Winter. It's here, bringing the cold temperatures, strong winds, and dare I say it - SNOW. I know plenty of people that comment this season is their least favorite because of the aforementioned elements, and I can honestly say I often agree with them.
But then I think of the mood I am in when I am conditioned to enjoy warmth only, which is predominantly found indoors during this time. I become sedentary and somewhat lethargic. I see strong emotional mood swings in my own children as we hunker down inside for days without journeying out into our natural environment. We begin to fill our time with puzzles, family board games, and TV - all activities that do anything BUT get us active or reconnect us with nature.
So how can we fulfill our wishes to stay warm and cozy AND reconnect with nature on a consistent basis through winter?
Bundle up and wear layers. Invest in good quality outdoor attire. It's that easy.
The choice between a little chill (even when dressed appropriately) and mental, physical, and soul-pressing stress seems fairly obvious when we dig down to the consequences involved with the decision to stay indoors or venture out.
I made the choice to take my children on a winter hike in a snow-laden park. Even though we were all adorned with our ultimate snow gear, my son, who is an avid climber of any fallen tree, ended up getting snow in his boots. He began complaining of having cold feet halfway into our 4-mile hike, and made it only a few hundred more feet before his attitude about our expedition started getting sour.
So what did I do? I stopped and sat next to him on a stump, and the two of us helped him exchange his wet socks for one pair of fuzzy insulated socks I had on. From that point on, he was back to his explorer-self, and I beamed with pride knowing that I had prepared for something I didn't anticipate happening, and it saved the experience for us all.
Don't be afraid of winter. Instead, welcome her by preparing to battle the elements so that you can continue to strengthen your body, calm your mind, and feed your soul. Nature always calls. Winter is her way of challenging us to do what is right and good for our own well-being.