I am certain I am cold phobic (to a certain, yet healthy, degree). I believe that many of us experience this or perhaps it is just a nicer way of saying I do not like winter. I do not like being cold, feeling cold, knowing that I am going to be potentially cold or even thinking about the long cold winter ahead. For many of us in North America the cold weather and darker days have set in and are here to stay. It is always a shock to the system and I constantly have to resist the urge to sleep or eat through it. I think bears have the right idea!
I am always amazed, when I do manage to force myself outside, at how much better I feel (even if I do come home rosy cheeked and cold). Last winter my only two goals were to spend more time outside being active and to complain less. It was a good year to try to be strong as winter was a full five months last year – long and cold. While I didn’t manage to complain less (I couldn’t help myself when my eyes were nearly frozen shut), I did manage to fight off the winter blues and not gain the 20lbs I normally do by doing a few simple things.
Tips for surviving winter:
• On the weekends commit to one day outside being active – We went skating on the canal. Often you can skate at local parks it was free and fun
• Each day fight the urge to hibernate and head outside for at least 20 minutes. I was amazed that most times I would spend longer than I promised myself once I was out there (the hardest part was the first shocking five minutes)
• Be organized with hats, scarves, mittens, boots, snow pants and equipment as it reduces frustration and makes getting ready to go out less painful (it also leaves me with one less excuse not to go out)
• Check that you are getting enough vitamin D as it has helped me fight the feelings of tiredness (still feel it regularly but not to the depth I felt it without vitamin D).
• Take up a winter sport – I forced myself back onto skis and while the boots were an issue at times I was determined to spend valuable time chatting with my kids on the chairlift
• Buy the right clothes for the weather – I got a new snowsuit last year and I was amazed at the difference at how warm it kept me. It also meant that I could be more comfortable out in the cold; for me is everything
• Find something you can do with a friend or family member as they will motivate you when you have not got it in you.
• Get a community events calendar printed out and put it up in a high traffic area of your house. We did this. It gave us a better sense of what was happening in our little world and we actually made it to a few activities, opposed to hearing about it from other people after it had happened!
**This story was originally published in our Winter 2015 issue**