Well, we’re definitely in the thick of winter right now. Temperatures are well below freezing point, it’s snowing pretty much all across the north east and unfortunately spring is still a ways away.
Those who know me how much I don’t like the cold and winter. I used to not mind it as a kid because it meant going skiing every weekend with my family, getting snow days, going sliding with friends, making forts, etc. As an adult, living in a big city, I find winter to be more of an annoyance than anything. That said, this winter I decided to make an attitude adjustment (or at least try my best!). Since I’m all about positivity this year and since it seems like I’m unfortunately not moving to a warm far away place just yet, I still have at least one more winter to deal with so why not make the best of it! I know a lot of us suffer from a mild or sever form of “winter blues” or aren’t too excited about this season, I figured I’d share with you some of the things that are making my winter a little more bearable this year and are helping me get through the next couple of months:
1) Travel – Even if it’s just for a weekend, traveling and getting away from the cold is definitely a morale booster for me. Getting some much needed Vitamin D during these grey winter months can have a serious positive impact on how you feel and how you deal with winter. It’s also something to look forward to. Some of my favorite destinations that are still relatively cheap and close enough to travel to for a weekend are: Miami, Las Vegas, California, Arizona, Memphis, etc. If you can’t take any time off, I recommend looking to travel during Family Day and/or Easter. Though it may be more expensive to travel during those weekends, if you book enough in advance, you can definitely find some deals. Also, if you’re desperate to get away and want to make it the cheapest trip possible, try booking red-eye flights, or early morning flights that way you don’t even have to tell your boss you were away or ask for any time off, you’ll be at the office at the same time as everyone but with an extra glow! You can check out my travel section on the blog here to get more travel ideas!
2) Treat yourself – Whether you like massages, manicures, trying out new restaurants, going for brunch on the weekend, playing board games, visiting a museum, cooking, being crafty, making dyi beauty products, etc. it’s the perfect time of year to treat yourself and do things for you. I find that I have a lot more free time in the winter and so I take that opportunity to take care of myself. Sometimes, it’s the littlest thing that will be a moral booster. I definitely feel like when I treat myself or just take care of myself, I automatically feel better. Some of my favorite things to do in the city this winter: Having dinner at Electric Mud BBQ, grabbing the goûter at The Tempered Room – the best French bakery/patisserie in the city hands down, eating brunch at The Drake, enjoying the pools and get a massage at Body Blitz Spa, going for tea at the Shangri-La Hotel, grabbing a snack from Bolt Fresh Bar, etc.
3) Try a new outdoor activity – Yea being outdoors when it’s -20C might suck, but if you’re doing something fun with friends or even by yourself, you might not think it sucks as much. Plus, I realized after all these years, my mother was right – Dress warm and you’ll be fine! I’ve come to terms with the fact that if I’m planning on being outdoors for a while, style or any kind of fashion sense gets thrown out the widow. I’d prefer wearing my big dorky boots and huge jacket than freeze my butt off! As you may have read in one of my previous blog posts here, this year I’ve given winter running a try. To my surprise, it’s a whole lot easier than I thought it would be. Layers are super important and make sure your extremities are covered, but once you’re out the door, you’ll be sweating in no time. Also, if you’re lacking the motivation to run by yourself, there are tons of great clubs out there. Just in Toronto, you can run on Wednesday nights and Saturday mornings with the Nike Queen West Run Club, on Thursday evenings with the Academy Of Lions run crew and also on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays with the Parkdale Roadrunners. These are just some of the many clubs in Toronto and there are run clubs in just about every city! And with all of these clubs, no matter your level and speed, no one gets left behind!
Another thing I recently started doing is snowboarding. I grew up skiing but in Ontario, the “hills” are so small that skiing is quite boring if you’re an avid skiier. Luckily, Offner offered to teach me how to snowboard three years ago and these small “hills” have been the perfect place to learn and progress. I’ve also noticed that a lot of ski stations offer discounted day rates online, which makes riding a little more affordable! Walking is also a great way to spend time outdoors. The streets are almost empty in Toronto in the winter, so it’s actually really nice to explore the city when there’s no one around. Offner and I often walk at night from work or walk around on weekends. Plus, there’s nothing more awesome than going into stores to warm up or stopping by your favorite coffee shop to grab a treat mid-walk.
4) Catch up on all the movies & television series you’ve missed – Two years ago, I made the decision to get an Apple Tv and I must say it’s been a lifesaver during the winter. I love making myself a warm cup of tea (currently obsessed with the rose bud tea that I got in California), lighting my new Dyptique candle and watching a movie wrapped under a blanket on my couch. In the summer, I’m usually so busy traveling and being outdoors that I rarely get to sit down and watch “television”. So I write down all the new series and movies that interest me and catch up on them in the winter. Currently, I follow about 7 series and try to watch at least 1-2 new movies a week, so it gives me something exciting to watch every night if I want to. Some of my favorite movies lately: Virunga, Copenhagen, Boyhood, Chef, Interstellar, Fed Up, etc.
5) Read a book – I’ve said it in one of my previous blogs, I’m making a real effort this year to read a lot more. I’ve also noticed that I tend to read more during the winter, I think the reason being because it’s a nice form of escapism. Don’t get me wrong, I know I’m not escaping winter but it’s nice to get carried away in a story once in a while. It’s the perfect way to also disconnect from your busy day at work and relax.
So those are the top 5 things that are currently keeping me sane this winter. What about you?