Despite the record breaking warm weather we have had this February, this is still Canada and the fact that it is February still means that we have a ways to go before we see consistently warm weather, the end of winter, and the fresh warmth of spring.

DSC_9109

For some, it may be a struggle to stay cheery during the winter months and I’m sure there are others who enjoy getting outside and taking advantage of all winter has to offer. I’ll admit, I’ve been the former most days but the days that I have made a point of being outside and embracing winter have been some of the best days I’ve had all season!

As a child, I so enjoyed winter! It was easily my favourite season. I loved the thrill of tobogganing down steep hills, the wind whipping my face on the ski slops, snowball fights, making snow forts, ice skating (even when I couldn’t feel my toes and fingers anymore)…and of course, the delightful warmth of coming in side after hours outdoors and sitting down to a steaming mug of hot chocolate. As an adult I’ve found myself thinking less of the joys of winter and more of the dangers and responsibilities. What if there is black ice on the roads? Do we need new snow tires? Ugh, it’s cold and flu season again! 

 

These are just some of the things I’ve found myself thinking about now that I’m a responsible adult. Did I mention that we have an uphill driveway? I’ve been pregnant for two winters now so this is the first winter in this house that I’ve been able to do any driveway shoveling and I think I’ve only done it once the way it’s worked out with my little ones and their naps. My poor (but amazing) husband does it most of the time!

All that being said, I am SO grateful that I have a toddler. If I did not, I would probably hole myself away from the beginning of November until the end of March. As it is, my two year old loves the snow. She enjoys taking walks, building snowmen, being pulled in the sled, riding the sled down snowy slopes, and being outside as long as I will let her!

I’ve so enjoyed the time we’ve spent outside together that this winter I’ve made more of a point of being outside. We’ve enjoyed some winter walks, a hot chocolate festival, winter photos and more. This is the first year in quite a few where I haven’t resented the cold weather and the snow. I believe this is because of an attitude adjustment and the decision to embrace and enjoy (yes, enjoy!) this winter season.

Here are a few ideas to help you beat the winter blues and enjoy what’s left of winter this year.

  1. Sharpen those skates!! Skating is not only reminiscent of most people’s childhoods, it’s also good exercise! Adults need 2 hours and 30 minutes (150 minutes total) of moderate aerobic activity each week. That means we need at least 20 minutes per day of some form of cardio. Ice skating is a great way to get exercise! Depending on weather, there are plenty of outdoor rinks to take advantage of for free. If weather is not cooperative there are many indoor rinks that offering skating for a small fee.
  2. Bring out the toboggan! This is not a kids only activity. Besides, we could all benefit from being a little more carefree and youthful. Slip into those snowpants (buy a pair if need be) and surprise your kids with an unexpected sledding outing one evening. My parents did this with my sisters and I and it’s a fond memory. Just make sure to leave the phone on silent (or better yet-at home) and actually sled down the hills too…solo or with a child in your lap.
  3. Take a hike! No really…take a hike. The Golden Horseshoe area has many, many hiking trails and is also famous for it’s waterfalls. While some of them may be less than stellar this time of year, others are big enough that there is always flowing water and they’re all beautiful regardless.
  4. Attend a local outdoor winter festival! These are so much fun and usually inexpensive if not free. There are hot chocolate festivals, maple syrup festivals, Winterfest in Hamilton, Winterlude in Ottawa, and so many others. Most cities and towns have a calendar of events where you can find out what different activities are happening and when.
  5. Book a winter photography session for your family! I know most people tend to book their family sessions in the spring or fall when the temperature is more moderate but winter provides the opportunity for stunning and unique photos. There are many beautiful outdoor photography locations well suited for a winter photography family session. Why not get out as a family, make some wonderful memories, and have beautiful images to showcase those memories.

To help beat the winter blues, contact me to book a family photography session at 30% off my regular session price until March 19th!

Family sessions begin at $100 for a 30 minute mini session at a location of your choice. Full sessions are available as well. Booking must be for a session that takes place between now and March 19th. Not valid for sessions after March 19th. Please contact me to ask any questions or to check availability!