Here in RI, we know what to expect from the winter months. Short days and chilly mornings are on tap, and we retreat into the warm confines of our homes whenever possible. With social distancing advisories in place, the season’s usual rhythm is even more defined.

“This winter has presented us with a unique set of challenges but it’s still important that we can all find ways to add movement and socialization into our daily routine,” says John Robinson, Manager of Life Enrichment at PACE-RI. And staying home doesn’t need to feel like a slog. Why not look at it as an opportunity to rediscover a pastime that livens up those cold evenings? With that in mind, we explore the top 5 activities for older adults to enjoy over the winter.

Knitting or crocheting

Knitting and crocheting is a soothing activity that lets you create warm and comfortable hats, scarves, and blankets, just to name a few. They make great gifts and are guaranteed to keep family members cozy no matter how cold the winter gets.

Playing or listening to music

For many older adults, their collection of CDs or vinyl is a point of pride and a touchstone for different periods in their life. Listening to music and playing music can bring a sense of peace and calm after a tough day or a bit of excitement to a dull winter afternoon. Playing instruments also keeps the mind nimble by engaging multiple parts of the brain at once.

Painting or drawing

Ever since Bob Ross taught America the Joy of Painting on PBS, millions of older adults have tried their hand at bringing the canvas to life. Painting or drawing can be an absorbing activity, providing nearly endless opportunity for personal expression. It also allows the artist to take winter into their own hands, painting snowy landscapes or pristine mountaintops.

Writing to pen pals or family members

One of winter’s biggest challenges is staying connected to our loved ones. Why not surprise them with a thoughtful letter? You can send your love and keep in contact over the season with notes about your day to day or start a conversation with a new pen pal. Getting mail from a friend is always a nice surprise.

Finding your perfect puzzle

Whether it’s a crossword, sudoku, or a classic jigsaw puzzle, everyone has a type of puzzle that they can enjoy. For chilly weekends with time to spare, there’s no activity more satisfying than finishing a huge jigsaw puzzle on the kitchen table.

So, as you look around the house for things to do this winter, remember that it doesn’t have to be complex or high tech. It just needs to bring you joy and satisfaction. Do you have other ways you like to spend time in the winter? PACE participants can reach out to their care teams if they would like help doing these types of activities at home.