Well, it was fun while it lasted but it appears that winter has finally arrived. The coats have been dusted off, the scarves have been wrapped, and we have deemed the outdoors to be inhospitable for human life until spring. To put it another way: remember playing “The floor is lava” as a child? Well, it’s kind of like that, but for outside.
This is the time of year we hibernate, sip some hot tea/chocolate/other drink and watch copious amounts of television – well, more than usual, anyway. While we traipse around in our sweats, wool socks, and oversized sweaters, we do everything in our power to avoid leaving the comforts of our homes. For many, it’ll be months before their skin tastes the sweet, sweet nectar of vitamin D, while for others, it’ll be months before fresh air returns as something to look forward to. These, plus a large serving of sedentary living is the perfect precursor to the most difficult opponent of winter not named “the flu”: “cabin fever”.
Fear not my friends, for I present to you the finest weapon designed specifically to fight against the formidable foe known as “cabin fever”. I give you, “outside”.
Go there. Put on your gloves, your coat, and your scarves. Dress for the winter, don’t avoid it. Rain, snow, or shine, here are some ways to optimize your winter and spend as much time outside as possible:
Rain is to winter as snow is to winter. It’s always here and it seems to never stop. It’s no problem though because a long time ago (probably thousands of years) someone invented the umbrella. This magical device will shield you from most of the incoming rain and ensure you stay dry and [relatively] warm for the duration of your outside adventures, unless of course you’re this guy, and no one wants to be that guy.
Hit up a museum or an arboretum. Maybe catch a movie, or grab a bite to eat. Hell, you can take a nice leisurely stroll down the block and get out that way. You don’t have to spend all the time outside, but you should get out the front door. (Extra credit: go for a run. You’ll get your workout in and earn yourself some well-deserved couch time. Plus the rain has the benefit of cooling your sweatiness.)
Snow is to winter as rain is to winter (man, that sounds oddly familiar), but unlike rain, you can go out in a snowstorm without the risk of coming back soaking wet – unless of course you have sisters that insist on shoving your face into the snow…you know who you are.
Snow is also a much easier condition to enjoy while being outside.
For the athletic types: football is the clear choice. Grab some friends, maybe a couple drinks, suit up, and play the game like it was meant to be played.
For the less athletic types: grab yourself a warm beverage, adult or not, and explore what it’s like to exist, leisurely, in snowfall. Pretend you’re in a Christmas card, maybe taste a snowflake or two.
Either way after you’ve finished, you can retreat to a warm apartment, throw on those sweats and wool socks, and cozy on up in front of the magic talking box. (Extra credit: build yourself a fire outside – safely, please – and sit amongst the beauty of winter.)
SHINE (READ: COLD):
The most common winter weather condition isn’t precipitation at all, it’s the brutality of good old-fashioned cold. While cold is less prohibitive in terms of becoming water-logged, it is often more prohibitive in terms of wanting to do anything. Getting a group of people to play football in the snow is a helluva lot easier than getting a group of people to do ANYTHING when it’s cold outside.
No one wants to go outside when it’s cold so instead of spending time outside on a sunny, 21°F day, round up a group of people and go to a friend’s place to wait it out together. It is the perfect excuse to gather, make a meal, play a game, watch a movie, or arts and crafts the day away. (Extra credit: decorate your apartment with your finished arts and crafts.)
Do yourself a favor and get out a little bit this winter. Don’t become a slave to the conditions outside. Grab winter by the horns (don’t forget to put gloves on) and make the most out of the winter. Winter is going to be here no matter what, we might as well enjoy it, right?
Until next time -