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Don’t let the February blues get you down

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Enjoying the toboggan slides at Assiniboine Park, pictured in this file photo, is a great way to beat the winter blahs.

PHOTO BY RUTH BONNEVILLE/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS PHOTO ARCHIVES Enlarge Image

Enjoying the toboggan slides at Assiniboine Park, pictured in this file photo, is a great way to beat the winter blahs. Photo Store Photo Store

Christmas/winter holidays are well behind us and deep-freeze temperatures with white stuff that keeps falling from the sky is upon us. 

Some are fortunate enough to escape for a week or two to warmer climates that have palm trees swaying and little umbrellas in refreshing cocktails. But most of us must endure and feel sorry for ourselves until we see green grass again. I enjoy watching golf on TV but now I find myself focusing more on the lush greens than the ball making its way to the hole.

This time of the year can be quite depressing for some of us. We find it difficult to find our joy inside. We tend to concentrate more on the stressful driving conditions or latest news tragedies and we hibernate under blankets in front of our televisions night after night, just waiting out the winter months.

Now is the time to make joy the default setting in our lives.

It will make your day easier and who doesn’t want that? We can sprinkle subtle moments of joy throughout the day. When we experience this sensation we feel connected and excited and in the moment.

How hard is it for us to thank a server, open a door for someone, or to smile at a stranger when walking by?  

You will be surprised to see how addictive one smile can be. It can instantly brighten your day.

On a grander scale, we can open our front doors and walk out into winter wonderlands and enjoy the fresh air; either just driving somewhere or spending time outdoors.

Here are a few suggestions to help get joy back into your life and excited about your next moments:

• Take a swim... What? That’s right — check out St. James Civic Centre.

• Break out the ice skates at the Civic Centre.

• Toboggan down winter slides at Assiniboine Park.

• Meander through The Living Prairie Museum. (You can even try holding a snake — not for me but our son enjoyed it!)

•  Walk through the trails or visit the turkeys that hang out at the horse stables at Birds Hill Park  — this is one of my favourite things to do in winter.

•  Hunker down at our local libraries and escape into another world for a bit.

• Learn how to play Pickle Ball at Sturgeon-Heights Community Club or just play in the gym.

Most — if not all — of these suggestions are free and I guarantee, you will find that three letter word within you once again:

Joy.

Virginia Sperl is a Silver Heights-based writer.

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