It’s no secret that winter is not my thing. I get grumpy (and numb) by the end of September and the funk stays until June. Although I have tried to make the best of it with skiing, nice boots, and rug hooking, winter still sucks way more than summer.
That being said, I am done with the winter blues and the time has come to call on support. My cousin, Kathleen.
Kathleen loves winter. She’s the person on Instagram I roll my eyes at (and she also has insanely good luck at second-hand shopping, which is annoying as heck) but I love her and I love that she loves winter.
I wanted to throw together a happy list of fun things to do this winter for all of us that struggle and asked Kathleen to ofter some expert advice. Sit back, get comfy and enjoy. After all, according to her, ’tis the season to get comfy.
Instead of fighting the seasons, I love to roll with them; let nature sync with your natural circadian rhythm. It’s driven people for thousands of years, so we can’t fight it, and if we embrace it, we unlock a bunch of hidden power! I think what’s hard for people is that they try to keep the same energy as summer… don’t fight the slowing down; instead, embrace the darkness to relax and fully recharge.
It’s easy to love summer; it’s hard to love winter. When you understand the rewards in-store for you when you find a way to enjoy winter, it’s like someone gave you a key to a hidden room full of treasures and fun that you can’t believe people have overlooked.
This article, The Norwegian Secret To Enjoying A Long Winter, has a lot of what I would have said. They looked at a place that does winter well and studied those people.
Kathleen’s 10 tips on how to love winter, or at least hate it less:
- Don’t skimp on proper clothes: Spoil yourself and celebrate the options. Gloves are bullshit. Have a toque collection. Get rad sunglasses.
And Kathleen’s husband Colin suggests growing a big bushy beard!
- Invest in good bath products: Nourishing skin milk and creamy lotions, plus don’t forget candles. Indulge thyself!
- Visit a spa: (Meg: Or an outdoor hot tub!)
- Hot yoga: Take a hot yoga class on the very cold days for deep core penetration of warmth.
- Try some new winter sports: Trail runs, snowshoeing, trail hikes, fat biking or cross-country skiing.
- Sign up for winter events, the weirder the better: Find out where the good local winter festivals are and go to them. Other winter lovers will be there. E.g., winter solstice celebrations, art festivals like Nocturne, ice carving, skating, snowshoeing—anything that involves a fire at the end.
- In March, ALWAYS make a plan to go to a sugar shack!
- Get outside as much as possible: And take vitamin D.
- Line-up some indoor activities: Start making plans for the summer, make a reading list and try to get through it, eat warming seasonal foods, create and repair things, work on mobility.
- Absolute KEY: Surround yourself with as many people as you can who also love winter and try to cut out the negativity as much as possible. Turn a negative comment or thought into a positive one. Oh no, a big dump of snow…a better workout when running. Dark early? Catch up on sleep for all the late nights coming up in the summer. When people diss winter, try to remove yourself from the situation and shut it down.
Look, I understand, a bad storm can ruin travel plans; if we were older or had mobility issues sure, winter is rough, but for us, it challenges us to be creative. Think of all the outdoor fun that is unlocked by snow, or all the coziness and recharge we get from the season. Our family has some good Nordic heritage in our bloodline (based on our genetic testing with National Geographic!), and I find it strangely therapeutic to be in the cold, it activates something deep inside of me. And I know it’s inside of you.
Love you cuz
Love you too, Kat!
I need to ask her about our Nordic heritage… but in the meantime, she also suggested writing a winter intention-list. Challenge accepted, see below!
- Finish hooking my pillow
- Sign up for a spring race (ideally a marathon)
- Snowboard (fifty before fifty)
- Go skating
- Go to an afternoon movie
- Make wine then make people drink it
- Games night
- Beach walk
- Afternoon and evening walks
- Mail holiday cards
- Work on some travelogue books
- Catch up on The Handmaid’s Tale
- Try cross-country skiing again
- Barre on the regular
- Swim (Hahahaha)
- Write more
- Read more
- Stare at my phone less
- Make hummus
- Host a nothing-fancy dinner party
- Watch at least Rocky (1)… and then maybe marathon through the others.
- Reunite with a friend
Let me know what’s on your intention this year. I’m am now a wee bit excited for snow—ultimately I will take peppermint and pine any day over pumpkin and spice.
Stay warm friends.