We’re in the middle of a Wisconsin winter during a time of political unrest while trying to survive a pandemic. We deserve to indulge ourselves. Here are a few suggestions:
Get those endorphins flowing!
- Head outdoors to breathe deeply of winter’s fresh air. Photograph how the sunlight shines on icicles.
- Watch for a morning when the hoarfrost or rime ice has coated the trees, hop in the car, turn on the seat warmers and drive with no destination in mind.
- Don the snowshoes or cross-country skis. Hit Mirror Lake trails or blaze some of your own. Visit a city such as Eagle River where you can indulge yourself with a sleigh ride. My brother- and sister-in-law treated themselves to a magical ride last week where they had a grand time swooshing through the wintry drifts.
- Find a heart-pumping online class such as Kickboxing, Zumba, Yoga, Pilates or Dance and get your heart pumping. You’ll feel great afterwards.
Cherish winter’s slower pace.
- Kick back in the recliner and curl up with a good book, the newspaper, a crossword puzzle or sudoku.
- Be the first to awaken and have the frosty, silent morning all to your own. Spend the day in your comfy ‘jammies. Add lavender bath salts to the warm tub and soak. Include music, candlelight, and a glass of wine. Unwind.
- Since travel is difficult these days, do so from your armchair. Check out the virtual offerings through Road Scholar. Can I interest you in joining me in a virtual trip to Newfoundland?
- Make your bed with the softest sheets you own or ones you’ve hung outdoors so they have that fresh, wintry smell. Once the bed is made, take a midday nap.
- Buy yourself or your loved one fresh flowers. Or wander around a place like Portage’s Edgewater Home and Garden or Thompson’s Full Bloom. Sit in a beam of afternoon sunlight and cuddle a loved one or your fluffy pet.
- Take a break from the news and find an old classic to watch such as “I Love Lucy” or “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.”
Savor the flavors of winter
- Come in rosy-cheeked from the cold and fix hot chocolate, hot buttered rum, or a hot toddy.
- Peel a juicy orange or grapefruit, close your eyes, and breathe in. Slow, conscious breaths. Surround yourself with the fresh citrusy smell.
- Order gourmet chocolates: luscious truffles, gooey turtles, and chocolate-covered cherry cordials. Eat them slowly, savor the flavors, make them last.
- Serve beverages and hot, buttered popcorn while playing cards or board games. Last week my family did this virtually with family members.
- Make a pot roast in a crockpot or on the stove where you can occasionally lift the lid and savor the homey smells.
- Steep mulled cider, letting the aroma fill the room. Bake molasses cookies and share them while they’re hot.
- Indulge yourself with pie. Make one yourself (I have a favorite key lime recipe my friend Mary Smith gave me years ago) or buy one from the bakery. If you choose apple, peach or blueberry, warm it up and serve with a scoop of ice cream. Heck, it’s the middle of a Wisconsin winter during a pandemic. Make that two scoops.
- And finally, let’s keep our ears tuned for the spring call of the nuthatch. This bird keeps singing and never doubts that spring will come.