After reviewing the following 8 notes I jotted down on May 28, 2017 (shortly after we knew we were moving back to Minnesota), I created 9 ways to embrace winter (because it’s so d#$%^ cold right now and I thought we could all use this).

    1. Where will I grocery shop?
    2. How often will I go to Minneapolis?
    3. How will winter affect me? For better? For worse?
    4. How can I still find the inspiration and motivation for long-distance running?
    5. Where will we go to church?
    6. Is there a farmers’ market?
    7. Will I ever get over Palm trees?
    8. How can we keep the children’s birthplaces special?

Do you think I’m random enough yet? It’s okay to answer, “Yes.” I fully recognize it. But during a massive transition, sometimes pure randomness is exactly what we need to process.

Today we’re going to talk about #3. Winter. Why? Because as I type this, it’s currently NEGATIVE 12 degrees out. When I texted Ryan that I was writing this, he responded, “You mean how it’s COLD AS F#$%?!?!” 

To that end, yes, kind of, but also no, not really. 

Here are my 9 ways to embrace winter. 

9 Ways to Embrace Winter

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9 Ways to Embrace Winter #winter #snow #outdoors #healthyliving cold weather

I have been posting some early morning workouts on my Instagram Stories recently, and when I do, I oftentimes attach the current temperature. Lately, it’s never above 5 or 10 degrees, and someone always replies, “I could never get motivated during that cold.”

Well, let me tell you, it’s not easy. It wasn’t 25 years ago or 11 years ago, and it certainly isn’t now either. The difference is that I’m not the same person I was 11 years ago, and I have figured out my way around this horribly cold mess. 

  1. Get appropriate clothing

    I didn’t bring an appropriate (warm) winter coat home with me from California, so I was freezing from the beginning. But I knew that having one would change my attitude instantly, so I quickly bought THIS ONE on Amazon. It’s saving me! It’s warm, has a hood, and is long, covering most of my body. It instantly changed how much I feared going outside. I wear it, mittens, a hat, and tall boots almost daily. I did, however, wear open-toed shoes on Saturday night and thought I might die. 

  2. Buy new workout clothes, which is fun and inspiring

    Beyond the normal wear, if you want to still keep motivated for working outside (or even in the garage), you have to wear workout clothes that make sense for winter. If you want the truth, I have just been layering up like crazy with what I have. I look like a total dork, but honestly, I don’t care. That said, here are some new things I’m looking to get (that were recommended by someone who runs outside all the time during winter): Oiselle Lesley tights, Oiselle Flyte Tank, Oiselle Flyte Long Sleeved, Light Weight Wind and Water Resistant Burke jacket, thick Fitsoks, shoes to combat the ice and snow, and Zensah gloves. Will I get all of these? Probably not, but just knowing what the appropriate pieces are for winter workouts is super helpful. I’m thinking of getting several of them, though, and I’d love to know if you have any other winter workout things you swear by?

  3. Put a treadmill and/or a set of dumbbells in your house and/or garage

    Being fully outside might be too brutal. I get that, but bringing it even into the garage can help. In California, we had a garage home gym and it was never that cold. It rocked! We don’t have the space for that in our rental, but I squeezed in the treadmill and set of dumbbells into the garage. Don’t get me wrong, in the dead of winter as it is now, you’re still going to freeze. But I just layer up and do it. I can’t use the cold as an excuse otherwise, come spring when I want to trail race, I’ll be way out of shape, making the training cycle harder. For me, the key was to add wearing a hat until I was warm enough to take it off. From home, there are so many things you can do. My absolute favorite is Jess’ program, but I have a whole Pinterest board dedicated to Tabata, Crossfit, and Bodyweight Only Workouts. You’ll find something.

  4. Take up something new, outdoors

    For Christmas, my mom and dad got me a pair of snowshoes. I went snowshoeing once in California, and it was hard, but I loved it. I figured doing it here made even more sense, would get me to enjoy a winter activity outside, and (mostly) would be incredible cross-training for trail running. Whatever it might be for you, find it.

  5. Take up something new, indoors

    In Minnesota, it’s inevitable that you’ll spend much more time indoors during winter. If you aren’t busy with three children, find a new indoor hobby. Write, read, learn to knit or sew, binge-watch a TV series, start a blog (!), find a new podcast, take an online course, start a side business, cook, bake, whatever. Just find and do something – it will make the winter go by that much quicker. 9 Ways to Embrace Winter Elmhurst1925 Maple Vanilla Smoothie straw peanuts

  6. Lights

    If you have any touch of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), make sure you tend to it. I am fine with winter this year (because all of this is so “new”), but I’m usually not. The one thing I always ensure is that I have a ton of lighting around me. Just ask my college friends – I always brought all the lamps!

  7. Plan something

    Plan something for the near-future or spring/summer to keep you motivated. A trip? An event? For me, in this season of life, I am planning my Expo West trip in March to Anaheim and then shortly after another trip out West to see clients. Beyond that, I am planning our trip to Italy (well, I’m looking forward to it and Ryan is planning it:) ), and my trail race schedule (which I will set this Saturday on my birthday!) Seriously, I know I’m Type A and that all this planning might come more naturally to us Type A’ers, but it really works when you’re in the thick of winter.

  8. Get over it

    Some days this one is really hard to embrace because the cold is so awfully bitter. (Like right now.) But we live in Minnesota, and we have to get over complaining and setting life aside due to the brutal cold. It’s never going to be 70 and sunny in February. Ever. 

  9. Find the beauty in winter

    This one might be easier for me than for someone who has never lived away from a true winter, but I do see beauty in it now. In California, there are no seasons. I never used to care, until I came back. California was predictable. There were two seasons – lovely and then horribly hot and then rainy. That’s it. But here in Minnesota, all the feelings attach to different seasons. That first 40-50 degree spring day is like this beautiful light at the end of the tunnel. Summer nights are never taken for granted (I now remember why no one wanted to come visit us during summer – those months are precious). Fall has a cozy feel. And then there’s winter. It’s one season that makes all the others worth it.

After Winter

After the rain always comes the rainbow. This harsh winter feels like any rainy season of life. There is no way of getting around it. You have to go through it. But once you do, the other side is incredible. Here’s the thing, I wrote this post for ideas on how to embrace winter because there is no use pouting for a few months. We have to dance in winter like we do in spring, summer, and fall. 

I know I’m not sitting around, staying inside and moping all winter long. Life is far too short.

Also, Samarah in this coat and hat. I snapped it before school yesterday. Can you even stand it?! 9 Ways to Embrace Winter Samarah winter coat and hat

p.s. You know what else winter does for me? Reminds me how amazing people in Minnesota are. Last night my cousin and his wife messaged me, “You guys need a plow out?”

Instantly, they came over to plow our driveway. And during the big old snow dump a couple weeks back, our neighbor (who I’ve never met and don’t know at all), came over to blow out the snow using the best briggs stratton snow blowers. so Katie could get out and then proceeded to snow blow our entire driveway. For nothing. Just because. People in Minnesota are so good. 9 Ways to Embrace Winter snow blow snowing


Previous 101-Day Change Series Posts

  1. Beginnings are Scary
  2. Change Pain Point
  3. Making Sense of Change
  4. Gratitude Journal
  5. Love Your Baby Girl
  6. Little Things Add Up
  7. House and Home
  8. Sunday Reflections
  9. Two
  10. Chocolate Shake
  11. 3-Ingredient Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Shake
  12. Chaos is a Temporary State
  13. Thirsty Thursday
  14. Month One
  15. The Nudge to Connect
  16. 11 Favorites from 11 Years in California
  17. One Box at a Time
  18. Good Enough is Enough
  19. There is No Dishwasher
  20. WWDW Number 8
  21. Move Initiated
  22. Sharing My Journey
  23. Back with the Tribe
  24. Small Town Grocery Shopping Part One
  25. January 2018 Catch Up Over Bone Broth
  26. Patsy Clairmont is My Spirit Animal
  27. Let There Be Light
  28. Forgot About Rae
  29. Smiles
  30. Coconut Oil Makeup Remover How To

9 Ways to Embrace Winter

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