Seize The Storm

By Katie O'Connor

“It’s going to snow again?!” “Ugh! Why do I live in New England?” “I can’t stand the cold.” These are real words I hear from many at this time of year, especially with all the snow we just got. We can’t control the weather, so what can we do to turn this bitter cold into a sweet one?

Easier said than done, but you have the power to find warmth. Ignite your inner fire, your sense of adventure, and challenge yourself to look the cold in the face and say, “Please… I got this.” Rather than resenting the winter, here are some ways you can embrace it.

  • Snowy adventures: There is nothing more beautiful than a walk through the woods when it snows, it is like you just stepped into Narnia through a wardrobe… magical. You can almost hear the sound of the flakes connecting with the ground in the incredible, peaceful silence. All you have to do is bundle up and you are golden. You can walk, snowshoe, cross-country ski, sled, skate, etc. Don’t have the gear? Borrow a friends! Or you can rent from nordic ski centers, REI, EMS, and even at UNH and other school campuses.
  • Being prepared: In my winter trips I’ve slept overnight in -15 degrees, and I still had an absolute blast. How can this be possible, you ask? I was prepared! As long a you bring what you need, you’re going to have a good time. If you decide to venture out, make sure you bring these items:
  1. Extra wool socks. I can’t tell you how many times this has saved me (or my friends). You will be the hero when someone accidentally steps in an icy puddle and their once fuzzy dry socks are now frozen… bring the socks.
  2. Extra gloves/mittens, same reason… never a bad idea to have an extra pair.
  3. WATER. I know it may sound crazy and cold, but drinking water actually helps your body to warm up!
  4. Snacks, lots of snacks. Your body needs energy to keep warm. This is sometimes the best part about winter trips, you need to eat! All the trail mix. A thermos of hot cocoa is always a pleasant treat to bring along, no guilt.
  5. Don’t be a hardo, wear a warm jacket… I think down jackets are the best. Who cares how much you look like the Michelin man, you will be so warm that you will forget about the temp and just think of how much fun you are having!
  • Warm your heart: So maybe the roads are too bad or you just can’t make that adventure happen today. Look at this as a chance to relax and find happiness in these ways:
  1. Yoga is a great way to warm your body up in some cold times. Breathing will reduce the stress of shoveling, and your body will heat from the inside out. Try an online class if you can’t make it to the studio!
  2. Cook some yummy food. I think, snow storm? YES, time to make some soup!
  3. Spend time with family and friends. Cuddle up by the wood stove and drink hot cocoa together. Play cards, charades, apples to apples, etc. I guarantee you will be smiling, and just think of the body heat you will create when everyone’s laughing with warm hearts!

So we still can’t control the weather, but one thing you can control is your attitude. Will you let the cold freeze your joy, or will you accept mother nature’s challenge and seize the storm? Challenge accepted!

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Katie is a yoga doin’, food lovin’, singin’ adventure lady. She finds herself smiling while paddling a canoe, hiking in the Whites, and playing music around campfires with friends. As a registered nurse and yoga teacher to-be, she hopes to help others find wellness in a holistic way. Check out Katie and her contagious energy here.