We Minnesotans are a hearty bunch.
That’s how we survive these brutal winters. We traipse around in thick parkas, heated socks, and bulky mittens and when shopping for a new car, we get excited at the thought of 4-wheel drive. Many of our eyes still gleam with childlike wonder at the sight of that first snow.
But - let’s face it, Winter is fun for the first couple months, and then the holidays end. Our bulky mittens get holes in them from over use. The snow turns from a fresh white to a dirty, crusty brown. We all begin to dream of spring.
Here are some ways to kick those Winter blues to the curb and show them who’s boss - Minnesota Style.
1. Make Something for Someone
There’s something magical about giving. It could be as simple as writing your Mom a letter or sending a post card to a friend. Magers and Quinn Booksellers in Uptown Minneapolis has a great selection of postcards.
It’s always fun to get mail. It makes you happy, it makes them happy, and you may even gain a pen pal out of it. Win, Win, Win.
2. Cook a New Recipe
Not much can top a warm meal on a cold day, and trying new foods keeps life fresh and exciting. You might even want to try turning it into a competition -- Invite a friend over, one of you will make the main course and the other makes desert. But - here’s the catch - you can only use the ingredients that you already have in the house. It might be chaos, but it might also be delicious.
3. Embrace it
Have you ever been to a State Park in the Winter? It’s a beautiful sight. Get some snow shoes. Put on every piece of warm clothing you own. Drive to a State Park (Some of them are just a short drive from the Twin Cities). Take a deep breath, and step into the cold. There’s something to be said about just embracing Winter and all of the beauty that comes with it. We can’t make Spring come any faster, so we might as well enjoy the ride.
4. Be Active
Exercise can be a great way to feel better. The YMCA of the Twin Cities is an affordable option for getting your Winter workout on, and they also offer workout classes and classes for kids. Don’t feel like joining a gym this Winter? Try dancing! Put on your favorite tunes and dance around your house or in front of a full length mirror if you’re feeling extra bold. Raise the roof. Twist and shout. Dance like no one’s watching - or, if you feel like putting on a show, dance like everyone’s watching.
When you’re tired of dancing or done with your work out at the gym, take 5 minutes to stretch out your tight winter muscles. A good stretch can work wonders.
5. Get Creative
Creativity is an outlet that many people find soothing and inspiring. Channel all those feelings of Winter angst into something beautiful, and you might find that those feelings are easier to cope with. One option could be keeping a journal. Every night, before you go to sleep, take five minutes to sit down and write. Don’t overthink it - just let whatever you’re feeling jump out of your head and onto the paper. You could also try writing some Winter poetry:
you are so dreary
you make me weary
it’s time for Spring]
It doesn’t have to be award winning prose, and it doesn’t even have to rhyme, but the act of finishing a poem can fill the writer with a sense of great accomplishment.
If you are in need of ideas or inspirations for your poems, Mary Oliver is a wonderful poet and always a treat to read.
6. Change up Your Wardrobe
At the beginning of Winter, there’s always that exciting feeling of getting to dig up your Winter wardrobe. You feel fabulous in those sweaters that you haven’t worn in months and take the time to layer just the right pieces together to create something cat-walk worthy. Unfortunately, this never lasts. Once January rolls around, we’re all bored of everything we own and ready to break out the Spring wardrobe.
Let’s get excited again! Add a few new pieces to your Winter wardrobe because feeling fabulous in a new outfit is a great feeling. Splurge on a few key pieces at your favorite store, or, for a cheaper option, check out one of the Twin Cities’ many thrift stores. The Salvation Army on 38th and Nicollet in Minneapolis has fashionable clothes for a great price, it might take a bit longer to find the perfect item, but it can be a fun treasure hunt.
7. Go to the Downtown Macy’s Before it Closes
A big part of Minneapolis history is closing down after this Winter. Check it out one last time before it’s gone! Take it all in. Look at the beautiful architecture. Reminisce about the history of Minneapolis. Buy a new pair of socks.
8. Find something to look forward to
It’s always great to have something to look forward to. Try subscribing to something. It might be your favorite magazine or it might be something like Ipsy or Birchbox. Instead of just looking forward to Spring, find something that you can look forward to that’s happening a little sooner.
9. Host a Book Exchange Party
Do you ever have those nights where it’s too cold to go anywhere and you’re hopelessly bored but you have no idea what to do with yourself anymore? Try hosting a book exchange party! Everyone comes with a copy of their favorite book and everyone leaves with a new book to read. On those evenings where it’s way too cold to leave the house, it’s essential to have some good reading material. It’s also a great excuse to get together with your BFFs.
10. Home Makeover
Cabin fever can be a real bummer. Many of us start to get stir-crazy on those days where it’s -20 with the wind chill and dangerous to leave the house. Why not take advantage of this time to give your home a snazzy makeover? Rearrange the furniture. Get some fun, new curtains. Hire a professional photographer to take photos of your pets wearing fancy sweaters and hang them in every room. Give your walls a fresh paint job. Having a home base with good energy is so important this time of year.
Cheers to enjoying the Winter months!