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How To Embrace Winter

How To Embrace Winter


    If you live in Canada, the northern USA or any other region in the world where there are cold winters, I’m sure that you hear it all the time. Many people in these areas will constantly complain about how bitter cold it is outside during the winter months. These folks hate winter, hate the snow and get wait until the spring arrives.

    If financial budgets are there, these people will book the next flights to sunny tropical destinations for a vacation just to get away from the cold. The travel industry of course takes advantage of this as they have their newspaper, radio and TV ads with promotions to the beaches in full force.

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    I hear complaints about winter from those who were born and raised in winter regions as well as immigrants who came here from tropical countries where there was never ever any snow. These people absolutely hate where they live for three to four months each year as they still freeze while bundled up in winter clothing.

    Not An Ideal Way To Live

    In my humble opinion, hating where you live for three to four months every single year is not an ideal way to live. Why would anybody want to do that? If one hates winter, one would be stuck just dreading one-quarter to one-third (depending on where you live) of each year for as long as one lives in a winter region like Canada or the northern USA states.

    Personally, I love winter and this often puts the winter-haters in complete disbelief. What really boggles their minds is that instead of taking off to the Caribbean or to Florida during the winter months, I actually take trips to places where there is more snow!

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    Of course to really understand this is to realize that I’m an avid snow skier, which is the reason why I love winter. I along with many others, found the key to getting through the cold months without complaining. I believe that the secret is to embrace rather than hate winter.

    Find Winter Activities That You Would Enjoy

    I always tell winter-haters, especially immigrants who are still shivering, that the only way to embrace the winter is to find activities that would be enjoyable. One criteria is that these activities should be those that can only be done during the winter rather than some activity that one can done indoors all year round (like playing cards).

    The activities should be specifically winter only as this will make you look forward to the snow rather than to hate it. Here are some examples of winter specific activities that are worth trying out.

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    • Downhill (alpine) snow skiing
    • Cross-country skiing
    • Snowboarding
    • Ice skating
    • Ice hockey
    • Tobogganing
    • Snowshoeing
    • Dog sledding
    • Ice fishing
    • Snowmobiling

    If you are active in such winter activities, you will likely spend the last part of each autumn eagerly preparing for the snow to finally fall! That’s how I feel during my pre-season ski training. It is a very natural way to adapt to the changes of each upcoming season.

    Try A Winter Vacation

    Even if you live in a warm, tropical region where you don’t experience cold winters, you should consider coming to a winter destination like the Rocky Mountains in Canada or the USA and the eastern winter areas like Quebec or Vermont. I have met vacationers from warm places such as Mexico and Israel at ski resorts.

    Experiencing winter in a fun way through some of the activities I mentioned would really broaden your own horizons to what the world really has to offer. And for those who already live in winter regions, embracing these months will give you much more peace of mind throughout your entire year.

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    (Photo credit: Skiers Playing in the Snow via Shutterstock)

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    Last Updated on December 9, 2019

    5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

    5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

    Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

    Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

    Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

    1. Get Rationally Optimistic

    Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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    This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

    In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

    The result: no more mental stress.

    2. Unplug

    Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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    How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

    It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

    Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

    3. Easy on the Caffeine

    Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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    Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

    4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

    That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

    How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

    • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
    • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
    • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

    While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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    5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

    This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

    The result: mental stress will be gone!

    So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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