How to Beat Cabin Fever in Your Senior Living Community

Ideas for beating cabin fever in your senior community

When cold weather and short days keep you indoors for most of the day, it can be easy to feel cooped up and succumb to the “winter blahs.” The best way to combat cabin fever during the winter months is to keep busy with stimulating activities and social interactions. Here are some ideas for fighting boredom and keeping the gray skies at bay. 

Maintain a daily walking routine. Just because it’s cold and gray outside doesn’t mean you can’t still go on a daily walk. Plan a route around the inside of your community, ideally one that takes you past friends’ doors so you can stop to say hello and have a chat. Both exercise and social interaction are powerful mood-boosters.

Try something new. New experiences are the best cure for boredom there is. ABHM communities offer all sorts of classes, events, social groups, and activities. Any time you start to feel a little stir crazy, look at your community’s activity calendar and pick a new activity to try. You might discover a new hobby or meet new friends. At the very least, you’ll fill an afternoon.

Schedule weekly social activities. Friday night movies. An afternoon of cards every Wednesday. Breakfast club on Sundays. It doesn’t matter what you choose, but pick a few activities that you enjoy and recruit a few friends to join you in them on a weekly rotation. Having regularly scheduled activities to look forward to always helps to lift the spirits and keep you moving.

Call a friend or family member. Whenever you start to feel the winter blues sneak up on you, pick up the phone and call a close friend or family member. Nothing fights back loneliness and lifts the spirits quite like talking to a loved one. Discuss any upcoming visits you might have planned for when the weather gets warm again. If you don’t have any plans, make some!

Read a book. The beauty of books is that they can transport us to different times and places. When dreary winter weather is getting you down, pick a book and escape to a more desirable setting. If reading small print strains your eyes, ask a family member to set you up with a way to listen to audio books. Then just sit back, relax, and press play.

Hopefully this list offers some inspiration for beating cabin fever and besting the winter blahs. Boredom and isolation are precursors for depression, so it’s important to keep busy and maintain social connections throughout the winter months, when seasonal conditions already make us more prone to depression. If you need more ideas for beating cabin fever, reach out to your community’s activity coordinator.

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