From your doorstep: get outside and banish those winter blues!
Isn’t it great when its snows? Everyone gets wrapped up warm and heads outside. Children play with friends and grown-ups leave their cars at home and walk to the shops, chatting to others along the way.
Being outside socialising and exercising like this are certain to help improve our mood and increase our health and wellbeing. What’s more, we don’t need to go far to enjoy these benefits – the neighbourhood park, local woods, or even just spending time in the garden can provide opportunity to banish those winter blues.
Don’t wait for the snow though! The exhilaration of being outside in the fresh winter air and meeting others in your community can be experienced anytime – you just need to wrap up warm and head out that door!
Find your wild side
Local parks and nature reserves can be wonderfully peaceful this time of year. This is great for quietly observing the secret lives of winter animals. Reconnect with nature:
Explore local parks and footpaths
• look for animal tracks in the snow
• see how many species of birds you can spot
• feed the winter-visiting ducks and geese on the local pond
• keep a lookout over fields at dusk for the beautiful barn owl
Take a frosty walk in the woods
• look for birds’ nests in the bare trees
• look for evidence of badgers, foxes or even deer
• get creative and take photos of the frosty trees
• try a scavenger hunt to find: moss, berries, pine cones or even a winter flower
Blow away the cobwebs on a nearby beach
• grab some binoculars and observe the birds on the shore
• investigate marine life by beach-combing and rock-pooling at low tide
Soak up the beauty of winter
The scenery this time of year can be stunning, with misty mornings, frost-covered trees and crystal-clear starry skies creating feelings of awe and astonishment. Re-tune into the wonder of the natural world:
Revel in the longer nights
• wrap up warm and head out for a magical moonlit walk
• find a good spot and photograph the full moon rising
• see what constellations and spacecraft you can see in the night sky
• find somewhere really dark and be amazed by the milky way
• look out for shooting stars
Learn to love the shorter days
• experience a beautiful winter sunrise
• listen to the birds singing as the sun comes up
• watch the deep red sun setting on the day
Just be outside
• wrap up in a blanket and watch the clouds
• have a winter picnic with warming drinks, soups or casseroles
• marvel at the beauty of snowflakes through a magnifying glass
Burn off the Christmas Excess
It doesn’t have to be a marathon or a sprint, just taking a short walk can help relieve the cabin fever that can take hold at this time of year. It’ll also release endorphins which can help improve your mood and the exercise will help control your weight. Re-energise yourself:
• play tag and races (adults too!)
• sledge, have snowball fights and play snowy tug-o-war
• have a mad half hour playing with your dog
Keep on moving
• take an invigorating winter walk
• join a local park-run or running club
• head out on a family bike ride
• see if there’s a fit-trail in a park near you and try it out!
Then, head back home with a rosy glow, and treat yourself to a warming drink and a maybe a slice of cake!