Shaking Off the Winter Blues
By Erin Rebello
With shorter days and colder weather, it can be easy to catch a typical case of the winter blues. We’ve all been there, snuggled under piles of blankets and hoping for warmer days ahead! Thankfully, as winter nights melt into spring mornings and the weather warms up, there are tons of ways to get out and about and chase away those winter blues! Below is a list of tried and trusted ways to get rid of the winter blues and embrace the changing of the seasons.
Go on a Hike: It might still be a bit chilly outside, but as my soccer coach has always reminded me during our freezing winter practices, the best way to get warm is to get moving! One of my favourite things to do during the summer is go hiking; it’s a great way to relieve stress and connect with nature. Even when it is cold, hiking is still a great way to get outside, and there are many benefits as well! For example, there’s less of a crowd, so it’s easier to social distance. Hiking in the winter also gives you a completely new perspective on the forest around you, due to the differences in flora and fauna. Even if hiking isn’t typically your thing, I encourage you to try it out at least once during the early spring!
Start a Garden: Although it’s a bit too early to start growing plants outside, March is actually the best time to start growing your annual plants. If you’re an avid gardener, you may have a lot of experience with growing, flowers, fruits, and vegetables. Although most people sow seeds directly into their garden during April or May, the very best gardeners start their seeds indoors. By allowing your seeds to germinate and grow sprouts indoors, you’re able to start them off in controlled conditions, where critters like squirrels, rabbits, and slugs can’t munch on them. You can also cull any plants that aren’t growing properly, ensuring that your garden is highly productive. After starting your seeds off indoors, you can bring them out in April or May, where they can then expand and grow into a beautiful garden!
Do Some Outdoor Art: I may not be the most artistic person, but I do love getting creative now and then! I tend to draw inspiration from the world around me, which is why I love creating art outside, where I’m surrounded by things that inspire me! From cars, to clouds, to insects, to the sprouting grass peeking through the frost, early spring has so much to offer in terms of inspiration. Even if you don’t consider yourself the most artistic person, I challenge you to go outside your comfort zone and try some outdoor arts and crafts. All you need is a few paints or crayons, and you too can create your own work! If you’re planning on hiking during the spring, consider taking your art supplies with you and creating a piece right after your hike – when you’re full of inspiration!
Warm Up with Some Hot Chocolate: Finally, although the weather might still be a bit bleak and cold, it doesn’t mean that you have to be! Instead of waiting for Mother Nature to heat everything up, you can make your very own (and very delicious) source of warmth. Hot chocolate can also be a great refresher after you’ve finished hiking, doing outdoor art, or planting your garden. With the help of a parent, you can mix a couple spoons of hot chocolate mix with some boiling water. Add in some mini marshmallows or whipped cream, and you’re good to go! Just be sure to let it cool before sipping so you don’t get too hot too fast and burn your tongue!
The winter blues are normal, but they don’t have to be something that stays with you until spring. Using these tips and tricks, you can shed those winter sorrows and prepare for a spring and summer full of warmth and joy!