How To Enjoy (Not Just Endure) WinterMonday, November 16, 2015
I'm really trying to make an effort this year to enjoy winter instead of just enduring it. If the Norwegians can do it, then so can I. As a person who is not a fan of cold weather and shorter days at all, this will be a struggle but a necessary one. The idea that winter is something that has to be survived has somehow slipped into my vocabulary and attitude, so much so that I start complaining about it before it ever gets here. Here are a few ideas I had to help purposefully enjoy the next few months.
Enjoy being stuck inside.
One of the most unpleasant things about winter is the lack of daylight in the evenings after work. During the summer months, I am always prepping dinner in advance so I don't have to spend so much time in the kitchen after work. Instead, we'd fill those hours with trips to the park, a walk along the river, or eating out on a patio somewhere. Now that it's practically dark at 5:00pm, there's not really time to spend time outdoors like I would prefer. Plus it's cold. So, instead of burying myself under covers and wailing about it, I'm trying to look at it as an opportunity to spend time in a cozy, warm, delicious smelling (hopefully) kitchen. Even though it hasn't got terribly cold outside yet, it is already getting dark earlier so I'm trying to practice turning cooking dinner into a thing. Candles on the countertop, Spotify playlist or a podcast to listen to, a few new Pinterest recipes to try, you get the picture. Stop complaining, start enjoying.
As a person who is not big on exercising (no, really, I despise anything that requires me to jump or shake my body), doing any kind of movement during the day makes me feel super accomplished. A 10-15 minute yoga session in the morning does wonders to actually warm up my never-warm body and make me feel like I've accomplished something for the day -- even if I don't do anything else.
Apparently, parents in Copenhagen take their babies outside every day no matter what the weather is like. Joanna from A Cup of Jo tried it with her son and I loved reading her post about it. Here's the thing: I despise being cold. I'm pretty sure this is the root of all my dislike towards winter. Even if it's not that cold outside, I think I'm just genetically predisposed to get cold in October and stay that way until around Memorial Day. As I write this, it's a sunny 70 outside, but my hands and feet are like ice. It can't be helped. Sooo...aiming to go outside every day in the winter may not seem like the best idea to encourage an enjoyment of the season, BUT I know that soaking up every little bit of fresh air and vitamin D as possible will make this winter a lot more bearable, if not enjoyable.
Be careful of what I say.
In the winter, it seems almost second-nature to start bonding over a mutual hatred for the wickedly cold temperatures and slushy roads. I've found myself responding more than once with a begrudgingly "cold!" whenever I'm asked how I'm doing during the winter. We get it. Everyone is cold right now! Instead of resorting to weather talk these next few months, I'm going to try to talk about things we're doing to enjoy the season instead. Quit griping about how cold we are and share a hot chocolate recipe instead. Shut up about the freezing weather and talk about the awesome sale J.Crew is having on wool camping socks instead.
These are not goals as much as gentle reminders to myself for those days when I start sulking all over again about winter. Complaining doesn't help, we all know that, so why not make it enjoyable?
What are you doing to make winter fun this year? Share your secrets with me!