4 Ways to Plug In When You’re Snowed In!

Temperatures near Sherwood Oaks, in the Pittsburgh area, got down to a frigid -5 this week, with many schools and businesses closing for the day. This winter has proved to be a dangerous one, with temperatures often dropping below zero. When something as simple as walking outside can be dangerous, it’s better to play it safe and stay inside.

But how do you still manage to be productive in your day when you can’t run to the grocery store or stop by the bank? Technology has made it easier than ever to pass time productively as long as you have an Internet connection. Don’t suffer from the doldrums of winter. Instead, turn your day into a day of digital productivity. 


Play the Game

If you’ve ever been told that playing isn’t productive, you need to seek a second opinion. A good example of how play can contribute to your health and brain function is this example from US News:  “All animals play, even though playing is not immediately productive and is sometimes dangerous. Yet grizzly bears that play the most survive longest. Rats that socialize more with other rats develop bigger, more complex brains. And play stimulates nerve growth in the portions of the brain that process emotions and executive function.”

The web has made some of your favorite brain games accessible on any computer, phone, or tablet you have near you.  AARP offers a wide variety of games, including those in the category of “Brain Games” and a paid service called “Brain Fitness.” You can also look into brain training puzzles through Lumosity or simply browse the archives of crossword puzzles from USA Today.


Get a YouTube Education

YouTube has much more to offer than just funny videos of cats and the latest music video crazes. There are a lot of valuable tutorials that you can watch in order to teach yourself new skills. And the best part of YouTube is that it’s free!  You can search for tutorials on anything from how to play a few chords on a new instrument to how to do basic edits to a photograph. For those artists at heart, here is a tutorial on how to draw a realistic eye:


Get a Handle on Your Finances

Knowing where your money is going to and where you can make adjustments to your budget is valuable at any age. You can create a free account today on Mint.com, a financial website that helps you track which categories of products and services you spend the most on and reach financial goals you would like to set for yourself, like budgeting for a vacation or contributing to a grandchild’s college education.

Sites like Forbes.com and WSJ.com are also good resources when looking for financial information tailored to seniors. Like this Forbes article, which details the danger in hiring a financial planner who says they specialize in senior finances.


Become a Top Chef

Even the most talented cook can use a little bit of inspiration every now and then. Pinterest is a great tool for collecting and organizing pieces of information, including cleaning tips, products you would like to buy, inspirational quotes, and… delicious recipes.  Browse the site’s “Food & Drink” section to see if anything catches your eye, or use the search function to find new twists on old dishes. It’s a huge help when you’ve got to accommodate your daughter-in-law’s gluten-free diet or switch to a heart-healthy diet as instructed by your doctor.

Not the chef of the family? Pinterest is FILLED with activities for a snowy day, like home décor projects you can DIY and tips for reorganizing your home.

And if when you’re done collecting home organization tips and realize that you need to clean unnecessary items out of your life, it might be time to consider a reorganization of your belongings into a patio home or apartment at Sherwood Oaks Retirement Community!