Title Disclaimer - I don't mean, "Hey look at me, I'm so fabulous!" - Although, let's be real, I'm pretty okay ;) - What I mean is, I am ALWAYS cold and have spent years dreading life between Labour Day and Easter. So, if you are like me, this guide is dedicated to you.
I LOATHE winter. Which, if you're from Canada, like me, is practically a national sin.
Canadians are notoriously lovers of the "Great White North" and somehow immune to below freezing temperatures for 2-6 months of the year. And although a proud Canadian, I'm definitely jealous that Canada doesn't have a Hawaii, California or Florida to take refuge when I need a climate change.
There's the wind that leaves your face feeling like sandpaper, the snow, slush AND did I mention how long it takes to get dressed to go outside?! With that all being said, I've finally figured out how to make peace with it and fall in love with winter again because, let's face it, I'll never stop being Canadian and Canada will never stop being cold. So, if you are anything like me and are chronically chilly and/or loathe winter, this guide is right up your alley.
1:: Get a winter hobby or activity. I used to go skating with my dad a lot, so it's a bit nostalgic for me. Lucky for me, there is a rink by my house, so I can indulge in a free skate whenever I want. (If you are in the Toronto area, the city has set up 50+ outdoor skating rinks.) Nothing is more fun than a weekend away in Quebec, hitting the slopes then heading to the Nordik Spa. If you are less athletic, you can try tobogganing, tubing, building snow forts, taking a frigid dip in the lake (I haven't done this yet but I hear it's good for circulation!), get bundled up and go for a leisurely nature walk. There aren't many people out on the trails in the winter - a huge bonus for those of us who don't like crowds. Plus, you might get to see a snowy owl and other cool wildlife!
2:: Get good quality, warm winter clothes. This is an investment that you won't regret. Water resistant footwear is a must. I've gone too many winters with wet, cold feet and believe me, it makes you miserable. Winter boots are rarely fashionable but I've learned to embrace the ugly for the piece of mind that a good warm pair of footwear gives. I recently got an ankle length parka and it was the best thing I've ever done. It took me forever to find this cruelty free (no fur and no down) coat but it was worth the wait!
3:: Embrace Koselig. Norwegians believe in embracing "Koselig", which is Norwegian for coziness. They have less seasonal depression than Canadians, despite similar climates because instead of dreading winter, they simple embrace it. Koselig can take form in so many ways, such as: Snuggling up in a cozy blanket while binge watching your fav Netflix original. Taking a Warm bath - Lush has the best bath bombs or you can make your own. I am a bath freak and usually take one every night. Comfort food. Learn some new recipes like this delicious vegan chili, indulge in some homemade hot chocolate, or go to your favourite comfort food dine in joint!
4:: Hot Yoga. Hot yoga is a god sent. It's like doing yoga but in a sauna. All of your sins melt away and you come out feeling 10lbs lighter. My favourite place in the city is Moksha Yoga. Classes can be pricey, costing about $20 per session. To get the most bang for your buck without a monthly membership, try to look for "karma" or "community" classes. They usually only require a $5 donation and all proceeds go to a local charity.
5:: Escape. I know it seems conflicting because this post is about loving winter but there's no harm in taking a mid winter vacation. Whether it's somewhere hot like the Caribbean or to the slopes of Whistler. Going on a new adventure is always exciting and gives you something to look forward to.
I hope this guide will help you combat "the winter blues", SAD (Seasonal Affective Depression) or just your overall dread for the cold.
It's all about embracing what you can't change. :)