3 Tips to Help You Love Winter as an Adult
This week I’m rolling out something BIG. Our first in person sessions for nature play groups are starting up in January and registration is open NOW. I am so excited because even though I love what each season brings, there is something so beautiful about being outside during the winter. I hope that parents who love winter will join me, and parents who are skeptical... read on to see if I can convince you to get outside more this winter.
It's easy to love the cozy evenings and fire light glow of winter. But all of that takes place inside. What’s good about being outside in the winter? Sure, I loved being outside as a kid. My younger sister and I would put on our snow gear and run out the door to sled and build snow tunnels in the few daylight moments remaining after we got home from school.
But as an adult it’s just wet and cold and miserable… right?
That’s certainly how I felt for quite a few winters. I didn’t grow up skiing or doing other outdoor winter sports, so I didn’t really know what to do in the winter.
I felt like I was wasting a lot of those days during our long winters just sitting inside watching TV. There’s nothing wrong with that, but I really wanted more. I decided I was going to make a bucket list for every season so I could make the most of all that these New England winters had to offer.
After having kids, I drew upon those habits that I had developed. It can be difficult to find the motivation to get outside with babies and toddlers if you aren’t also doing something you enjoy. Finding my own relationship with the outdoors gave me a lot more motivation to get out the door on those gray days.
One of the ways I developed that relationship was by learning more about what people in cold climate cultures do. And I did that by reading.
My favorite book that helped me change my attitude about spending more time outside in the winter months was There’s No Such Thing as Bad Weather: A Scandinavian Mom's Secrets for Raising Healthy, Resilient, and Confident Kids (from Friluftsliv to Hygge).
This book is probably the number one recommendation in outdoorsy parent groups, and there’s a good reason. The title is a riff off a Scandinavian expression, “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes.” The author, Linda Akeson McGurk, grew up in Sweden but landed in the midwest. Wrestling with culture shock from the car obsessed, indoorsy American lifestyle, she brings her daughters to Sweden for six months so they can experience the outdoorsy Swedish lifestyle.
Here are some of my biggest takeaways that helped me change my attitude towards being outside in the winter.
Dress for the weather to keep you warm and dry.
Wool layers with a waterproof outer shell can go a long way to keeping you from tagging out of the winter fun because you are wet and cold. I personally love the Tuffo rain suits I got for my kids. We can throw on layers underneath and then the suit serves as an outer layer in any season so they stay dry.
Make outside cozy
One great way to make outside cozy is to build a fire. Did you know you can make a fire at any time of day? Even at 9am??
Making a fire is super fun and festive. It makes a warm home base for everyone, especially if you’ve brought a thermos of hot chocolate or soup out with you. Being able to hop outside and tend the fire while the kids play gives the grown up something fun to do. Here in New Hampshire, we’re allowed to have a contained fire without a permit so long as there is snow on the ground. But it’s very easy to call and get a permit that’s valid for the whole year!
Get Fun Snow Toys Cheaper on Marketplace
Think of snow-friendly ways to get around. My mom loved cross country skiing when I was a kid, but I thought it was boring! But I love it now and it was super easy to find an inexpensive used pair of skis on facebook marketplace. I also got an amazing score on snow shoes for our whole family (also on marketplace) and they make simply roaming around the backyard so much more fun. Apparently you can also add snow runners to a bike trailer or throw on ice skates with a running trailer on a skating rink!
People have lived and thrived in cold climates for thousands of years, and we have a lot to learn from them! If you are not originally from a snowy place or your family was just indoorsy, this book can give you a vision for how to thrive during the winter months instead of just hunkering down and waiting for spring.
“There’s no such thing as bad weather” can become a powerful mantra that turns in to a way of life for you. You might even learn to like rainy day puddle jumping…