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Last week, Mathew and I took Benjamin to the Frederick Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park for a little relief from the cold. It was a nice, tropical reminder of what warm weather feels like.
Winters can be tough. Cold temps, cloudy days, snowy roads, dry skin. I would say I enjoy all the seasons, but winters in West Michigan seem a little long after a while. It’s not the cold so much as the clouds that get to me. Today I wanted to share five tips for thriving in winter.
Let Light in.
Part of my morning routine involves opening windows and turning on lights. Even when I wasn’t staying at home with Benjamin, I always let light into the house. This is a simple tip, but light and Vitamin D are crucial to thriving during the long winter months.
The cold can be just as harsh as the lack of light during winter. Staying warm doesn’t just mean wearing all the layers. Mix up the ways you stay warm this winter. Enjoying warm soup or a hot cup of coffee (or hot chocolate- here’s a great recipe) can warm from the inside out. Going to an indoor botanical garden or practicing hot yoga can warm from the outside in.
One of the best ways to thrive in any season is to set goals. If you find you’re spending more time inside, set a goal to make the most of your indoor activities. For example, make a list of books to read before spring. You could also set a fitness goal or work on a specific project. Making simple, attainable goals can help shift focus from ‘cold winter’ to something more positive, plus you’ll give yourself the opportunity to feel accomplished when you meet your goals.
Avoid excessive screen time.
It’s super easy to curl up in bed and scroll through Instagram or Pinterest. Before you know it, you’ve squandered an hour of your time. On cold, cloudy weekends, it’s tempting to set up shop on the couch with your favorite Netflix show and binge. Try limiting screen time and replace that time with another activity.
Keep plants in view.
When plants outside are dead, the grass is dormant, and trees are without leaves, it’s nice to have a few living things inside. Houseplants and fresh flowers are always great additions to any home. Surround yourself with greenery at home. If possible, keep a plant at your desk at work. (Read everything you need to know about houseplants here.)
Exercise is important in the winter. It’s easier to stay active during warm months, so at least for me, it takes a bit more effort to get out and exercise during winter. It’s been even more difficult with a baby, but if the temps are moderate I sometimes take the baby out for a walk in the stroller if the snow is melted or I’ll throw on my boots and wear him in the baby carrier even if it’s just a quick 15-minute walk. (Read what living an active lifestyle means to me here.)
Enjoy some fresh air.
Depending on where you live, this can be easier said than done. If you live in a winter tundra, going outside and walking to the mailbox can be an adventure. But, no matter where you live and what winter feels like, it’s good to get outside to breathe in some fresh air every day if possible.
How do you thrive in winter? What’s the climate like where you live? Do you have any winter trips planned? What goals do you set for this time of year?