This is the time of year that the cold, and the grey start fraying at the edges of the nerves a bit. Even seasoned New Englanders start to get a little shifty-eyed looking for the slightest sign of impending spring.
Here are some of our top tips for getting through these last few weeks of Winter, they might not warm you up physically but they will warm your soul.
Get outside! While it may seem as though it's just too darn cold outside, most of our modern-day outerwear is vastly more effective than what our ancestors wore(with the exception of wool, mother nature wins on that front!) Outside of a polar vortex event you're not likely to suffer any unpleasant side effects beyond chilled cheeks and a slight runny nose after a slight jaunt in the out-of-doors. Just 15 minutes to walk the dog, skate at the local pond or rink, chat with a neighbor, or take a brisk walk around the parking lot on your lunch break can replenish your vitamin D, fill your lungs with fresh air and reset your outlook on the day.
Make some plans! The post-holiday, winter months are where many of us find we are stuck in a routine rut. Break out of the mold of your days by planning something new and fun. Find a local dance studio, maybe now is the time to learn to salsa or tango! See if your local Y or community center offers cooking classes or community recipe swaps. It's a great way to expand your meal options and meet new people. Running a little low on funds? Check with your local library, you may be surprised to see that they offer versions of everything above!
Add warming foods to your daily fare! Readers of a certain age may remember carrying lunch boxes to school in their elementary school days that contained matching thermoses, and that our parent's often packed soups and hot drinks in there for us. What a comfort to fill your belly with hot soup before dashing out onto the playground. We may not have the luxury of unrestricted post-lunch recesses any more (well, see the first point of this post!) but we can certainly treat ourselves to some easy comfort foods. Planning a little extra time for food prep the evening to pack up dinner left-overs or a little meal prep can mean the difference between another bland cold-cut sandwich with chips, and a hearty chili with cornbread or a spicy chana saag with cumin-scented rice! In a pinch, adding a shot of Fire Cider or grating a bit of fresh ginger into your favorite cup of tea can make a noticeable difference in warming you up, check out our post all about Ginger to find out why!
Remember, staying warm in these cold months isn't always about bundling up and staying put, though a cushy couch and a good book do have their charms. Finding ways to stay connected and active with your community, your environment and yourself will help to keep you motivated and moving, warming you from the inside out.