Instead of waiting for the winter doldrums to hit me this year, I’m being proactive. I’ve created a list of things to keep my spirits up right through to spring. I won’t let the dark days of wintertime bring me down. Who’s with me?
- Invest in a super-warm down jacket and toasty, waterproof boots. Keeping warm and dry is essential to your happiness when outside on cold winter days with your kids.
- Instead of shooing the kids outside to play on their own, bundle yourself up and head out with them. You can build snowmen and igloos and play street hockey, too!
- Find some new comfort food recipes that fill you up but don’t make you feel guilty about overindulging. Vegetarian soups and chili, gluten-free baked goods, and stick-to-your-ribs stews and casseroles.
- It is okay to hibernate – that’s what winter is for. Build a roaring fire and snuggle up in your favourite spot to read, browse the Internet, play cards with the family and sip hot cocoa.
- Go watch a local hockey game then head to the neighbourhood café for a bite.
- Soak in a hot bath with lavender and Epsom salts – it’s just not the same in summer!
- Make warm winter smoothies. Get creative with hot coffee or cocoa, warm almond milk, nut butter, oats and cinnamon, blend in a high-powered blender and enjoy.
- Go tobogganing in the morning and finish with an outdoor hot tub soak in the afternoon.
- Be sure to get outside when it’s sunny – you can seriously store up enough energy to make it through the next dark day.
- Take the family on an evening sleigh ride and go home for a cheese fondue dinner together.
- Winter is the best time to start a new hobby. Teach the kids (and even yourself) to knit or sew and make hats, scarves and stuffed animals. YouTube is great for learning these new skills.
- Build a crackling fire in an outdoor fire pit and gather around for homemade s’mores.
- Play ball! Use a brightly coloured ball and keep warm by playing soccer, football or volleyball in the snow.
- Take a winter nature hike and collect treasures along the way. Create a collage with them when you return home.
- Catch snowflakes – you’re never too old to appreciate the beauty of freshly falling snow. See who can catch flakes on their tongues, study them on your clothing and show little ones how each one is unique.
By Kristen Wint