Winter can be a difficult time for many. After the distraction and festivity of Christmas, we get the worst of the weather and the days are still short. Whether it’s a full blown case of seasonal affective disorder, or simply frustration at the long way to go until the long, warm evenings of summer.
One of the key causes of this January and February malaise is the way the weather drives us indoors: we’re stuck in the same four walls, denied our daily doses of vitamin D, the sights and sounds of nature, the rise in heart rate of regular exercise and simply a change of scenery.
Today we’re looking at some of the ways you can face the season and enjoy outdoor time even in the coldest months of the year.
Dress the Part
A seasoned walker will tell you that there’s no bad weather, only the wrong clothes. If you want to keep on enjoying the outside world during the winter you need to dress for it.
Layered outfits are the key to success here, with an inner layer that wicks moisture away from your skin, keeping you comfortable, covered by a middle layer of insulating fabric like wool, and a waterproof outer layer to keep the rain off. An outfit constructed like this will make it possible to get outside during rain, sleet and snow!
If the sheer physical pleasure of a walk outside is reduced in the winter, then you need a tighter focus and goals to motivate you! For some, it’s an exercise routine with targets to hit, for others capturing the stark beauty of winter in photography.
If you’re having difficulty finding motivation, puzzles might be the answer! There’s a thriving scene of city tours and treasure trails that has you solving mysteries by pounding the streets and looking for answers – often with regular stops in comforting cafes! If you invest in a Bristol scavenger hunt, you’ll have a brand new motivation to get out on foot and see the city!
Focus on the Opportunities
In long Scandinavian winters, people in Norway focus on the opportunities that winter brings to do something different rather than simply mourning the loss of summer, and this mindset might help you too! The experience of getting outside for leisure or exercise is different in the winter, but that doesn’t mean it’s worse.
The shorter days means it’s easier to see the dawn. Cold weather might mean the crunch of frost underfoot. If you shift your focus to the things you can only do and experience outside in the winter – even if it’s the sheer relief of a hot shower after getting soaked to the skin – then you’ll find so much more to enjoy, and less you need to simply endure.