So it’s here. Winter. Well, obviously it’s been around for a while, but the holidays are long gone and now we’ve reached the seemingly endless, Game of Thrones-style frozen portion of the season. I enjoy winter a lot. I like cold weather, I have a winter birthday, I look great in scarves, and I’m always grateful for climates that don’t make my curly hair explode with humidity. Even so, I recognize that freezing temperatures can make life a little more difficult. Winter conditions can make it tougher to get out and about, and cabin fever is the worst, especially if you have young kids in the house.
Cold weather can keep us from some of our favorite activities and stress relievers. The park and the backyard aren’t particularly enjoyable when it’s frigid out, leaving little ones with excess energy. Snow and ice tend to keep a lot of us from our healthy routines, snuggled in front of the TV instead of going for runs or heading to the gym. This is especially true if you’re a military spouse who is newly arrived at a chilly duty station and you aren’t accustomed to the cold. Luckily, I have a few suggestions for surviving the winter, frostbite-free and with sanity mostly intact.
First off, if at all possible, venture outside! Even the meager winter sunshine and fresh air can do a lot for you after being stuck indoors for a while. Brave the cold, go for walks, build snowmen, or take your coffee to go and sit on a bench for a while. Once you’ve taken those winter baby steps, try something a little more intense, like ice skating or sledding.
If the cold is just too much for you, or if you’re like me and prefer to appreciate nature by watching the Travel Channel most of the time, take advantage of some indoor activities in your area. Libraries are great, and often have activities scheduled regularly for little ones. Visiting museums is a fun way to get out of the house, get walking, and learn things you can feel superior about later. If you do a little research, you’ll find science museums and other kid-friendly places in most areas. Find a gym in your area that has childcare (or kid’s classes) and try a class. A few sessions of hot yoga might make you appreciate the cold a bit more! If you’re out of ideas and spring is nowhere in sight, enlist your friends’ help, or check out Hello Mamas and InDependent Communities online to find other moms near you to have a snowball fight with.
Of course there will be times during winter when the snowdrifts are a bit too high, or the roads are too icy, or the prospect of getting everyone bundled up and out the door is a little too daunting and you have to stay at home. For those occasions I recommend hot chocolate, Netflix marathons, and dance parties. Warmer days will be here before you know it.