Born and raised in Minnesota, you’d think I’d be able to enjoy winter easily. I grew up playing in the snow. I ice skated with skates that were too small, cross country skied with hand-me-down skis, and was pulled on a sled behind a snowmobile. My brother and I built countless forts, snowmen, and survived the Halloween snowstorm of 1991. But somewhere along my journey into adulthood and then parenthood, I lost my resistance to the winter.
Maybe it was the challenge of bundling up babies and toddlers to get in and out of the car that wore me out. Or maybe it was the gear that never seemed warm enough. Soon I even found myself canceling all of my plans based on the weather forecast. My friends would joke how surprised they would be if I actually showed up when the temps read below zero. I’m guessing someone out there can relate to one of these things. Yes, somewhere along the line I forgot how to embrace the beauty of the winter season.
All of this staying indoors eventually got to my health. I was slowly slipping into deeper bouts of seasonal depression and never had enough energy. I started noticing how I was missing out on so much. It seemed like everyone around me was always complaining about the long winters. Something had to change. I didn’t want my kids to grow up hating winter and I no longer wanted to contribute to that attitude, either. We made our forever home in North Dakota, so learning to embrace the cold needed to become a part of my life.
5 Tips to Help Enjoy Winter
Invest in good winter gear for yourself. As moms, we typically focus our spending on our families but having good gear yourself will help you get outside, too. Read the labels of jackets and mittens to make sure they are tested for the lowest temps possible.
Encourage your children’s desire to play outside. Try not to be frustrated that you spend so much time bundling them up for them to only come inside again five minutes later. Spending time outdoors in the winter, even for short periods of time, helps our overall health.
Find a winter activity you enjoy. In Fargo, you can rent snowshoes and skis, go hiking or sledding through the parks, or take advantage of the numerous skating rinks around the area.
Listen to how you talk about the weather. Yes, even simple conversations can have a huge impact on our mentality around winter.
Take time to notice the beauty of nature. Even though the sun rises later and sets earlier these days, there are still some magnificent views to appreciate.
Our kids are learning from us every day. The more active and appreciative we become of the great outdoors, the better our family becomes. If we are going to live in the great state of North Dakota, let’s all work together to make it a more enjoyable place during these long winter months.