfect time to brush up on your culinary skills and try some new recipes! Consider making a meal or a sweet treat for someone else who may need or appreciate a delivered meal.

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Work to Meet an Activity Goal

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Work to Meet an Activity Goal

Fitness trackers and apps can help you set and track progress toward activity goals, inspiring you to keep moving each day. Your health insurance company may even offer wellness incentives linked to meeting a daily step or activity goal. You may also consider participating in a virtual activity-related challenge: Many allow you to register online and earn medals, T-shirts, or other prizes upon completion just as you would in an in-person event. Incentives with recognition like that can be the motivation you need to keep active.

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Explore Nearby Nature Areas

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Explore Nearby Nature Areas

Chances are there is a park or recreational area in your area, maybe even one you have never visited before. Approach these natural recreation areas with the eyes of a tourist and you may be surprised by both what you can learn and experience. Seek out information online or at your local chamber of commerce to find close-to-home adventures that are waiting for you to explore.

RelatedAmerica's 10 Least Visited National Parks

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