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How we make the most of winter

Whether it’s your favourite season, your least favourite season, or somewhere in between, winter is a cold reality for Canadians. The Collective Results team has pooled their thoughts about how to make the most of it.

Jennifer: I like to be warm so winter is not my favourite season. I’ve learned to embrace it by finding things that I enjoy that are unique to winter. Of course there are all the winter sports, but what I really enjoy is feeding chickadees. Birds are on the lookout for scarce seeds during the winter months so chickadees are even friendlier than usual. I just love that feeling of having a chickadee alight on me and being close to nature.

Lindsay: I have always enjoyed winter and spending hours outdoors being active in the snow. As a kid, I was building forts in the snow piles at the end of our driveway and now as an adult, I’ve taken up snow shoeing. My sister, who is not a fan of winter (putting it mildly), believes that my love of winter is because I have a February birthday. I was born to embrace the cold and snow. A new hobby that I’ve enjoyed the last few winters is photography, taking pictures of the pretty snow on the trees, frozen-over waterfalls, and my favourite – the winter sunset! It’s that beautiful blending of colours that draws me into those sunset skies. The photo here is one I took this past January of the sun setting over the Mill Pond at the Ellacott Lookout in Cambridge.

Michi: Like many people during the pandemic, my family decided to get a puppy. We named him Hershey. Hershey, we have discovered, loves the winter. More specifically, he loves the snow. I think the combination of his thick furry coat and his youthful spirit gives him his zeal for all this cold, white stuff. When I take Hershey for his walks, he is either yanking me into the snowbanks so he can bound through the deep snow, or I am coaxing him along as he sticks his nose in every foot or paw print. I will admit to having slightly less enthusiasm for these cold dark months. However, if I want to be less stressed and more creative, research suggests I should be more like Hershey. We have all heard about the benefits of play for children and, apparently, these benefits extend into adulthood. So I am putting forth the challenge to myself and others to “be more like Hershey” to get through the last month of winter. Go jump in a snowbank, build a snow fort, feed the Chickadees, or even incorporate a fun activity into one of your work meetings (see Amy’s blog on Drawing Together).

Liz: Growing up in Windsor Ontario, the Winter scene was a bit depressing. In Windsor it would snow and melt all season leaving little desire to go and spend time in the mucky outdoors. Since moving to Guelph, where the snow does tend to remain for much of the Winter, and also since having 3 little kids, my interest in spending more time outdoors and making the most of Winter has increased significantly! In fact, I would now say that Winter is my second favourite season (behind summer of course). This Winter my favourite activities have been: cross country skiing, building an epic snow fort with my children, going for Winter hikes and warming up by a fire after a Winter activity. Even with small bursts of outdoor time, I always come back inside feeling refreshed and energized! This has been particularly helpful to balance out all of the screen time from working from home.

Ishan: My family decided to take advantage of the continuous cold weather over the past few months and built an ice rink in the backyard. It is quite small and takes only a few children’s strides to get across, but my two kids LOVED going on whenever they could! I have really enjoyed watching them learn how to move on the ice by themselves, begin to skate and have a lot of fun. I feel like this will become a winter tradition for our family moving forward, so I have some time to design a larger rink for next year.

Amy: I have always enjoyed winter and am grateful to live in a place where we get to experience the dramatic changes of the seasons. I enjoy outdoor winter activities like skating, hiking, and snowshoeing, and equally enjoy cozying up under a blanket with some candles and a good book hygge style. I really believe that winter is a natural time to rest and restore. That said, I do find that my motivation sometimes lacks during the winter months. One of the strategies I’ve been trying out this winter is to follow my plan and not my mood, especially for activities like exercise or slogging through administrative tasks at work, which I know will make me happy when they’re done, but are sometimes hard to initiate. This strategy is grounded in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, which recognizes that the things we do (our behaviours and actions) can affect our emotions and thoughts. I have found this has been a very helpful strategy this winter to help me balance fun and relaxation with getting important things done.

How do you make the most of winter? Drop us a line below!

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