If the obese squirrels lumbering about my yard provide any indication, we could be in for a long, cold, hard winter… again. (Seriously, look at the size of them! They must be preparing for something. Sorry for the poor quality image. They waddled away before I got a good shot.)
We don’t know how bad it will be, but we might as well get ready. Last year was horrific.
I have crafted a Winter Instruction Manual for myself, in the hopes that in Ontario’s (literally) darkest days, I can avoid a nervous breakdown. Maybe you will find it useful as well.
- Dress for the weather. No one gives a ___*fill in the blank*___ what you’re wearing. If you honestly think about it, do you care what your neighbour is wearing? Be warm. Be comfortable. Be dry. Wear the hat. Wear the mittens. Wear the heavy boots. Same goes for the kids. Avoid the whining and plan for extra time to get ready.
- Find a winter sport, and do it. Downhill or X-Country skiing? Skating? Snowshoeing? Luge-ing? Ultimate snowball fighting? You won’t resent the snow so much. Get the kids involved.
- Schedule time for intentional relaxation… Every. Single. Day. Whether this means meditation, yoga, tai chi, or bubble baths, find some way of relaxing.
- Make time for people you genuinely like. I’m talking about the people who make you laugh so hard your sides hurt; the people who let you be yourself and make you feel comfortable. You will have to spend enough time at obligatory functions during the holidays.
- Don’t forget music. It makes you feel good. If you play an instrument, pick it up. If you have two left thumbs, listening is good too.
- Plan plenty of indoor activities and things to look forward to. Find ways to occupy your children on slushy, wet, or blisteringly cold days. Invite friends and your children’s friends over often (they actually don’t care how messy your house is).
- Create reasons to spend time outside. Force yourself to walk to the school, take over (at least some of the) shoveling and have a snowman making contest.
- Eat well.
- Keep active. If outdoors isn’t an option, dust off the treadmill in the basement, or go to the gym, or pool, or dance around your living room in your underwear (Just close the blinds. No one wants to see that.).
- Finally, find beauty in unusual places. Be mindful and remember to look up.
“In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.
And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.”