Are outdoor winter activities not your thing? Are you the cozy, sit by the fire type? Here are some thoughts to keep you warm this winter. How about digging out the slow cooker and filling the house with the warm smell of a stew? Make a big pot of soup – cheap and cheerful and a great meal with a hunk of bread. My favourite is Quebec split pea soup. Cheap, full of flavour and so easy to make a big pot. Enough for a lunch or dinner and plenty left over to freeze for another day.

Do you have a friend or neighbour who is alone or shut-in? Buy some overripe bananas at the grocery store and make a batch of banana bread or muffins and take them a warm loaf. Your house will smell great and you will have helped 2 people – your friend and yourself.

Do you knit or crochet? Dig out that project you started 2 years ago and finish it. Knit scarves and mittens for the homeless, or caps for chemo patients in soft cotton. The Warm Squares programme collects knitted or crocheted squares to piece together into warm afghans for pediatric or cancer patients. Check to see if they are accepting donations during Covid-19 restrictions. Alternatively, make your items and box them up ready to donate when agencies are accepting goods again.

Welcome Inn Senior’s Lunch Programme is suspended due to Covid-19 restrictions, but they are continuing the Senior’s Visitation Programme by telephone. Volunteer here – Volunteer With Us | Welcome Inn Community Centre

Are you still paying Christmas bills? Or just looking for some free entertainment? Check out the free on-line movies, children’s programmes and adult activities at the Hamilton Public Library Fun Stuff to do Online at Home | HPL, .

And every once in a while, put on some music and dance like no one’s watching! (And in my case – I REALLY hope no on is!) And if dancing isn’t your thing – sing!

And get outdoors! Bundle up and walk around the block or grab the kids and go for a hike on the many trails in and around our city; grab the toboggan, check Winter Activities in Hamilton | City of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada and have some fun. Check the outdoor rink on the waterfront. Don’t decide to skate on the harbour until it is posted the ice is safe. The Hamilton Conservation Authority offer many opportunities for outdoor activities Winter Activities – Hamilton Conservation Authority (

If you have a shovel or a snow-blower, help out a neighbour, keep the sidewalks clear for seniors, moms with strollers or others with mobility issues. Just make sure to stretch first and warm your muscles before heading out. Push the snow with the shovel instead of lifting or, if you have to lift, bend your knees and use your legs. Turn, don’t twist. Take frequent breaks and consider shovelling throughout the storm so that its not such a big job..

And the warm up with a cup of cocoa – you just need milk, cocoa powder and a bit of sugar!