Winter Blahs & Outdoor Fun

Hidey ho everyone! It’s T here. Bee is busy working away while I am enjoying one more week of Christmas holidays before returning to work and seeing the eager little faces of my grade 5/6 students. Life is beautiful. So beautiful. Even amid this grey and gloomy winter weather. Are you feeling it? That dragging, droopy, tired feeling that comes with dark, long days and the absence of vitamin D? The dreaded winter blahs? Me too. Great news though! I have a solution for you! Simple. Quick. Worth it…

Step 1: Go outside.
Step 2: Play like a kid again.
Step 3: Feel better!

And take vitamin D. Can’t forget that. I take the Jamieson Vitamin D Chocolate flavoured Chewables because they are a nice change up in flavour. I’m a dark chocolate lover and these actually have quite a yummy taste. Do you take vit D through the winter months? If so, what brand do you prefer? Curious what others are using to get that vit D boost…

So my solution of Steps 1-3 seem simple right. Perhaps too easy? Too elementary to be effective? No way José! The “get outside” approach has validity! For real! I have learned over the past some odd years that the best way to beat the blah days of a good long Canadian winter is to embrace it and play outside like a kid again. Not only do you get to absorb a teeny tiny bit of Vitamin D, you reduce stress, increase endorphins, improve your immune system, and sleep more soundly. Check out the positive effects listed at the MayoClinic (a reliable and informative rockstar of a site for all your health questions and concerns).
That beautiful photo of a winter scene that is heading this post is actually from my in-laws’ property just 15 minutes away from me. winter-in-tinyQuite peaceful and gorgeous, oui? Such a scene is quite the norm around here. Winter is stunning where I live. We are lucky. We are surrounded by water and get the most dazzling accumulations of snow. Sure can be a pain in the rumpus when the roads have snow drifts that could make a mac truck spiral out, or when the visibility is nil on the concessions running along the farm fields. But on such days, I like to make the most of it and enjoy a “snowed-in” day.
Curl up.
Read a book.
Shop online (which really just means I fill a bunch of “baskets” on various sites and never actually submit the order).
Watch Netflix marathons.
Bake.
Eat.
Nap.
Blog.
Whatever my little heart desires really.

And then when I’ve had enough of being snowed in and start to go a little stir-crazy I get outside. My winter activities are pretty simple but effective. My favourite is to take our two old dogs out for a leisurely walk.
They are 15 years old. Stubborn. Sweet. Rescues. Gentle old men. oldboysThe boys and I love the opportunity to walk slowly along the road, or through the forest. Breathe in the fresh crisp air. Bundle up all snug and warm. Listen to the cold, strong waves of Georgian Bay crash along the shoreline. Examine the various animal tracks scattered along our path. Look up and watch the mesmerizing snow fall. Trudge through the snow drifts and watch the winds dance amid the snow and trees. Sounds fictional. Too good to be true, right? But I am incredibly lucky to say that it’s all an accurate depiction of winter in this part of Ontario. Canadian winters are beautiful, aren’t they?

However, on the days that the old fellas decide it’s too cold or too windy or they just aren’t in the mood (even though they both have huskie and shepherd in them!) then I have to be creative and find other friends to entertain me. This is when the hubby gets dragged in… but I don’t think he minds 🙂 Our favourite winter activity to do together is hitting the hills (did that sound cool? I’m actually not very good but I figure if I act the part, that’s half the battle! Ha!) He skis and I snowboard. This year we purchased a season pass at Blue Mountain. If you are looking for a good place to go and haven’t tried the hills at Blue, you should. They are probably the most decent of all the hills around here. A good place to learn (if that happens to be where you are in your winter sport journey) is Horseshoe Resort. Their prices are quite reasonable, instructors are good from my experience, and they have a variety of learning group opportunities (like the adult women’s group that I learned with years back). My all-time favourite place where we have skied/snowboarded was at Mt. Tremblant in Québec. We went two years ago and holy cannoli, what an outrageously unmatched experience  to snowboard down a mountain. Being the scaredy cat that I am, I stuck to the Green runs. Yup. The easiest, slowest, flattest runs that one could find on a mountain. And I loved it! I got to take in the beauty of the quiet, the surrounding trees, the calm. And a few awesome wipe outs. The hubby was sure to take a photo of me panicking a little about the incoming fog and the anxiety of not being able to see where I was going.

Yup. There I am. Pointing at the fog ahead and freaking out about how I’m going to make it down the mountain without being able to see two feet in front of me. And there he is. Behind the camera. Loving every minute of it.

So there it is folks, my recipe for beating the winter blahs. The first step is the most important and that is to get outside. It sure is. Oh hey! I almost forgot! Did you see that Parks Canada is giving away free passes to explore the beauty of our national parks? Check it out here and order your free pass, no strings attached!

Now get out there friends!

T 🤗

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