It’s OK to be “Indoorsy”

Great pastimes for those who prefer the indoor life

I admit it.  I’m not much of an outdoor person. Regardless of the season, I simply prefer indoor pursuits. I’m sure there are others out there like me, although they can be hard to find.  It’s much more popular to be “outdoorsy.” Case in point…my children are athletic and enjoy all kinds of outdoor activities. My husband has hiked sections of the Appalachian Trail several times, he is scuba certified and loves to camp and fish. I am definitely the odd (wo)man out among these adventurous men! Of course, I understand that staying active and engaged is important and there are many activities my family likes to do together. Still, I stand by my preference for indoor pastimes. In fact, there are times when I love being left to enjoy these activities…even if I’m doing them alone…especially if I’m doing them alone!  These activities feed your mind, body, and spirit. Here are some of my favorites…

Museums and Other Historical Sites

If you’re a history buff like me, visiting museums and historical sites is a great way to learn something new or study an area you’re interested in. It’s also a great excuse to travel.  I like to identify museums or historical sites that are interesting to me and plan either a day trip or a longer trip to visit these locations. It’s like taking a trip back in time. You can lose yourself in a museum devoted to whatever subject interests you. If you choose to travel, you may also want to make reservations at a restaurant you’d like to try and treat yourself to a delicious meal as part of your adventure.

Book Clubs

Sometimes I let books pile up and then get so overwhelmed by the pile I don’t read anything.  Being involved in a book club not only allows you to interact with like-minded people who also enjoy the same hobby, but it basically forces you to get going on the book that’s being discussed (unless you want to come to the meeting unprepared).  If you’ve ever been to a book club, you know there is true joy in discussing your thoughts about a book you really like and hearing others’ opinions on what they think of the characters and storylines. This is one indoor pursuit I have loved for years and look to when I am needing a shot of camaraderie and a reason to dive into a great read.

Cooking and Baking

Cooking is a great creative outlet and has positive mental health benefits. Cooking and baking can be calming, stimulate the senses, make those around you happy and as a big bonus…can offer delicious rewards.

Watching Movies

Whether it’s an old favorite or new film, people of all ages and activity levels enjoy getting comfortable and watching a great movie. Laughing through comedies, and even crying through a good drama can have health benefits. Multiple studies have found that laughter not only enhances your mood but can also improve your immune system and decrease stress hormones. Crying can increase the production of endorphins. Re-watching favorite movies can provide comfort and evoke nostalgia, which can improve connection to family and friends. You can also make movie-watching a social event by inviting friends and serving yummy snacks!

Tai Chi

Tai Chi is considered an art that embraces the mind, body, and spirit through light exercise, stretching, and meditation. It improves balance and flexibility and contributes to an overall improvement in fitness. Many studies have shown that practicing Tai Chi can reduce the risk of falls for older adults by as much as 45 percent. There are many beginner classes online for anyone who would like to learn about this ancient Chinese exercise technique.

Volunteering

Preferring to be indoors doesn’t mean you’re avoiding hard work.  One indoor activity that may appeal to those who would rather be indoors is volunteering.  There are many ways to volunteer, including serving in a soup kitchen, helping children with homework after school, tutoring adults in reading or computer skills, sorting clothing or toys at a shelter, among many others. Seek out organizations and opportunities that interest you.

Board Games, Cards, and Puzzles

A fun and effective way to enhance your thinking and decision-making skills is to play board games or complete puzzles. These activities require us to use essential cognitive skills, help maintain brain function and support the problem-solving and memory components of the brain.

Remember to clearly define for yourself those things that YOU like to do and make space for them in your life!  As women, we often end up going along with what others want to do because we love to make the people we love happy!  Practice self care and put some focused energy on making sure you’re keeping yourself happy, too….whether that means staying  indoors, outdoors or a little bit of both.

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