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From the Community Press

Hobbies: for the cooler months

It’s the time of year here in Albuquerque when we feel like staying inside our cozy homes drinking hot cocoa under a warm blanket. Luckily, there are a myriad activities and even hobbies to keep you inspired and interested during this season. Is there a specific hobby you used to enjoy and wish you could keep up during retirement? If you live in a senior or 55 plus community, you may find that some of your neighbors have the same interests. There may be established groups that participate in a specific hobby such as wood work, gardening, sewing or art. Others may have a passion for travel and exploring the world. Do you have the desire to spend Christmas in the Swiss Alps? You’ll discover everything is possible and more exciting when friends are involved. You may also find that you have a unique hobby that isn’t part of your community yet. Bring your hobby with you to your retirement community and find others who have the same passion! Here are some ideas to have some fun during the cooler months.

Needlework. You don’t have to have a background in sewing or crocheting to start up a fun pastime. Find an easy course to watch online to get started or find a book on basic knitting skills. It’s the time of year when everyone needs mittens, hats and scarves and it’s fun to create your own for yourself and the grandkids. Your local arts and crafts store should have a supply of fun yarns or fabric, knitting or crochet needles and of course a nice big basket to store everything in. This is a great way to be creative while staying indoors and sipping that cup of cocoa while relaxing in the recliner. And there is no need to stop having a conversation or turn off the TV while you knit away! You might find a group in your senior community who do sewing or knitting projects with a purpose, such as making hats or blankets for those in assisted living or memory care. Talk to your neighbors and see how you can get started!

Puzzles!

It seems like such a simple hobby to have. Puzzles are a fun and an easy way to keep your mind active. Seniors can enjoy spending time together and putting together puzzles even during the chilliest winter storms. Start out with easier puzzles and work your way up to higher number of pieces. You can approach puzzles based on a theme or level of difficulty. For example, you may enjoy working on puzzles with pictures featuring pictures all 50 states. Or you can establish goals to work up to a certain amount of pieces or level of difficulty. Find some friends to have fun with! You can designate a little table in your senior apartment’s living room with a couple of chairs so you can easily access the puzzle and keep working on it whenever you want.

Baking. Many senior apartments come with full kitchens making it easy for you to cook and entertain. You may find that you still enjoy pulling out a freshly baked loaf of banana bread from the oven or making Christmas cookies for family or neighbors. Treat yourself to some early Christmas gifts and get set up with holiday themed cookie cutters and brightly colored storage tins. Many recipes call for similar ingredients, so you may not need too many shopping trips. You can either search online for your recipes and start your own little collection, or find a good recipe book online delivered straight to your door. If you have a Kindle, you can download books and start browsing your new recipes right away. Treat your neighbors to some fun baked goods this winter!

Books. Your retirement community may have a library to provide seniors hours of reading material. Or you might already have a list of books you always wanted to sit down and read. This is the season to make those goals a reality! Book clubs are also popular and you may find that your community already has an established one. If you would like to spend time reading and enjoy some inspiration and social connection, join a book club or start your own!

Whether you have a hobby you already enjoy or want to find some inspiration, you can always discover ways to your mind active with creativity. Puzzles, making things for others or learning new things. Make sure you take advantage of living in your retirement community and share the fun with others! You’ll be sure to have a fun and fulfilling fall and winter this year.

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