Making it through January has always been hard for me. Thanks to a circulation disorder I’ve had since I was a little girl, I hate the cold. Anytime I choose fashion over function in the winter, my fingers or toes pay for it. Knowing that, winter sports have never been my choice of activities. I would sooner curl up with a tea and a book under a blanket, once the snow starts falling. I know I’m not the only one, either.
Here’s the problem with this, now that I’m a mom: kids love snow. They love it. Even my skinny little 5-year-old, who has virtually no body fat, loves to spend hours outside frolicking in the fluffy stuff. She’s dying to go skating, and while it doesn’t really appeal to me, I know I need to follow through and allow her to enjoy the experience of fun winter activities.
So how am I going to manage my own dislike of winter and cold? Here are five ways that might help you too:
I can’t overstate this. Wear the ugly puffy jacket. Go with the boots that are clownish or industrial, but will keep you warm in -40C weather. Bring mittens. Wear a hat and stop worrying about what your hair will look like when you take it off. Ear muffs are cute and keep your ears warm, but you lose more body heat through your head than your ears, so make the sacrifice.
This is a hard one for me. I hate wearing clothes that make me look bigger than I am, but if my jacket only fits a light sweater underneath it, and not a polar fleece hoodie, how much help is it really going to be in keeping me warm? I’ve learned my lesson the hard way countless times, with boots. When you don’t make sure there’s enough space for your feet to breathe, or to wear thicker socks, your toes can end up cold even in the coziest of boots.
I’m guessing most of you have already figured this out, but bringing a coffee or tea with you can definitely help you get through the hour or two you have to sit in the stands at the skating rink, or stand at the bottom of the sledding hill. Bring it in a thermos, so it stays warm if you need to put it down.
Try not to stand still or sit for too long. Even if you’re just getting up every 15 minutes to walk in a little circle and do a few air squats, it will help prevent your circulation from slowing down in your extremities. Other movements that can help include rotating your feet at the ankles and doing high steps.
When all else fails, invest in a few of these, and always have some on hand. They’re what saved me the day my husband and I went skating on the Rideau Canal for four hours.
Let’s face it: kids love everything to do with winter because it’s fun. As parents, we need to find ways to make it fun again for us as well. Staying warm in the frigid temperatures will definitely help, and you’ll find yourself making memories with your kids that will last a lifetime.
Do you have any other winter tips?