If you happen to be like me and live in a place that gets snowy, cold winters you know how hard it can be to stay motivated and active. Winter months can create some serious havoc for our emotional and physical health. For years I would mope through the dark, frigid months just praying for an early spring, but I have since taken a new approach. I now greet winter with excitement and determination; I try to keep the mindset of, “new season, new activities!” Using my many years of expertise, I assembled a few of my favorite winter activities that you might enjoy too.
Snowshoeing – As an avid hiker in the summer and fall I crave the woods by the time January hits. Though not a big fan of skiing I have found a new love for snowshoeing. Heading out into the forest after a fresh snowfall is one of the most beautiful and serene atmospheres. It can be a great place to mentally reset, return to center and set intentions. Even if you live in a place that doesn’t get snow, try taking a walk through the woods on a cloudy or rainy day, it’s amazing how different of an experience it can be!
Theme Nights – Who doesn’t love an excuse to get dressed up, drink wine and be creative? There are so many different options when it comes to planning a fun night with friends. Paint nights are super easy to coordinate, the Internet offers a slew of DIY projects you could attempt, I even had a small tie-dying get together recently. If crafts aren’t really your thing, no problem, try a cooking party or start a book club! No matter the activity you’re guaranteed to be surrounded by good company on those frosty nights.
Heated Yoga – Sometimes I feel like I just can’t get warm in the winter. Heated yoga has been my savior. When I’m hankering for palm trees and sandy beaches, I head to my local yoga studio. I choose classes that aren’t extremely hot, just enough to get me sweating and feeling toasty all over. With all the benefits yoga offers physically and mentally, you can’t go wrong by returning to your mat as often as possible.
Coffee Dates – Coffee, hot chocolate, tea, whatever your choice, meeting a friend for a hot drink is always a fun way to start the day. It’s easy to hibernate in the winter, becoming a hermit in your own home. I love meeting up with friends at little coffee shops to chitchat or to browse a nearby bookstore. I also find coffee shops to have great creative energy; I’ve brainstormed some really fun projects with friends or even just sat for a few hours writing by myself. I always feel more motivated when I get out of the house, even if the temperatures are daunting.
Rock Climbing – The rock gym is another really fun way to stay active in the chilly season. As someone who can be a little bit scared of heights, this is a great way for me to challenge one of my fears in a safe environment. I always find it to be such a friendly and supportive atmosphere, allowing you to go at your own pace. This is also a partner activity so it’s perfect for spending time and building trust with a significant other or close friend.
Learn Something New – After the holidays, a lot of us end up with some free time on our hands. This can be a great time to sign up for that class you have been wanting to take, or attend a seminar that interests you. Always wanted to learn more about meditation? Check with your local yoga studio or new age store for what kinds of training courses they might be offering. Community colleges normally have reasonable pricing, and an array of subjects available. You will learn something new, meet new people, and before you know it winter will have melted away.
Bundled Up Beach Walks – Who says the beach is only for summer? The beach can be a healing place all year round. The tranquility of the waves crashing along an icy shore is soothing and relaxing, the smell of the salty air mixed with the anticipation of snow can be invigorating. You’ll want to dress accordingly for this activity, but time spent by the ocean is never wasted time and surely always worth it.
As you start to cultivate a new attitude towards the sometimes harsh winter months, you will find that the list of activities to keep you busy is endless. Embrace that cold air; let it cleanse your soul, and prepare you for a wonderful year to follow. So goout, buy a really good winter jacket and enjoy all of what the season has to offer!
Jessica Hallett is a writer, dog lover extraordinaire, yogi, and adventurous hiker. She believes digging deep within ourselves is one of the most rewarding journeys we can take. With a bachelor’s degree in Communication she cherishes mindful conversation that inspires self-growth and awareness.