Eleventh Day of Stress-less Christmas: Take it outside

Studies have shown that time spent outdoors is great for your mental health.  Unfortunately for we New Englanders, getting outdoors gets much more difficult during the cold, harsh winter.  How do you make this little stress-buster work during this busy season – and during the bad weather?

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Invest in the gear.  You will be miserable if you are not dressed for the cold.  I am a cold person.  I don’t even like to go in our garage in the winter.  So, I have a very warm winter coat, the furry boots, neck warmers and gloves stashed everywhere.  I can face the cold once I’m bundled up.

Give gifts of warmth.  Looking for a last minute gift?  My husband and kids ski – so I stuff their stockings with ski socks and hand warmers.  Coats and boots make awesome gifts.  You know you’ll get outside if you have a friend who will go with you.

Ski – and if you don’t ski – find another winter sport (cross-country skiing, snow-shoeing, skating, winter hiking).  We have so many great places around.

  • Weston Ski Track – This is where I learned to cross country ski, many moons ago.  Now, once the snow is here, we take our X-country skis on the Mansfield bike path.  Weston ski track is worth the drive too – it’s on the Newton line.  You feel like you are in New Hampshire, but can easily spend a weekend afternoon there.
  • Borderland – Whether there is snow or not, how lucky are we to have beautiful Borderland so close by.  There is a sport for everyone there – snow shoeing, trail running, hiking, disc golf.
  • Foxboro State Forest – This is another gorgeous outdoor spot for a day hike.  Just minutes away but you will feel like you are in Vermont.
  • Your neighborhood or your corporate office park – Of course, the easiest of all.  Just step outside!  Even little bursts of outdoor air will do you good.

We have to embrace winter – even if it’s just a little bit.