Beating the winter blues in your own hometown

I went to Miami last year around this time of the year, and soaked up the rays and enjoyed the peaceful sounds of nature.  We stayed right by a river in Little Haiti and enjoyed the peacefulness of ducks swimming.  Traveling to warm places in the dead of winter is most definitely a perk.  However, I realized that even when I can’t always enjoy beautiful weather, I can enjoy what my great hometown has to offer.
I wanted to share with you some of my tips for getting through the winter blues that I tried out last year.  Even though these aren’t travel-specific, I think they qualify as at least adventure-specific.  Plus, the definition of travel is to go or be moved from place to place.  You don’t have to go to China to do that.  Sometimes it’s simply moving from your couch to somewhere you’ve never been. So, no matter where you live, no matter the weather, here are some of my tips for beating the winter blues.

1.  Try out new restaurants.  Everyone has been telling you to try out that new place, right?  Now is your chance.  We have a couple new restaurants opening up right by my work that I can walk to.  Make a list of some of the places that you’ve been wanting to try out, and make it your goal to finally try it out.  In Columbus, we have a lot of little gems popping up all over town including cafes and bakeries.  Skip Olive Garden this week, and try something new and, I’m going to out on a limb here, but better.
Thai Grille
2.  See what your downtown night scenes have to offer. Don’t let the deterrents of having to find parking stop you from going down and enjoying the town.  Some of us get in the winter rut of home and work, home and work, home and work, and end up vegging out on the couch when it gets dark.  City lights at night are beautiful.  Even if it’s cold, bundle up and take a stroll.  

Downtown Columbus night
3.  Cook up your own sunshine in the kitchen.  In today’s modern world, you can get just about any fruit or vegetable in any season.  I know people say it’s better to stick with what’s in season locally, but oranges and grapefruits from Florida in the winter are one heck of a treat.  Try juicing some delicious oranges and listening to your favorite summer tracks.  Even if it’s snowing outside, you can still get into the sunshine mood.

Fruit juicing
4.  Go outside.  (Yes, even if it’s cold.)  On the coldest day of the year, we decided to bundle up and take our dog for a walk somewhere in nature. I couldn’t feel my face, but it was so quiet and serene, you could see the white snow lined and I felt like I was in some arctic world.  Yes, it was cold, but it was still fun and beautiful. There are countless scientific studies done on the advantages of being outside and how that affects our minds and moods (Just Google it.)  We can become very internal and stressed out when are cooped up inside for days on end.  That goes doubly for when it’s freezing out, because we sit inside for weeks not seeing the light of day.  Don’t let the cold scare you.  After all, that’s why they make hats, coats and gloves.
Hoover reservoir

5.  Visit some museums or attend some public programming.  There are so many interesting museums, historic homes and programs to visit.  We have attended public programming at observatories and the history museums.  Columbus Museum of Art has free admission every Sunday, and has an amazing new addition with interesting mirror artwork.  Check out what’s around you and attend some programs.  It’s worthwhile to check out other nearby towns and see what museums and programs are available near you.  You may be surprised at what you find.

Ohio History Connection
6.  Try new forms of exercise.  Winter exercise doesn’t have to just include going to the gym and running on a treadmill.  Try out some new exercise classes like power yoga or cycling.  If you have access to a gym with a pool, why not pretend it’s summer and take a water aerobics class?  Last winter, we went to one of the only traditional 1970s-style skating rinks around in Sunbury, Ohio, where my sister and her family live. Nothing beats putting on your roller skates and falling all over the place on the rink with the disco ball lights flashing on you.  But seriously, it’s fun to do something inside and sweat even when it’s 15 degrees outside.
Roller skating, Sunbury

I’m sure none of these tips are news to anyone.  If anything, I just wanted to encourage you to go out and do something fun and interesting, even if it’s cold out.  As famous English adventurer Ranulph Fiennes said, “There is no bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.”  So get your appropriate clothing on and go out for an adventure!  

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