3 ways to beat the winter blues

As I learn more about Norwegian culture, I find myself completely relating to their love for the outdoors.  Hiking and skiing in -30-degree weather?  The Norwegians just get outside!  “There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes.”  This has been said by all Scandinavian mothers, everywhere.


1). Get outside.

With our current, frigid Canadian temperatures, it’s easy to avoid going outside. This time of year, you are likely staying inside more, but I know that accepting the weather, and finding fun activities to do it, can really help fight the winter blues.  I am embracing this weather, getting out there and breathing in every bit of fresh air I can.  I am told we have some amazing walking trails in my area and I plan to investigate them.  I alpine and cross-country ski as my go-to sport, but want to give snowshoeing a go.  If you look around there really are so many things to do around here.


2). Amazing Hot Chocolate

My dad was always the one who organized the local hockey games, picking up everyone in the back of his blue Chevy truck.  No matter how cold it was outside, we would hop on that truck and head to the rink.  I played hockey for a bit but was more interested in practicing twirls and jumps in the hopes of becoming a world-famous figure skater.  Come to think of it, my toe pick was pretty good!

Growing up as kids, the ritual after a long day of skating on the local rink was to enjoy a cup of hot chocolate that Mom made us.  This delicious and comforting beverage brings back memories of my brother, Mom, and Dad and all the outdoor fun we would have.  I hope you make some memories outdoors this winter and when you come back inside, treat yourself to some unforgettable hot chocolate.


Try this Nordic Hot Chocolate Recipe:

 2 cups of coconut milk

2 tablespoons raw cacao powder

1 teaspoon maca powder

1/2 teaspoon cold pressed honey (more for those with sweet tooths)

A generous pinch of cinnamon

Pink Himalayan sea salt to taste

A cinnamon stick to serve

Instructions:

Warm the coconut milk in a pot on medium heat.

When the milk is warm, add the cacao, maca, and cinnamon.  Make sure you keep stirring the milk so it doesn’t burn.

When the chocolate powder has mixed in well with the milk, add the honey and a tiny pinch of Himalayan sea salt.

Finish off by turning up the heat for about a minute, until the chocolate gets nice and hot.


3). Outdoor Spa’s

Norwegians know how to enjoy the cold temperatures and they know how to take care of their winter selves.  You can experience some Scandinavian pampering, right here in Canada at Nordik Spa-Nature in Chelsea, Quebec.


My daughter, Mom and I have been to this heaven. – and are planning another trip this winter.  While the snow is coming down outside, you can soak up soothing warmth in one of the hot tubs or saunas and unwind with some thermotherapy in the spa’s rustic, natural setting.  The tranquil sounds of water trickling down will take over your thoughts and all you’ll be thinking is “I really needed this”…and you really do!


In my heart, I believe Canada is the very best place to live, although I have come to appreciate the Scandinavian way of life.  I incorporate some Norwegian into my day and then share it with you.  I like to think that we can all open our minds to a better life…and a wonderful Canadian winter!


Live simple, love your space.  Love your life!

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Tracy Struthers Lifestyle

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