Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Your Weekend Weather

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Feeling a little blue? Getting short-tempered with your friends and loved ones? Thinking about removing most of your medically important organs with a butter knife?

Why don't you lie down on our couch and tell us what's troubling you, as if we didn't already know.

The problem is the (very bad word) weather.

Kind of like the Mafia in those Godfather films, Mother Nature teases us with a few days of normal or near-normal weather, then, when we let our guard down, she reels us back in to the icy heart of the polar vortex.

It's enough to drive winter-weary Winnipeggers to the end of their wits, or driveway, assuming they have been able to persuade their teenage offspring to put down the video-game controls and pick up a snow shovel.

Today, for instance, when we should be basking in a normal high of -6 C, we are instead looking at another stretch of insanely cold weather, with a high of just -15 C, a wind chill of -33 and a 40 per cent chance of more (take a deep breath, kids) snow.

On Sunday, it should be sunny with a brisk high of just -18 C, and the rest of the week will be colder, featuring lows in the -28 C neighbourhood.

Which is why, on your behalf, we decided to seek a little professional help.

Joined by Creepy Santa, my three-foot-tall stuffed Santa doll, I paid a visit Thursday afternoon to the office of renowned Winnipeg psychologist Toby Rutner, an expert in family therapy and stress-related disorders, such as winters that refuse to end.

As we stretched out on his couch, Rutner gently assured us a lot of folks are feeling a bit under the weather lately, although he did point out anyone who drags a three-foot-tall plush doll to a therapist's office is potentially a few clowns short of a circus.

If you'd like to join us on the couch, check out our latest therapeutic weather video by scanning the Blippar symbol in this column with your smartphone, or by visiting Here's what the doctor advised when we asked for tips on dealing with The Winter That Wouldn't Die:

"What we want to do is make sure the unrelenting weather doesn't keep us isolated, because then we get cabin fever.

"We need to conquer the snow and get out and do social activities... We need to rejoin the human race. We get a sense of sensory deprivation in the winter. We need to break out.

"Challenge yourself to see it as an adventure. See different people. Stop complaining about the weather and embrace the cold.

"Go ice-fishing. Go cross-country skiing. Go to The Forks, and go see the ice sculptures in St. Boniface before they melt."

So that's your challenge this weekend, Winnipeg.

Get off the couch, put on a puffy parka and enjoy the final weekend of Festival du Voyageur.

The fiddling contest starts at noon Sunday. Find more info at

Still feel like crying like a baby? Then you'll fit in perfectly at the eighth annual Winnipeg Baby & Kids Show at the RBC Convention Centre Winnipeg on Sunday. Tickets are $10 at Ticketmaster. Helpful tip: Have a nap before you go.

Later, help your beloved Jets get ready for the final stretch of the season by heading to The Forks Sunday from 1:30-2:30 p.m. to watch the team's outdoor practice on the Red River Mutual Trail.

It's cold but it's free, kids.

The prescription for beating the blues also includes jumping out of bed early Sunday morning to cheer with all your heart as our men's hockey team battles Sweden for gold in Sochi. After we win, you can stay on the couch and stuff yourself with greasy snack-related items while the closing ceremony unfold.

And if a stray snowstorm happens to come your way, go out and embrace it... then punch it in the throat.

Because I'm sure Toby Rutner would approve.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 22, 2014 A2

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