I have spent winters in New York, California, Colorado, Louisiana, Florida, and Alaska. By far Alaska is the most challenging, not only because of the long cold winter weather, but also because of the long dark days. However, surviving winter can be much easier if you are in the proper state of mind! If you embrace winter and take advantage of what it has to offer, you will find the months will go by much faster, and you will most likely be in a much better frame of mind. I have found some tips that help get me out of that winter funk.
There is nothing like breathing in that fresh, crisp winter air. If you are into working out, or are an athletic person, there is much to take advantage of during the winter months. You can ski, either cross-country or down hill. You can go hiking or simply take a walk. We’ve even been known to go camping during the winter months. And of course, don’t forget all the exercise you can get from simply saving yourself money and shoveling your driveway instead of paying someone to plow it. I used to hate shoveling, but how I do it instead of going to the gym. Every way I look at it, it saves me money and gives me some great exercise. If you have ice skates, go to a local rink and enjoy being able to skate outdoors.
We have a large fire pit that we barbecue on during the summer months, but we like to build a bonfire in the fire pit and ask friends over for hot cocoa and coffee. It’s amazing how much fun we can all have in the cold when we are being warmed by a blazing fire.
Barbecue Your Dinner on the Outdoor Grill
I fondly remember when a friend invited me to dinner, many years ago. I was shocked that her husband grilled our steaks outside on their grill in below zero temperatures. If you have a gas grill, this is a great way to prepare your dinner. Using the barbecue is not just for the summer months, you can enjoy it year round.
Light Candles and Use The Fireplace
Candles account for many home fires each year, but that is no reason you cannot enjoy their warmth and light. When the days grow darker and shorter, I stock up on candles of all kinds, and I use them all over the house. We have candles in the living room, on our dining room table, and in the bathroom. There is something very relaxing about surrounding myself with lit candles when I am taking a hot bath.
We have a gas fireplace, and I love sitting in front of it watching the flickering flames and soaking in the warmth. Fireplaces aren’t nearly as cozy during the summer months, even on cool days.
It’s no secret that the winter months bring drier weather, and that tends to dry out the skin as well. I take advantage of this time of year to indulge myself with a variety of scented and luxurious body butters and lotions. Applying a body butter after a hot bath really makes me feel great.
When the snow is falling outside and you are warm and cozy inside, this is the perfect time to snuggle with your mate. I love taking a hot bath in a room filled with candles, slathering body butter all over, then snuggling with hubby under a thick blanket. Watching a good movie and feeling warm and cozy inside is a feeling that I just cannot generate during the summer months.
Build A Snowman, Go Sledding
Kids love the snow, and there is no reason adults can’t have the kind of fun that children do during the winter months. Go sledding with your kids! Build a snow man. Or you can even build a snow fort like we have in our front yard right now. You can fill buckets with packed snow, then turn them over and stack these snow “bricks” on top of each other to build a fort. Kids love it, and you’ll be getting fresh air and exercise.
Enjoy Hot Beverages
I love to experiment with flavored hot beverages. I don’t stop with hot cocoa and coffee, there are a ton of recipes that can be found online for flavored hot drinks, so take advantage of them. These also make great Christmas gifts for friends, family and co-workers.
Visit A Greenhouse
When I walk into a greenhouse I feel like I am in limbo between winter and summer. They are hot and humid, and I can enjoy all of the colorful flowers that won’t start to emerge from my garden until spring. Why not bring a flowered plant into your home to brighten the winter months? They not only look cheery but they often smell wonderful.
Enjoy A Local Hockey Game
My husband and I have had hockey season tickets for more than twenty years. We take in the pro, junior and college level hockey games. We enjoy the game of hockey so much that come fall, I actually look forward to hockey season! It really helps to have a winter passion, and for us it is hockey.
Knit or Crochet
Knitting is a passion of mine as well, and I like to knit scarves and headbands that I sell at bazaars and local shops. During the summer months I am too busy to get any knitting done, so I take advantage of the long winter months to complete my projects. If you don’t knit or crochet, take up cross-stitch or needlepoint. Any craft will do.
Make The Most of Winter
Of course there are many more things you can do to embrace the winter months, but these will get you off to a good start. Being cooped up in the house can cause the blues, but if that happens a good mood light can really help. Of course there are elderly folk who cannot get out, so consider paying them a visit. Not only will you brighten their day, but yours as well. And keeping physically active during the winter months can help keep those holiday pounds off the hips!