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How to enjoy winter (yes, really!)

There’s no denying it, once we hit January, we are in the long stretch of winter. There is no holiday to look forward to, no pretty decorating to distract us, no Santa letters to write.  In most areas of the country, January means snow and cold – and even mild areas go through a long, grey stretch with rain and dismal weather.

How do we get through it?  How do we find a way to keep ourselves happy and entertained even when the warm weather seems so far away?

The best thing to do is figure out what kind of a winter person you are. Do you love to be active, and feel more energized when you are outside moving your body?  Or do you feel best when surrounded by all things cozy and warm, like a blazing fire in the fireplace, warm blankets and tea or hot drinks?

If you are the type to want to get outside and romp in the snow, don’t hesitate. Find opportunities for short or long walks, and for activities like tobogganing, skiing, and skating.  Getting out into the sun can do wonders for your mood, even if you are just walking for the mail, to a nearby coffee shop or to work.  Building these moments into your day can help you get through winter with a cheerier outlook.

Take your kids outside if you have them, or borrow some from family or friends.  Kids know how to have fun in the snow, so borrow some of their enthusiasm if need be.  Don’t let expensive equipment turn you off; many items can be bought affordably this time of year during January sales or purchased used to keep costs down.  If you want to get outside but aren’t feeling as energetic, try grabbing your camera and going for a walk in a nearby park or walking trail and capture some of winter’s beauty that way.

 If you are more the après-ski type, and loathe being out in the cold, don’t force yourself to do things that will make you miserable. But realize what you are missing out on by staying indoors – exercise, and much needed Vitamin D.  Find a way to get some activity and movement by visiting a gym or working out at home.  Talk to your doctor to see if you are getting enough Vitamin D (this is a good idea in the winter no matter how much you get outside.)  And then dive into all the things that make you feel coziest – wear cozy clothing, keep warm blankets handy, make hot chocolate from scratch.  Bake something tempting and let your kitchen fill up with warmth and good smells.  Hang out by the fireplace, not just in the evening – try a chilly weekend morning, or a lazy afternoon too.

Winter isn’t going anywhere. It’s best we find the ways we can most enjoy it – whatever that looks like to us!  Stay warm!

What are your favourite ways to get out and enjoy winter?  What about ways to stay in and stay cozy?

Writer, editor, recovering chocoholic. Most often found writing, drinking coffee, and chasing kids. Find her on Twitter @littlemissmocha.

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