I, like most Winnipeggers, have a love/hate relationship with winter. The beauty of the season is still striking to me; the stillness, the soft crunch of boots in fresh snow, the scintillating landscape, the long treks down the River Trail. My problem? I’m really cold-averse; when it gets too chilly, I sometimes even break out in hives. That means I’m inside my home almost all winter long; I have a lot of affinity for hibernating mammals. In some ways, this is really nice, but in another it’s pretty uncomfortable; I really like being outside, so during long winters, I start getting cabin fever.

Dealing with cabin fever isn’t as hard as you might expect; all you have to do is stay active. The first key to living the indoor life is to make your space beautiful and cozy. Take extra care to clean your house, because clutter to the eye is clutter in the mind. Plump those pillows, get blankets on your couches, chairs and other furniture. Make sure to have a good pair of slippers, and a nice sweater, and stock the pantries full of cocoa. If you’re going to be inside all season, you might as well be as comfortable as possible!

Staying active is key to dealing with cabin fever. To replace my daily jogs, I’ve taken up daily yoga, and I’ve got to say, I feel great! You can find online classes for low-stress exercise that you can do indoors, and that activity can keep your outlook positive. Daily activities like cleaning also offer a bit of a workout, so taking care of your home is a great step in the right direction!

Keeping mentally active is as important as keeping physically active, so have a lot of books around that you can read! There’s not a lot that feels nicer than getting snug with a new book and losing yourself in the pages. Picking up a new hobby is perfect around this time of season too! There are plenty of online tutorials for everything from knitting to woodworking and playing guitar, activities that lend themselves both to learning something new and developing your manual dexterity. Go out of your way to host people, too; company is one of the best ways to stave off cabin fever, and your friends will definitely appreciate the cozy winter retreat you’ve set up for yourself. Hosting also gives you the chance to cook a nice meal, my personal favorite activity to stave off the winter blues; there’s no better time of season to cook a nice stew.

Being able to set up a cozy home that’s all your own in the winter is one of the many perks to self managed home care. With it, you can get all the help you need for chores and other day-to-day activities you might not be able to do on your own; your home remains your sanctuary, and you can host whomever you like, while learning whatever hobbies you want.