Not much longer and we can officially welcome back spring!!! However, until then, we shouldn't give up on winter and outdoors in the cold. Numerous research results show that our blood pressure is lowered, stress hormones are reduced, the immune system is strengthened, our mood is lifted and self-healing powers are activated when we see, hear, smell and feel nature with all our senses (sources).
Yes, it is nice to snuggle up on the sofa, watch TV and drink a hot chocolate. But it's also nice to get out into the fresh air and maybe even rain.
So here are a few winter activities you can do, even in dreary weather (as long as there is no storm warning!).
- When it's raining, just pack your rain jacket and rain boots and plan a walk in the forest. You're a bit protected from the rain and the rain makes the walk a bit more romantic.
- Check out the app "AllTrails" and plan a little hike in your area.
- Go running - that will definitely warm you up! It doesn't matter if it's just ten minutes around the block or an hour in the park. Moving a little bit outside, even in the winter, is good for your mind AND body!
- Make a bonfire - if you have a garden or if you are on a vacation somewhere and there is a fireplace: light a fire, enjoy some marshmallows or "Stockbrot" by the fire :) To stay warm just dress in lots of layers! It'll get warm by the fire.
- Build a fort - this is especially fun with kids! Find a bush, leafless twigs and branches and get creative! It doesn't have to be anything big or fancy, just a fun activity to build a little shelter.
- Do a winter picnic - This sounds freezing but it doesn't have to be! Bring lots of extra layers, a hot water bottle, hot tea, a soup, an insulated blanket, thick throws and go on a small walk before you sit down. Really special on a sunny winter day!
- If it's just too rainy: Visit a botanical garden! With lots of greenery inside to explore you can easily feel like you spent a day in nature while still being protected and sheltered. And for the minutes when it's not raining cats & dogs you can take a walk in the surrounding garden outside.
- Build natural sculptures - Similar to building a fort: collect leaves, twigs, rocks, maybe even some soil and other natural material and build a little sculpture. It doesn't have to be anything Picasso like. Just get creative and make it more about the experience than the end result.
- Go to the beach - Of course only possible if you live near the seafront or if you're on vacation. But the beach is great during any weather. If it's windy you can observe the immense power of the waves. When it's raining you can just take a walk along the water and on a sunny day you might even be able to do a winter picnic :)
Which activity can you add or recommend? Any of the above you love? And don't forget, there is no bad weather, just bad clothing :D (such a dad joke!)