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We’re now entering the coldest, darkest part of Minnesota winters. Add in the strain of a pandemic and it’s not surprising if we find ourselves feeling down. So maybe it’s time for a mental adjustment and a new approach to winter!

Head Outdoors

While we eagerly await the day that gyms will re-open following COVID shutdowns, many of us are looking for alternative ways to keep both bodies and spirits charged. Winter is the time that many animals hibernate, and humans aren’t that different. While the season offers us an excuse to rest and recharge, it doesn’t mean we have to hole up and sleep for three months! So, swap the elliptical for the sidewalks or hiking trails around where you live. And slow that sprint to a long leisurely walk – not only is a slower walk a great fat burner, it also helps you stay centered in the here and now. For me, walks are also a safe place to connect with friends these days or I tune into a podcast that I otherwise don’t have time for (I recommend Modern Love!)

Slow down

As you ease into a slower pace of exercise, look for other areas of your life where you can shift into a slower gear. Winter is the perfect “self-care” season, so give yourself permission to enjoy your morning coffee a little longer, cook yourself ‘comfort food’, or settle in for a marathon of ‘rom-com’ movies.

Layers, layers, and more layers

If you hope to take advantage of the great outdoors during winter, be sure you’re dressed for the elements. That means ‘piling it on’ with thick socks, long underwear, scarves, hats, and REAL boots – ones that are insulated, not just cute to look at! Wearing multiple, loose layers is important as the heat is trapped between each layer – naturally insulating you when you are outside. And consider investing in a pair of cleats to ensure you can still get out on icy days.

Indulge in a ‘soaker’

Sleep has become a ‘luxury’ in today’s hectic world, so this winter give yourself permission to sleep in some morning or head to bed an hour earlier. Instead of feeling down because the days have gotten shorter, embrace the fact that nights are longer and you can indulge yourself with a little extra sleep – a guaranteed battery re-charger!

 

This winter take some time to think about what your version of ‘hibernation’ looks like and then give yourself permission to slow down a bit. And remember, days start getting longer after the Winter Solstice on Dec. 21!

Question – How do you make the best of winter?

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