Winter Wellbeing: What are you doing this winter for you?

Posted by Colleen Young @colleenyoung, Nov 24, 2020

I live in the north where winter means snow. That means my garden is put to bed. Over the spring, summer and fall, my garden brought me more joy and benefit than usual this year of COVID. It kept me active and gave me precious time away from the computer screen. It was my refuge whether reading or just observing. It was also a place where, for a brief period, we could safely distance and be social with neighbors and friends.

I want to find a winter replacement. Something that gets me up and moving and away from the computer screen where most of my connections are happening these days. Ideally, I’d like to create something, not just clean a closet. Something that brings me joy. I want to do this for me.

What are your ideas? What are you doing for you and your wellbeing this winter?

We plan to put up an ice rink in our back yard after a two-year hiatus. Our kids all skate (hockey or figure skating) and I grew up figure skating as well. I hardly ever get to skate anymore, so having a rink again would allow me a chance to get back to enjoying that again as well as create a space void of phones for our family to spend time together outside! My husband is the ice curator and official (hand-held) Zamboni guy. (We are still working on his comfort on skates.)

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My husband suffers from extreme sensitivity to the cold, so winter is usually torture for him. In the past few years we have invested in battery-operated gloves and socks to try to help during our (brief) times in the Minnesota winter. This year my daughter hit the jackpot – a battery-operated vest!

She gave it to him Monday as an early Christmas gift, and he loves it – yesterday he spent 45 comfortable minutes with me entertaining the littles in their yard – and got to laugh with me at their antics and join in the silliness. So my goal is to get him to join me/us outdoors as often as possible.

The other thing I am doing is making t-shirt "memory quilts" for my husband and daughter for Christmas. I found myself dreaming of block placement of all their precious remnants last night – a sure sign I'm ready to get the layouts exactly right.
Sue

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I began hand crocheting and it is such a good idea for "in budget" Christmas or Hanukkah gifts!

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@amandaburnett

I began hand crocheting and it is such a good idea for "in budget" Christmas or Hanukkah gifts!

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@amandaburnett I have been wanting to try this! Please keep me posted on how this goes and how yours turns out!

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In reply to Amanda…@migizii…this is not too exciting, but I plan to walk outside (ice cleats and all) until the temperature is zero and then I can’t because I get frostbite. I bought a recumbent bike, I walk in circles around my house, i exercise to YouTube videos (light exercise dependent on the day), read, do crossword, and even color…..I also make a point of calling family and friends regularly – especially when walking in the house or I listen to new music, which is always fun.

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@migizii

In reply to Amanda…@migizii…this is not too exciting, but I plan to walk outside (ice cleats and all) until the temperature is zero and then I can’t because I get frostbite. I bought a recumbent bike, I walk in circles around my house, i exercise to YouTube videos (light exercise dependent on the day), read, do crossword, and even color…..I also make a point of calling family and friends regularly – especially when walking in the house or I listen to new music, which is always fun.

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@migizii Good morning. Have you seem our "walking group"? You don't have to be alone when you walk and there's no fear of "catching" anything!
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/lets-go-walking-join-me-for-a-virtual-walking-support-group/

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Much like Sue's @sueinmn husband my hands and feet are really sensitive to the extreme cold in Minnesota. Normally it's not a problem unless we get a lot of snow and it takes me more than 30 minutes to clear it from the driveway and sidewalk. My feet aren't as bad as the hands since I I double up on socks and have felt lined snow boots. I've yet to find the perfect glove to keep my finger tips from feeling like they are getting frostbite after 20+ minutes. I'm currently using hot packs with wool mittens inside of some army surplus leather cold weather mittens. 2 years ago I bought battery powered gloves but they were a total fail for me as they only heated the palms and it's my fingers that get really cold.

So for winter this year I'm starting to get optimistic again. After buying some Fish Monkey Yeti Gloves from Cabela's with some really weird features (squeegees on each pointing finger and nose wipe pads on the back of the thumbs 😂) – https://www.cabelas.com/shop/en/fish-monkey-yeti-gloves.
After spending more than I wanted on the Fish Monkey gloves, I found some different battery powered gloves that heat the back of the hand and the fingers at Costco which I'm hoping will work when it's really cold.

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@johnbishop

Much like Sue's @sueinmn husband my hands and feet are really sensitive to the extreme cold in Minnesota. Normally it's not a problem unless we get a lot of snow and it takes me more than 30 minutes to clear it from the driveway and sidewalk. My feet aren't as bad as the hands since I I double up on socks and have felt lined snow boots. I've yet to find the perfect glove to keep my finger tips from feeling like they are getting frostbite after 20+ minutes. I'm currently using hot packs with wool mittens inside of some army surplus leather cold weather mittens. 2 years ago I bought battery powered gloves but they were a total fail for me as they only heated the palms and it's my fingers that get really cold.

So for winter this year I'm starting to get optimistic again. After buying some Fish Monkey Yeti Gloves from Cabela's with some really weird features (squeegees on each pointing finger and nose wipe pads on the back of the thumbs 😂) – https://www.cabelas.com/shop/en/fish-monkey-yeti-gloves.
After spending more than I wanted on the Fish Monkey gloves, I found some different battery powered gloves that heat the back of the hand and the fingers at Costco which I'm hoping will work when it's really cold.

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John – Minnesotan and Arctic explorer Will Steger would tell you to "ditch the gloves" – for driving, etc they may be fine. I would agree. For time outdoors, wear mittens with wool, shearling or fleece lining (absorbs and sweat while you are moving to keep hands dry) and windproof exterior. Having the fingers together without cold air circulating around them keeps them warmer. All the old ice-fishermen wore "choppers" for exactly that reason – heavy wool liners inside leather or canvas mittens.
My favorites come from REI – I was even able to make slush balls with the boys, and while my hands got a little cold, they were nice and dry.
Sue

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@sueinmn

John – Minnesotan and Arctic explorer Will Steger would tell you to "ditch the gloves" – for driving, etc they may be fine. I would agree. For time outdoors, wear mittens with wool, shearling or fleece lining (absorbs and sweat while you are moving to keep hands dry) and windproof exterior. Having the fingers together without cold air circulating around them keeps them warmer. All the old ice-fishermen wore "choppers" for exactly that reason – heavy wool liners inside leather or canvas mittens.
My favorites come from REI – I was even able to make slush balls with the boys, and while my hands got a little cold, they were nice and dry.
Sue

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I also get cold fingers so have started wearing mittens when shoveling & wear my gloves only when in the car & also have a heated steering wheel that is the best thing since slice bread. I put hand warmers inside my ski mittens & that works great. You can buy the hand warmers at Mills Fleet Farm.
Anita

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@merpreb

@migizii Good morning. Have you seem our "walking group"? You don't have to be alone when you walk and there's no fear of "catching" anything!
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/lets-go-walking-join-me-for-a-virtual-walking-support-group/

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Thx for the invite but I am not very good at sharing on a consistent basis so I decided not to join. You can consider me an honorary member, if you wish, as I walk almost everyday. I don’t mind walking alone as I guess I like the quiet (due to chronic migraines) but if I read you correctly, members of your group, somehow connect with each other when walking?

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@migizii

Thx for the invite but I am not very good at sharing on a consistent basis so I decided not to join. You can consider me an honorary member, if you wish, as I walk almost everyday. I don’t mind walking alone as I guess I like the quiet (due to chronic migraines) but if I read you correctly, members of your group, somehow connect with each other when walking?

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@migizii. . No, we don't talk to each other on our walk if that's what you mean. We share our thoughts, what we see on our walks and sometimes we share pictures… There are quite a few great photographers in the groups. I had supporting and encouraging words from many when my back and hip pain stop me from doing my regular routine, which I am always grateful. There's no requirement that you share everyday either. I join the group in February and I must say it had added so much to my life I'm glad I did it.

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@mayofeb2020

@migizii. . No, we don't talk to each other on our walk if that's what you mean. We share our thoughts, what we see on our walks and sometimes we share pictures… There are quite a few great photographers in the groups. I had supporting and encouraging words from many when my back and hip pain stop me from doing my regular routine, which I am always grateful. There's no requirement that you share everyday either. I join the group in February and I must say it had added so much to my life I'm glad I did it.

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@mayofeb2020 thx for your feedback….I will try to offer occasional insights from my walks, but I’m not a photographer as I just enjoy being outside and being in the woods (as that is where we live). I have found walking in the winter to be such a quiet and peaceful time to walk and we (my husband joins me) rarely ever see people. Today an eagle soared overhead as it must have enjoyed the strong winds that made it very cold and not quiet…..but seeing an eagle (migizii in Ojibwe) fills my soul. ❤️❤️

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