We’re still in for some questionable weather and cold days, but slight increases in temperature and more frequent sunny days remind us that spring is just around the corner. As we emerge from the winter doldrums, there are plenty of things to do and getting out and about is more promising as safer travel conditions and more bearable temperatures begin to arrive. Though we still have some time before consistent days of lighter clothing, birds singing, and flowers blooming are here, there are still some fun things to do to prepare for spring’s arrival.
1. Explore Your Town – Take a drive and visit different areas of your town to see what it has to offer. Make note of local shops, museums, and restaurants that look interesting to visit later. Search your town, county, or municipality websites. Most will list local businesses and places of attraction. Call or visit your local Chamber of Commerce for more information on fun and interesting things to do in your own back yard. And be sure to keep an eye out for senior discounts!
2. Browse a Library – Local libraries are not only full of the classics and today’s bestsellers, they offer a host of movies and music to borrow. Couldn’t make it out to the movies because of the poor winter weather? Borrow a blockbuster. Want to try the latest CD but don’t want to make the purchase until you’ve tried it? Take it home for a spin. Don’t see what you’re looking for? Ask the librarian to see if the item can be ordered. Many libraries also offer movie viewings, book readings, and other interesting classes and seminars. Enjoy not only the materials the library has to offer, but its many opportunities for social connections.
3. Join or Start a Book Club – So you really enjoyed that book you borrowed from the library and wish you could share it with someone. Book Clubs are a great way to discuss your favorite books while enjoying time with others. Browse your local library or book store calendars to see what clubs might be available. Senior centers and local churches also sometimes host. Can’t find a club near you? Begin one with friends over coffee at home or meet in your local café!
4. Create Your Own – Visit one of the many businesses that offers painting, ceramics, or glass cutting. Make a new spring decoration for your home that you can enjoy for many springs to come. Exercise your creativity and enjoy the one-of-a-kind, uniquely-you finished product.
5. See a Show – You don’t have to visit Broadway to enjoy Broadway caliber shows. Many local live theaters host fun, high quality productions of Broadway favorites at lower costs all close to home. A quick Google search of “live local theater” should bring up theaters near you. Visit each website for production times and ticket prices.
6. Feed the Birds – With spring come migratory birds and their babies. What better way to observe and enjoy your local bird population than by attracting them. Place feeders around your property so that you many observe their beauty and behavior. Challenge yourself to identify as many types as possible or identify their calls. Visit the National Audubon Society’s website for tips on setting up feeders appropriate to your local bird population: https://www.audubon.org/news/bird-feeding-tips.
7. Be Childish – March’s old adage “in like a lion, out like a lamb” can certainly be true. Unpredictable weather at the beginning of March is its hallmark. This includes heavy winds. When March winds blow, let your inner child come out to play. What better weather is there for kite flying or blowing bubbles? Watching a colorful kite or cheerful bubbles dancing in the blustery March wind is a fun, inexpensive way to usher in spring. There are plenty of do-it-yourself kite instructions and bubble concoctions online, or simply visit your local dollar store.
8. Plant Something – You don’t have to feel overwhelmed with tending a large garden to enjoy the new life spring has to offer. Visit a local nursery to find some lovely plants, flowers, or bushes for outside or something simpler, but just as cheery, for inside. Your garden doesn’t have to take a huge amount of time or effort. Consider using containers to plant your outdoor favorites without the physical stress of kneeling or bending. Take a look at the Audubon Society’s website for local plants that also help support our avian friends! https://www.audubon.org/plantsforbirds
9. Exercise – As long as it’s okay with your doctor, there is no better cure for the winter blues than exercise. While you might have gotten some exercise at home during the long winter months, it might be a good time to venture out. Take a walk on warmer days or check in with your local pool or senior center for low-cost or no-cost classes. Chair yoga, swimming, or other low-impact exercises improve both your physical and mental health without being too exhausting. Click the link for a list of the Arthritis Foundation’s “arthritis-friendly” exercises: https://www.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/exercise/arthritis-friendly/
10. Start Spring Cleaning – While certainly not everyone’s favorite chore, there is something about the feeling of accomplishment that comes with spring cleaning. Feeling lighter and uncluttered helps the mind stay clear and lightens the spirit. Be careful not to tackle too much at once, though. Small blocks of time do add up and save you from feeling overwhelmed or exhausted. Check out Netflix for “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo” for encouragement and tips from the world tidying and organizing expert, or browse https://konmari.com for more information.