Happy Winter Solstice! I said that out loud while smiling, trying to convince myself that a) winter isn’t so bad, b) it is acceptable for it to be pitch black outside before dinner time, and that b) frozen eyelashes are trendy. This year, I’m going to try reeeeeally hard to like winter. I might say that every year, but this is THE year. Eric suggested I go for “tolerate”, but I’m going to aim high and plant myself firmly in the “like” zone. And yes, it is intentional that I’m writing this post on the first official day of winter/shortest day of the year because that means things are already looking up, right???
There are lots of nice, fun things about this season and plenty of people have managed to (or at least pretend to) embrace our Sudbury winters. I do enjoy some winter-related activities (skating, snowshoeing, drinking hot chocolate, sitting directly in front of a fire, wrapping myself in several blankets, etc.), but the bad always seems to outweigh the good for me. With that said, I feel the first step toward liking winter is to identify the specific things about winter that I strongly dislike. Here are my Top 4:
- The “Air Hurts My Face” Cold
- Eternal Darkness
- Running Struggles
I have come to terms with the fact that I can’t change the temperature, stop the snow/ice or force the sun to show itself. Soooo I guess I will have to work around these issues.
Here’s how I plan to battle the winter blues this year and (hopefully) make the most out of this snowy season:
1. Lunchtime Walks
It’s dark when you leave in the morning and dark when you get home. Sigh. I need sun! Getting outside at lunchtime is a great way to take advantage of the limited daylight and I find it energizing… maybe even more so when it’s freezing out. It’s good motivation to walk faster and an excuse to pop into stores and coffee shops to warm up. Other benefits: the sidewalks are typically better maintained and downtown Sudbury is a fantastic place to people-watch.
2. Run Outside More + Gym
I know there are people out there who run outside in all conditions and even like winter running. And I don’t mind winter running… but there is a limit to that madness. I just don’t enjoy running when it’s below -20ish and/or super icy outside so I’m not going to do it. I see Instagram runners frolicking through fluffy powdery snow in a long sleeved shirt, shoes with “grip”, and a cute headband. Meanwhile, I have snot running down my face (which I can’t feel by the way, but know it’s happening), am close to getting hit by a car and/or in the midst of twisting my ankle.
I’m going to make a better effort to run outside more this winter; I think I’ve already surpassed last year’s count and those runs have actually gone pretty well! Huh, who knew? However, it’s nice to have other options for when the weather is really terrible so Eric and I got gym memberships (again). We do have a treadmill, but I thought it would be good to do more cross training, lift some heavy stuff, and not lock myself in our basement-gym all winter. Plus, sometimes it’s nice to interact with people instead of staring at a wall. Sometimes.
3. More Mini Adventures
If you’re familiar with my blog, you probably know that I started out with the intent of documenting one new mini adventure every week. This got harder as I got busier/re-joined the real world, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to stop adventuring! What I liked about that challenge was that it got me to see Sudbury in a different way and forced me to get out and do stuff (even in winter). Some of my favourite local mini adventures from last winter were:
- Rainbow Routes Mural Walk
- Arrowhead Skating Path
- Kivi Park
- Onaping Falls
- Cross Country Skiing at Laurentian
On my bucket list for this winter: snowshoeing at Windy Lake and checking out the World Women’s Curling Championships in North Bay. Winter is also a good time to try activities like the Science North escape room, a cooking class, and indoor sports. I’ll be playing floor hockey and Eric and I are trying volleyball, both of which should be interesting. I haven’t played volleyball since getting cut from the team in grade 9 so hopefully I can get past that rejection and, well, dominate.
4. Get Cozy
Winter is a good excuse to buy cozy comfy clothes, especially for someone who is always freezing cold. So far, I’ve gotten a pair of cute Northern Smittens, more fleecy tights (a necessity), fleecy and reflective running stuff, and some long cardigans that I can cocoon myself in. Oh also, more socks… double layer thermal. One pair is knee high length, which is pretty much the definition of “cozy”. Having the appropriate clothes/gear (last year I got boots with built-in flip-down ice picks, which was very exciting) and lots of layers makes the thought of battling the frigid temperatures less daunting.
Bring it on winter, I’m ready for you! Thanks for reading, I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 🙂