When It Gets Cold- Activities To Do With CRPS
By Samantha Anderson
Winter has arrived and is hitting many areas of this country hard. Temperatures are low, snow is coming, and many people with CRPS are trying to figure out how they can stay entertained without further aggravating their CRPS.
For many people with CRPS, winter is not a friend of theirs. Cold air and storms can make pain levels go up and can really put a damper on someone’s day. It can be a quite unfortunate occurrence, especially for anyone that loved to play in the snow pre-CRPS. Snowy weather and storms do not have to mean that the fun ends. There are indoor activities that you can do to keep yourself entertained this winter (and during any stormy season). While not all of these ideas are flare-friendly, they may be little goals that you can reach as you go. Some of these activities may be more possible for people with lower body CRPS versus upper body and vice versa.
- Learn a crafty hobby.
CRPS has left me with a lot of time on my hands. While my arms and wrists are impacted by CRPS (although I’m primarily affected in my lower body), I’ve taken up crocheting. YouTube offers a massive amount of tutorials. From blankets to hats and even sweaters, you can make it all. It takes a little while to learn, but it turns into a lot of fun. If you are looking to give back, some hospitals look for hats for newborns and some shelters look for blankets. You can always donate your creations. You can also make them for yourself or sell them on Etsy. The possibilities are endless. Knitting is in the same family and some people consider it to be much easier than crocheting. The possibilities are endless.
- Do a jigsaw puzzle.
I feel as though appreciation for puzzles has decreased dramatically over the years. I still love a good puzzle. There are puzzles in all different categories, from animals to movies. You can find one to fit your interests. These consume some time and allow you to complete them while staying warm under a blanket or within your house. There are also mats that you can purchase to do your puzzle on that allow you to roll it up in between puzzle sessions. If you love your puzzle, you can glue it all together to make wall art for your house. That’s a win-win!
- Become a word expert or a business tycoon.
No schooling is required for this one. Board games are a great solution to boredom that comes as the result of being cooped up in the house. There are game for two people all the way to twenty people. My personal favorite is Monopoly, which I played for four hours on New Year’s Eve. Classic board games are a great way to keep busy. New games are being created every day and more are being targeted towards adults instead of children. Host a friendly competition to see who can be the very best.
- Create your own Food Network Show.
One of my favorite television networks is Food Network. I’m constantly amazed by the cakes that some people create and the ingredients people can use to create a full meal. Now, there are shows featuring children under 10 and they make me feel completely inadequate, but I digress. Shows like Chopped show that meals can be made with the most random ingredients. Play your own version of Chopped by picking four random ingredients from your fridge/pantry to work with (or have someone pick it for you). See what you can create. Or, test out some recipes that the stars of Food Network have tried out. If nothing else, you’ll end up with something great to eat!
- Play online games
While many people are huge fans of video games, they can be a lot of fun. There are online versions of classic games, such as Scrabble and Monopoly, on different websites. Then, if you own a gaming console, you can play games on it to keep busy. Many games even offer the ability to play against others online. Video games have been shown to improve reactions times and mental sharpness (crazy, right?) So, really you’re just strengthening your brain.
- Write about something.
Make yourself a nice cup of tea, coffee, or hot chocolate and curl up with a journal or a laptop. Then, just write. Whether you want to write about your life and keep it as a diary, think up a poem, write a blog, or start writing a story that you hope to turn into a book, this can be a great outlet for creativity. If you write a CRPS related blog and you want to share it, please send it our way for The Tuesday Burn! We also love to hear when members of our community publish books.
- Take pictures.
Document daily life through pictures. Smart phone cameras can be just as good as some digital cameras. DSLR cameras can take some breathtaking images. Whether you want to show a boiling tea pot or want to take a photo out the window of a bird on a branch, there are ways to find the beauty in everything through photography. You may even surprise yourself when you’re snapping away. It may help you find more beauty in every moment.
- Color or draw and let your inner child soar
Coloring and drawing are great pastimes that do not require any kind of outdoor interaction. Grab some colored pencils and a coloring book (or drawing pad) and go to town. More and more coloring books are becoming adult-centered and help with meditation and relaxation. Creative things can make you feel happier, even if the weather outside is frightful.
Not all of us were blessed with pipes that compare to Adele or Josh Groban, but that does not have to stop you from singing. Make up your own song, sing one that you love, even turn the music on low and sing along with it. Four songs can take up 20 minutes of time. It can make time go by quickly. Singing is also linked to more positive emotions and is considered a release of stress. Sing it loud and proud, even if you sound like William Hung from American Idol.
- Binge-watch a new television series
With Netflix, Hulu, and on demand television shows, it can be hard to select a new show to watch. Maybe there is a show that you have always heard about, but never got to watch. Or there may be a show you started and never finished. Take to the television to watch all of the episodes of that show. See what the buzz is about and make your predictions for the show, even if it has been over for a decade or two. This can be a great way to waste some time while staying warm and out of the bitter cold beyond the door.
- Create a fantasy team
If you like sports, you may already be a part of a fantasy football or baseball league. Have your own fun and create your own fantasy teams and rules for other sports or for the off-season. In my family, we have a fantasy league running for the NHL. We focus it around our team and see how many points we can get each game. At the end of the season, we announce the winner. We also have a fantasy Grammy, Emmy, VMA, AMA, and Tony’s game. We predict the winners and see who can get the most correct. We collect responses from some of our friends and family and keep track of who predicted the most wins accurately. Sometimes we offer prizes, but other times it is just bragging rights. It’s tons of fun.
What you do on your cold or snowy days is up to you. While you may have to stay warm and away from the cold temperatures, you can still have a good time. What do you do to keep yourself entertained and warm when the weather is less than favorable?