There are a lot of really great things about winter, and some amazing ways that I’ve learned to love the winter season. I have mentioned before about how much the limited daylight and cold affect my energy, motivation, and sometimes detracts from my joy, but I’m going to chat about the positives of winter today.
I find that while winter is always less adventurous for me, it sparks a renewed creativity in me. I would compare it to planting a garden. You have to bury the seeds in the cold, dark earth in order to have something beautiful blossom from them. If you read my last post, you know that winter seems to be a very introspective time, a reflecting and creating shift in how I think and feel. It’s like checking back in with a compass after a while, making sure I’m heading in the right direction, or if I’m pinpointing a new destination all together. It’s fun and exciting in its own way and so I thought I’d share some of the ways I’m enjoying winter wellness right now.
1. Journaling & writing. I’m a ‘word vomit’ kind of gal, as I so eloquently told my supervisor at work recently, I get an idea in my head and I just have to get it out and write it down in order to pick apart the comprehendible pieces. My friend Jo is writing up a storm these days and I can’t wait to see what she’s creating. My mom is doing a daily gratitude journal. It’s wonderful what writing can do for our spirits and direction.
2. Strength training. Admittedly, one of the best things about it being cold and dark out is that I can embrace my love of strength training. Going indoors to the gym in the summer when it’s sunny and hot and gorgeous out feels super ridiculous, so I really enjoy the excuse of winter to hibernate at my killer gym. I am a huge advocate of being outside and hiking and fresh air exercise, but there is a certain confidence that I get when I regularly strength train. Not only is my body getting stronger, but I feel empowered when I lift weights.
3. Trying new indoor fitness classes. Similar to strength training, it’s easier to rationalize spending money to workout inside when it’s face-burning, lung-hurting effing cold outside. I can’t wait to share my experience at the new Champs Boxing Studio with you (on the blog next week) because I am absolutely hooked.
4. Coffee with friends. It seems like its been years since the days of patio beers, but an awesome part of winter is the need to drink 3.6 liters of tea every day to keep my internal body temperature in the normal range. What better way to drink tea than with friends in a cute coffee shop. I went for a walk to get a latte with my colleague the other day and when I voluntold him to walk over with me I said, ‘I really just need to vent, so brace yourself.’ We both warmed up with lattes, vented, and felt much less stressed heading back to work!
5. Reading more. It’s turned into an annual goal of mine to read more, so I am hoping to get a head start on my book count before it gets nice and all I want to do it be outside. Dark and cold mornings on the weekend? Um, sounds like coffee in bed with a good book! I’m currently reading The Sports Gene by David Epstein.
6. Organizing. My wardrobe, my taxes for the upcoming tax season, my workout schedule, my life. What haven’t I organized this winter? It is so satisfying to have my physical environment organized so I can focus on important things like binge watching Chelsea Handler’s Netflix series.
7. Decorating and designing. I have found that having my own place has made me love Home Sense more than I ever thought possible. I could spend hours browsing that store, it’s dangerous. Perhaps a tad ‘retail therapy’ but I think shopping for home decor or redesigning your space is a fun way to refresh your life.
8. Pampering myself. If I had an emergency pamper kit it would consist of the avocado lemongrass bath bombs from Lush, Sally Hansen gel nail polish in a dark purple or blue, and a charcoal face mask.
9. Walk & talks. Like the coffee dates with friends, walk and talks are a great way to enjoy winter without partaking in skating (I’m terrible and embarrassing at this Canadian winter activity) or snow boarding (I’ve never done it but it just sounds painful to learn). Or strap on snowshoes and head to the mountains for some fresh air adventure!
10. Learning and personal development. For me, this has meant recertifying my group cycling instructor this spring and taking a free online course at work in public health and policy. I absolutely love school and learning and I need to find ways to keep that in my life even though I’m not currently enrolled in formal education.
It’s cold and it’s dark and even as I write this, I’m drinking tea and hoping it warms up my toes which are frozen ice cubes at the moment. It’s not all terrible! There are so many ways that winter can spark a sense of realignment or drive or creativity. There are fluctuations in our priorities, fitness, and passions, so embracing the seasonality of them is super helpful.
What are you doing to stay well this winter? 🙂