Your lanai is most likely one of your family’s favorite gathering spots in your entire home—especially if it’s enclosed. Are we right? It may be a bit chilly during the overnight hours to let the kids sleep outdoors now that winter is in full swing. Other than that, though, there’s no reason you shouldn’t take advantage of the space in other ways.
It benefits your health too
We get a lot of sunshine here in Florida, but the days are shorter in the winter. Being outdoors allows your body to naturally produce vitamin D from sunlight. Vitamin D has many health benefits that include the following:
- Promotes growth and development of bones and teeth
- Strengthens immunity to fight certain diseases
- May reduce the risk of multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Decreases risk of heart disease
- May decrease the severity of COVID-19 and flu
- Lowers risk of infections and autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes, and inflammatory bowel disease
- Some studies are showing it may actually prevent cancer
- Regulates mood and reduces depression
- Possibly supports weight loss
While your body is busy getting healthier, you can spend your time in a variety of ways.
Passing the time until spring arrives
Winter temperatures don’t pack the same punch in Florida as it does over most of the nation. Still, we’re not apt to be jumping the pool or snorkeling at the beach during the next few months, are we? Instead, you can bide your time hanging out on the lanai until the temperature rises.
Reading and relaxing
If you enjoy reading, it doesn’t matter what’s going on with the weather. If you have time to dive into a good book, settling in your favorite spot out on the lanai is the perfect place to do it. Sipping coffee and daydreaming about the future is another relaxing way many people choose to spend their downtime. Perhaps, you enjoy scrolling through social media or blogging.
Whatever you enjoy doing to relax, the lanai is the place to do it! Put on your favorite music, snuggle into your seat, and—ahhhhh.
Work from home
It’s a growing trend across the country. If you’re fortunate enough to be able to work from home, using the lanai as your home office is a fantastic idea. Fresh air is stimulating. Your production levels are likely to increase.
Even if you pack everything back indoors at the end of the day, you are sure to repeat the process.
Grow a garden
Even though the days are shorter, we still get plenty of sunshine. Take advantage of it and get some indoor gardening pots. You can grow flowers, herbs, or… considering the rising cost of groceries… vegetables might be the way to go.
You may decide to go all out and set up an indoor gardening system. Most plants can thrive year-round outdoors in our climate. Maybe you’ll transplant in the spring, or choose to use a tower-type system that will enhance your privacy even more.
Let your muse move
If you dabble in the arts, lanais are a great place to write, paint, or even sculpt! It’s much easier to hose down the lanai than to clean up an indoor workspace after your masterpiece is complete. Natural light is hard to beat and your lanai provides plenty of it!
Make a stitch in time
Sewing, crocheting, or knitting are enjoyable pastimes. If you think so too, you may want to work on your latest project out on the lanai. It won’t take much to set up a portable workstation so you’ll have everything you need within arm’s reach.
Much like an outdoor office, you’re likely to decide before much time passes that making a habit of sewing or mending articles of clothing amidst the fresh air with the sound of the birds singing, or neighborhood children playing nearby is very enjoyable indeed.
Is fitness your passion?
Some people choose to turn their enclosed lanai into their personal gym. Gym equipment is protected from the elements, with the exception of rains accompanied by strong winds blowing in a specific direction. That won’t be a problem though if you have water-resistant covers for your stuff.
Maybe throwing a mat on the floor, popping in the earbuds, and rocking through your workout is more your style. You should go for it! You may find the slightly cooler temps so invigorating that you increase the length of your workouts.
It’s not written in stone that games can only be played at night, but the phrase is one everyone equates with having a good time. Playing games and interacting with each other in “real-time” is far better for us than passing hours of time with everyone staring at their screen of choice.
Playing board games together keeps you connected. It strengthens your bond with family and friends.
Winter, spring, summer, and fall
While it may not get here fast enough for all of us, spring is on the way. As the seasons’ transition, there’s no reason to change the way you enjoy spending time out on the lanai.
Whether you’re relaxing, working, or taking a nap, make sure downtime is in your schedule. It’s just as important to your body as vitamin D. Maybe, more important because stress, left unchecked, can and will affect your health eventually. You don’t need to deal with that!
Instead, pull your family together as often as possible. Before you know it, the kids will be grown and gone. The memories you make now will be cherished in the future. Of course, the memories you’ll make years down the road are going to be special too. You might catch yourself dreaming of the day you’ll be hanging out on the lanai with your grandchildren… while you’re outdoors relaxing, sitting in your favorite spot, sipping on a cup of coffee.