2017/18 marks my 29th winter. Prairie winters are no joke, especially in Saskatchewan. They often start in the middle of Autumn and drag into mid-Spring. This winter alone has seen quite the variety of temperatures. Within a 24-hour period, we will experience a 20 to 30-degree drop in temperature, only to have it rise again after a week or two, before once again, plummeting.
I’m a summer person. I enjoy going for runs outside, walking or biking. It’s fun to attend festivals and different outdoor events or to go camping and for a hike. Life takes a 180° turn during winter. Unfortunately, it’s a fact of life here. There is no avoiding it, which means that you might as well embrace it as best you can.
Here are 5 tips to help you survive the winter season.
Stick to your routine
As much as it may feel like it sometimes, life doesn’t pause during winter. It can be really hard to stick to a routine of eating healthy and going to the gym. I know my 5am trips to the gym are a lot more difficult when it’s still pitch black and the car is frozen. Drinking a smoothie or eating a cold salad is far less desirable, and warm comfort food is the most enticing. Not to mention all the Christmas goodies and all the delicious, unhealthy, food at all the get-togethers. Trust me, you’ll feel much better if you continue on with the routine you built during the warmer months. You may have to do some substitutes, like sticking to the treadmill instead of running outside, but you’ll be grateful that you do. Your mind will be clearer and you will feel better mentally and physically. Who knows, maybe winter won’t seem to drag on as much.
Go for a walk
Take advantage of mild winter days and get some fresh air. Due to my work schedule, there is a point during winter that I do not see the daylight during the work week. I start work before the sun has risen, and I leave work after it has set. I’m sure I’m not the only one out there who experiences this and it can start to feel desolate after some time. This is why it’s so important to get outside while you can. Day or night, weekend or weekday, you’ll be grateful to feel the fresh air, even if it is a bit crisp on your skin. You can walk to a nearby restaurant, or even just around the neighbourhood to enjoy the Christmas lights. Take your dog out for a much-needed walk, or drag your children behind you in a sled. There are so many options! We have tried to walk to our community mailbox once or twice a week, partly because we need to get our mail, but it’s also nice to spend some time outside. Granted, this doesn’t happen as often on those -30° days. Brr!
Love it or hate it, snow is unavoidable in most of Canada. I was lucky enough to spend a number of years living in a condo, which means that I did not have to shovel. Now that we are in a house it has become a part of our lives. I’m the one who has more time in the morning, so I will take some time to shovel if it snows overnight and my husband will take some time in the afternoon/evening when he is home from work. It’s a system that works well for us and keeps it pretty even. I could grumble about having to shovel and hate every minute of that task (ok, a large part of me does), but I try to have a different outlook. First, it’s time outside; time to get some of that much-needed fresh air. Second, it’s a great additional workout. It works some muscles that don’t always get worked on at the gym and adds some extra cardio. Additional calories burnt is never a bad thing, especially with all those post-Christmas treats and warm comfort food to compensate for!
Heavy snow and frigid temperatures can sometimes make the outside world seem less than desirable. Take those days to stay home, if you can. Snuggle up under a warm blanket with some hot chocolate and enjoy a feel-good movie on TV. Don’t feel guilty about the long list of errands you need to get done, just relax and appreciate a day off. If you start getting restless, take care of some of those odd jobs around the house that you’ve been putting off. Clean out that junk drawer, organize that back closet, or even just vacuum and dust. These tasks seem a lot less annoying when you don’t have to miss out on a beautiful, sunny +20°C day.
Unfortunately, sometimes going out on those winter days is just unavoidable. The snow is plentiful and the ground is icy, but you can’t miss a day of work or you need to stock up on groceries for the week. This is when you need to make sure that you have proper winter gear.
I’m not going to lie, I have scarves, mitts and toques, but I can’t tell you the last time I owned winter boots or a winter jacket. This is the first year I’ve actually felt the importance of good winter boots. Let me paint a picture for you. I’m wearing my well-loved Skechers and my car has been sitting outside all day at work while the snow has been falling. At the end of the day, I go outside to brush the snow off my vehicle. I’m working on the one side when I realize that it’s icy. I start to have a slow-motion fall, that ultimately has my legs half under my car. I then struggle to stand up, but can’t because I just keep slipping.
Yup, welcome to my life. Needless to say, when Mark’s reached out to me about hosting a giveaway on my blog and showcasing a pair of their boots, I knew it was a match made in winter. These boots are going to be a game changer for me. No more bruises on my butt or wet & cold feet from a shoe full of snow.
My favourite features of these Sperry boots are, in no particular order:
- The suede finish that totally keeps you looking stylish and put-together!
- They are antimicrobial, which means no weird smells coming from these boots!
- The Vibram Arctic Grip. I had never heard of this before, so I had to do some research. First, they are designed to perform equally on wet and dry ice. Next, there is a thermochromatic lug (still not 100% sure what that is) on each sole, which turns from white to blue as it gets near 0°C, so you know when the possibility of ice will occur. How neat is that? Some days it’s definitely obvious, but with these up and down temperatures we are having, this will be very handy!
If you want to know more about these boots, or buy them for yourself (as I write this, they are on sale!) you can visit the product listing on their website.
To finish this off, how about that giveaway?! This $50 will be great to put towards some new winter gear, there is still plenty of the season left! All entries will be verified, and the giveaway will run until midnight (EST) on January 23rd. Open to Canadian residents only.
**THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED**
Thank you to Mark’s for providing me with these boots and the gift card for this giveaway. All opinions are my own.