February was quite the month, huh? Cold, snow, wind and cancelled school days. Even the hardiest of Minnesotans are starting to get a little cabin fever (especially if you have school aged kids). Puzzles, board games, tv and movies have been exhausted and we're all close to sending the kids to the snowbank. We all need some social interaction that doesn't involve a screen, social media or reality TV series.
In fact, there are many studies which show that social interaction is a key to physical and mental health and can actually help with your longevity and happiness. Here are 5 quick and easy ideas to become a bit more social this week and combat Cabin Fever.
1) Host a game night - Invite some friends or neighbors over that you haven't seen in a while. Reconnecting is always fun.
2) Pick up the phone - Instead of texting someone back...call them. Hearing someone's voice and having a real discussion often gives us a positive burst of energy and enthusiasm.
3) Thank somebody who's made a difference to you - This one might be a little more in depth than just a social contact. However, writing someone who has made a positive impact on your life will help both of you feel good. A little old fashioned but everyone likes a hand written letter. It can brighten our mood in the face of old man winter.
4) Go to Church for fellowship or to the School for an activity - These two places are the hub of any community. Stay after church and have some coffee or ask someone to go out to breakfast. It's also winter playoff season so high school wrestling, basketball and hockey are in full swing and there should be a fun and energetic crowd there to watch. Plus both cost a relatively small amount to attend. Also many schools allow you to walk the hallways in the mornings or evenings if you're looking to stretch those legs.
5) Volunteer - There are a lot of opportunities to help someone out. Animal shelters, meals on wheels, food shelf, United Way, Senior Center or just shoveling the neighbors driveway. Show up and you'll meet someone new or find a new connection with an old friend.
The green grass will be here before we know it. In the meantime, smile and enjoy the ride!