I’ll admit that I have a love/hate relationship with winter. I adore the holiday season (October through January) and Christmas is my favorite holiday. I love the childish giddiness I feel as I watch the first snowflakes fall. I especially love the active anticipation felt of that impending first large snowstorm! I love snuggling in some place warm. I love scarves.
However, I strongly dislike the substantial decrease in daylight. I don’t like trudging through slush for a seemingly endless amount of time between the middle of January through, quite often, the beginning of April. I don’t like it when it’s so bitterly cold that I feel my appendages might crack and fall off. I don’t like how suffocating the winter can feel.
Nevertheless, here I am in the mountains of the northeast and seeing how that is unlikely to change any time soon, it’s high time I found a better way to approach my stance on the winter months. A couple of weeks ago, I stumbled upon this article, which discusses how Norwegians enjoy a long winter. Can you guess what was one of the topics?
Skiing! Which then reminded me of the pictures I’ve seen of our Duchess Kate enjoying a winter holiday on the slopes. Surely this is evidence that the Duchess does not sit around in February, bemoaning the absence of the warmth from the sun. Of course not! She’s the type of woman who throws herself out there, living each day and enjoying activities that she either can’t in the warmer months or doesn’t have as much time to. So grab your hot cuppa, your sherpa blanket, and let’s chat about how we’re going to survive from now until spring as Duchess Kate would.
I. Pick up a winter hobby
Ice skating! Skiing! Roller derby! Find a hobby that enables you to look forward to the winter. My husband skied when he was a child and throughout high school. I’ve dabbled a bit in cross country skiing and snowboarding (DISASTER!). However, we haven’t done this is over ten years and we needn’t even travel far. I literally have the view of ski slopes from my office window which are so close I can see the people skiing. We’ve agreed that this year, in lieu of surprise Christmas presents, we’re buying skis. We both want to get out more, and be more active in, the winter months and we want an activity that Master Toddler can grow up with and enjoy. I can only hope I’ll look as fetching as Duchess Kate in her gear!
This is the perfect season to enjoy the company of family and friends because when it’s twenty degrees outside, at least you will all feel that you’re in this together! I like to think that Kensington Palace is full of activity in the winter season. This is the time for dinner parties, movie dates, sleigh riding excursions, and fire pits in the snow. One of my New Year’s resolutions is to host more parties. I have lovely heirloom china sets that I never use so this season I’m planning on more dinner parties and tea parties. As evidenced in the article above, ’tis the season to embrace community:
“Norwegians also have a word, koselig, that means a sense of coziness. It’s like the best parts of Christmas, without all the stress. People light candles, light fires, drink warm beverages, and sit under fuzzy blankets. There’s a community aspect to it too; it’s not just an excuse to sit on the couch watching Netflix. Leibowitz reports that Tromsø had plenty of festivals and community activities creating the sense that everyone was in it together.” (Vanderkam, 2015)
III. Create little projects
Use the winter season to catch up on numerous projects: scrapbooking, knitting, painting, reading, baking, or photography if you are an aficionado like Duchess Kate. Use this time to enjoy pastimes that are more easily enjoyed indoors or as a time to explore new pursuits.
IV. Mini road trips
I love taking little road trips in the winter (weather permitting!) especially on a sunny day because it’s so nice to feel the warmth from the sun inside a car while it is still in the teens outside. While many of us don’t necessarily have the immediate option to get away to a tropical island, it’s important to still break up the monotony of the winter by exploring new places.
Volunteerism is something the Duchess takes quite seriously and so should all. There are many opportunities to volunteer in the winter such as soup kitchens, shelters, food drives, mentoring programs, etc. Bring some light into your day by sharing your talents to help others.
Use this season as a time to pamper yourself. Make healthy food choices, get plenty of rest, and drink lots of water. As we all know, bouts of sickness are much more common in the cold months so it’s important that you take care of yourself in true Duchess fashion. Find an indulgence that you don’t normally partake in during the summer. For example, I love hot yoga. There is just something about going from twenty-five degree weather to a humid, one hundred degree room that quite literally causes my stress to melt off and it’s only something I enjoy in the winter.
VII. Use it as a time to enrich your mind and soul
Autumn and winter have long been viewed as a time for renewal. The world has gone into a type of hibernation and our souls feel energized with boundless possibilities beginning with the New Year. Now is the time to curl up with that book you’ve always been meaning to read or the promise you made to begin journaling. Know thyself better!
What do you look forward to in the winter? What keeps you busy?