Surviving the Tail-End of Winter

At our central office in Cadillac, Michigan, just weeks ago the temperature was -22 degrees. Though Spring is right around the corner now, we’d love to share some “survival” tips for body and spirit, to help you make it through the tail-end of what has been, for many, a long and difficult winter.

Get outside, stay active:
Bundle up, get out and play! Try snowshoeing, skiing, snowboarding, building snow forts, sledding, and of course shoveling. As the weather improves, take walks, visit parks, woods, or explore your own backyard. There are signs of coming Spring everywhere.

Commiserate with characters from history, imagination:
Delve into the wintry mood with books like Roald Amundsen, or The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Transition into spring with The Secret Garden for your kids or The Forgotten Garden for you.
How about some non-holiday winter movies? We recommend Happy People, March of the Penguins, The Golden Compass, or The Empire Strikes Back.

Bring light in:
Light a fireplace, outdoor bonfire, candles, or white holiday lights to brighten things up until Spring (and the sun) returns. To help regulate sleep cycles, do avoid blue-toned lights (television, computer and phone screens) in the evening.  As Spring approaches, open windows and let in some sun and fresh air!

Take some time for you:
Winter is a wonderful time to look inward, spend time reflecting, and take extra care of yourself. Treat yourself to a long warming bath, or an hour of yoga or journaling. Because the air is still cold and dry, it’s great to really pamper and protect your skin and hair, too. Try coconut or sesame oil.

Connect with people:
Get together for meals, to play board games or old-fashioned parlour games, to watch movies, or tell stories. See a play, take a class, or meet a friend for tea to beat cabin fever.

Eat (and drink) for the weather:
Soups, stews, roasts, and hot teas are still perfect for this time of year. Leave the summer fruits, huge salads, and cold smoothies for the warmer months, and eat seasonally. Winter weather calls for roasted root vegetables, spicy chilis, and baked apples. Use warming and immune-boosting spices like cinnamon, cayenne, turmeric, and cumin. Try this recipe for spicy hot cocoa. Though there’s still snow, be on the lookout for the appearance of early spring veggies like asparagus!

Look forward to spring, summer:
Start planning your garden. Plan a Spring Break to somewhere exotic (Fiji?) or a summer trip to somewhere accessible (Frankfort)  Even if you can’t get away, plan a “stay-cation” for yourself. Visit a local museum or indoor water park with the kids, or plan a spa day with friends.

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